Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

Creating a Bibliography in the Notes-Biblio Chicago Style


Even though the notes (either footnotes or endnotes) section throughout your paper gives a lot of detail about your sources, you will still need to create a list of your bibliographical entries. There are some exceptions, usually depending on what the publisher or your instructor has in mind.

students bibliography Chicago style

Creating a Citation

When you use the notes-biblio style, it’s important that you have a corresponding biblio entry for every note entry. The notes entry and its corresponding biblio entry create a citation. However, you can include other sources you’ve consulted rather than just the ones you’ve cited, if you chose to do so. There are some sources you can omit such as social media posts, comments on blogs etc.

Usually, the bibliography is an alphabetical list of the sources you’ve cited and the sources you’ve consulted while preparing your paper. You may chose to section the bibliography by type of work, authors or other methods if you think this makes it easier for your reader.

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) allows for different types of bibliographies, if your instructor asks for one of these or you feel it will work better for your paper. You can choose to do a full bibliography, a selected bibliography, an annotated bibliography, a bibliographic essay or a list of works by a single author.

In this article, the focus will be on creating a full bibliography using the letter by letter alphabetizing method.

Omitting Sources

First, let’s talk about sources you can omit from your bibliography in the notes-biblio style. Pretty much any source that isn’t authoritative or is hard to link to, such as a social media or blog comment, can be left off the bibliography. These will still be included in your notes section, but you don’t need to add entries in the bibliography. Here is the list:

Newspaper articles
Reviews of published works or performances
Blog posts/comments
Classical, medieval, early English works
Reference works such as major dictionaries or encyclopedias
Artworks, Live performances
US Constitution
Social Media posts
Personal communications like emails
Legal Cases

Of course, there is always an exception. In this case, if you feel the cited source is critical to your argument or if you use it frequently, you may include it in your notes-biblio style bibliography.

Organizing Your Bibliography Page

Since you’re using the notes-biblio Chicago/Turabian full bibliography style, you will center the title Bibliography on the last page. Do not bold, underline or italicize the title.

  • Bibliography, centered title.
  • Double-space after the title, then begin your entries.
  • Use the hanging indent for each entry.
  • Space one line between entries.

Alphabetize by the letter by letter method by author and then by title unless your instructor asks you to use the word by word method. Ignore A, An, The if it’s the first word in a title.

Alphabetizing Multiple Works by the Same Author

Although CMOS recommends against using the 3-em dash system for arranging multiple works by the same author if you’re planning to submit your article for publication, a school paper will still include it. Ask your instructor for guidance.

The notes-biblio style for organizing your citations differs from creating a reference list in the author-date style. One of those differences comes when you’re creating citation entries for multiple works by the same author.

The notes-biblio citation entry places the year of publication at the end of the entry. Therefore, when you are alphabetizing multiple works by the same author, you will use the title of the article rather than the year of publication.

If the author’s name shows as an editor or translator in some works, ignore those roles and alphabetize as usual.

Finalizing Your Bibliography

As you prepare your paper, gather all the resources together in a preliminary bibliography. When you are ready to finalize your research paper, it is a lot easier to organize the full bibliography from the preliminary one. That way, you will not be scrambling around at the last minute, trying to remember all the details for each entry.

Double-check your notes to ensure each note entry corresponds to a biblio entry, unless it can stand alone. Although creating a notes bibliography is more difficult than an author-date reference list, it gives your reader an extensive understanding of the research involved in your school paper.

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About the author

Adrienne Mathewson

Adrienne Mathewson, Editor-in-Chief of Bibliography.com, is an Information Professional with a Master’s in Library, Information & Science from San José State University with an emphasis on information literacy and scholarly publishing. She is a certified librarian through the State of New Mexico.

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