How Do I Format Parenthetical Author-Date Citations in Turabian/Chicago Style?

If you cite your sources in your thesis or dissertation (or class paper) using the author-date system, you will signal each source in the text in parentheses. Each parenthetical citation (including author, date, and relevant page numbers) corresponds to an entry in a reference list.

Here’s how to format parenthetical citations for a Chicago-style paper following the guidelines in Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

  • Immediately after a quotation or other material requiring a citation, include author last name and year and, for specific passages, a page number or other locator.
  • Do not use punctuation between the author and the date.
  • Separate the date from a page number with a comma.
  • The name and date must match those in the reference list entry exactly.
  • The closing parenthesis precedes a comma, period, or other mark when the quotation is run into the text.
  • At the end of a block quotation, the opening parenthesis follows terminal punctuation.

To see what a page with parenthetical author-date citations looks like, consult the sample below. For more details, see chapters 18 and 19 in the Turabian Manual. See also section A.2.2.5 in the Turabian appendix on paper format and submission.

Sample Page with Parenthetical Citations

IMPORTANT: Your instructor’s requirements may overrule Chicago’s formatting recommendations!

Turabian Manual Ninth EditionThe Turabian tip sheets illustrate everything you need to know for formatting a student paper in Chicago style. They are fully compatible with The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). You can print them and download them.

  1. Margins and Page Numbers
  2. Title Page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. List of Tables and Figures
  5. Introduction or Conclusion
  6. Main Text
  7. Sections and Subheads
  8. Chapter Opening Page
  9. Figure and Figure Caption
  10. Bibliography
  11. Endnotes
  12. Footnotes
  13. Parenthetical Citations
  14. Reference List

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