In the Soldotna High Social Studies Department, we use the Chicago Manual of Style and the Kate Turabian manual (this is commonly abbreviated to Chicago/Turabian). This method of citation is used in history courses, periodicals, and books across the discipline, and your familiarity with it will benefit you. It is extremely flexible, and is suited to the fact that historians work with just about every type of record there is, not just literature, and not just scientific papers.1

In general, we use the Note-Bibliography format, not Author-Date. This means that there are two ways to cite the sources that you use for your research; footnotes and a bibliography. Your footnotes give your reader the sources of information as they appear in your paper, and the bibliography provides a list of all sources used in the paper at a glance. Both are useful. Either one or the other may be required by your instructor, so check your directions.

See the handbook page on Plagiarism, as it's married to citations.

Purdue Owl is the reigning online reference for citation format. They recently redesigned, but their organization is roughly the same as it has always been. The most common pages that you will reference are as follows:

  1. OWL - Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. This is the home page. You live here now. Bring a lunch.
  2. OWL- Chicago Style - Web Sources. Pay special attention to the Online Periodicals portion, as scholarly articles that you find on JSTOR and the like are often actually classified this way.

How to Decide Where to Put Your Footnotes

This is often the most difficult part of citations that makes students avoid them, resulting in damaged grades. The process is simple:

Footnotes go after a group of ideas that come from another source, before the author's own analysis begins. Footnotes always go after all other punctuation.

The easiest way to think about this is to look at the sentences that are either summary, paraphrasing, or quotation of work or information from a source other than the author (a book, website, article, or whatever). At the end of that information, you must place a footnote.

If you change sources mid-sentence, place a footnote between the sections of the sentence that come from difference places. E.g., "While French weapons were very effective against mail-based armor,2 they lacked brute durability that English weapons provided.3"

Remember: the footnote always goes after the punctuation, after quotation marks, and before the next sentence begins.


I've included a sentence with "an example quote."4 This is the next sentence.

It is generally better to cite when you're not sure than to do the minimum.

Do not place your footnote before the information it applies to, because I don't know how far into your paper that footnote applies. Footnotes follow.

For more details, please visit the Purdue OWL link above.

Irregularities or Missing Citation Information

When you are citing, you will run into irregularities and you won't know how to adapt the citation format that you've been assigned. In particular, using electronic resources often leaves you without an author, a publishing date, or other seemingly crucial information. Chicago has a way to handle that.

  1. No author. If no author is listed, 

Citing Lectures in Class

If your instructor allows it, you may use the following form to cite lectures and lessons in class.

Note format:

1. Nathan Erfurth, "Chapter 1 Notes" (PowerPoint presentation, AP World History, Soldotna High School, AK, August 24, 2018).

Bibliography format:

Erfurth, Nathan. "Chapter 1 Notes." PowerPoint presented during AP World History class, Soldotna High School, AK, August 24, 2018.