Historians typically use numbered citation systems (with either footnotes
or endnotes) rather than the parenthetical citation systems favored by
many social scientists. That’s because we love our sources and use
lots of them! For detailed instructions, consult The Chicago Manual
of Style or the online guide to Chicago/Turabian
Documentation provided by the University of Wisconsin Writing Center.
When to cite and when not to cite?
When your essay refers to an author’s original argument,
or deploys specific evidence (a quotation, a statistic, an image, etc.)
to make a point, you must use a citation. When your essay refers
to widely accepted ideas and facts—that college students are often
confused about how to cite sources, for instance—no citation is
When do I cite specific page numbers?
When you are quoting any unique word, phrase, sentence, or extract, you
must always cite the page number(s). When you are referring to
an author’s overall argument, it is permissible to cite the author’s
work without specific page numbers. However, when you are referring to
a particular part of an author’s work, such as a case study covered
in a single chapter of a book, then you should cite that part. As a general
rule, the more specific your use of the source, the more specific the
citation should be.
Note: Book, journal, newspaper, and magazine titles are italicized
or underlined. So are the titles of legal cases. Article and chapter titles
use quotation marks, as do the titles of plays, television shows, and
a single-authored book
Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer's Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption
in Postwar America (New York: Knopf, 2003).
an edited collection
Ann Snitow, Christine Stansell, and Sharon Thompson, eds., Powers
of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality (New York: Monthly Review Press,
one part of an edited collection
John D'Emilio, “Capitalism and Gay Identity,” in Powers
of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality, eds. Ann Snitow, Christine
Stansell, and Sharon Thompson (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1983),
a journal article
Deborah J. Coon, “‘One Moment in the World's Salvation’:
Anarchism and the Radicalization of William James,” Journal
of American History 83 (June 1996):70-99.
a magazine article
Kenneth B. Clark, “‘The Wonder Is There Have Been So Few Riots’,”
New York Times Magazine, September 5, 1965, 10-11, 38, 45, 48.
a newspaper article
Daniel Goleman, “Mental Disorder Common, but Few Get Treatment,
Study Finds,” New York Times, March 17, 1993, C13.
a thesis or dissertation
Catherine Kerr, “Race in the Making of American Liberalism, 1912-1965”
(Ph.D. diss., Johns Hopkins University, 1995).
an Internet source
Jane Addams, “Why Women Should Vote,” 1915, http://douglassarchives.org/adda_a03.htm
an Internet website
Famous Trials of the 20th Century: HTTP://WWW.LAW.UMKC.EDU/faculty/projects/FTRIALS/FTRIALS.HTM
a video or film
Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer, “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard
Rustin” (San Francisco: California Newsreel, 2002, video).
an interview or oral history
Professor Peggy Pascoe, interview by author, Eugene, Oregon, October 1,
a source from a microform collection
Russell Sage Foundation, Charity Organization Department, “Diagnosis
and Treatment Record for Families,” 1918, The Russell Sage Foundation:
Social Research and Social Action in America, 1907-1947 (Frederick, MD:
UPA Academic Editions, an imprint of Congressional Information Service,
Inc., 1988), fiche 101, record #CO-17.
an archival source
Memo on Sunshine Nursery, July 19, 1918, United States Children's Bureau
Papers, Box 60, Folder 7349.1, National Archives II.
a source quoted within another source
Hastings Hart, quoted in W.H. Slingerland, Child-Placing in Families:
A Manual for Students and Social Workers (New York: Russell Sage
Foundation, 1919), 118.