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How to cite a Website in Chicago/Turabian
Do you need to cite a website or other online material in Chicago or Turabian style? Look no further than this page! In this guide, you’ll find information on how to cite websites (website article), blogs, social media, and more according to Chicago notes-bibliography style (17th ed.).
Here you’ll find examples for the following types of citations:
- General website content
- Online news or magazine articles
- Blog posts and comments on blog posts
- Social media
- Electronic communication
- Other considerations for citation elements
- What you need
General Website Content
With general website content, you are likely to encounter missing information. For example, there may be no author listed. In that case, use the title of the page as the first element in your footnotes and use the name of the site owner or sponsor as the author in the bibliography. This guide on citing a website with no author has templates and examples for creating this type of citation in Chicago style.
Quite often you will not find a date. If this happens, you will use an access date. Some websites will not have a specific title and may be identified with just the owner or sponsor name (CMOS 8.191). For author-date style, if there is only an access date possible, include “n.d.” in place of the year for in-text citation.
Notes and Bibliography Style
Online news or magazine articles.
Online news or magazine articles are usually cited exactly as articles in print newspapers or magazines, except that the URL is added to the end of the citation. This formatting is slightly different from citations for journal articles in Chicago , though, so be sure to double check which citation style is right for your source.
Blog Posts and Comments on Blog Posts
Citing a blog post in Chicago is very similar to citing an online newspaper or magazine article. You italicize the title of the blog and follow the title with “blog” in parentheses. If the blog is part of a larger publication, include the name of that publication after the title of the blog.
To cite a comment on a blog post, you do this in text. If you cite a comment, you must cite the article on which the comment is posted in the reference list or bibliography according to the above guidelines. In the footnote, list the commenter’s name, the date the comment was posted, and then a shortened form of the citation for the primary blog post.
For example, the note for a comment on the above blog post would be formatted as follows:
WayneF1, January 17, 2014, comment on Limer, “Heck Yes! The First Free Wireless Plan is Finally Here.”
A URL can be included in the footnote citation for a blog comment, but it is not always necessary. See CMOS 14.208 or 15.51 for more guidelines on citing comments.
Social media is generally only cited in the text, but it can also have a formal citation. If you don’t have a title, use up to the first 160 characters of the post in quotation marks. If there is no author, use the user name.
Online forums and mailing lists can be cited in the same way as social media. Include the name of the author, the title of the thread or subject of the email, the title of the list or forum, the title of the host site, the date it was posted, and the URL. For further guidance and examples, see CMOS 14.210 and Turabian 17.5.4 and 19.5.4.
The CMOS recommends that any type of personal communication be cited in text and notes, and indicates that it is rare to cite these in a bibliography (CMOS 14.214 and 15.53). Examples of personal, electronic communication include:
- Text messages
- Social media messages
Citing personal interviews in Chicago would also fall under this umbrella.
Other Considerations for Citation Elements
If an author is not clear, you can use the site owner or publisher in the author field instead. However, if no author, owner, or publisher can be readily identified, your source may be unreliable and you might want to reconsider using it and finding something more authoritative.
Titles for online material can be tricky, as there may not always be a clear title. If you can’t find a title, you can identify it by the website owner or sponsor. Titles of websites are generally set in roman without quotation marks and capitalized in title case. In a small departure from the 16th edition, the CMOS 17th edition specifies that if the website has a print counterpart (such as the websites for newspapers and other publications), then it should be in italics. If it does not, then it should be treated normally. See the examples below:
The website of the Washington Post = Washington Post
Wikipedia’s entry on the American Revolution = Wikipedia
Titles of sections of web pages or pages within a larger website should be placed in quotation marks (CMOS 8.191).
Dates are very important in online material because this type of material changes constantly. You must include a date of publication if you can find one. If there is a revision or modification date in place of the publication date, use that. Revision dates may also be helpful when citing material that is regularly updated like Wikipedia (CMOS 14.13).
While Chicago style does not require the use of an access date in most cases, if you cannot find a publication date or revision date, you should include an access date. If you are writing a scientific or medical research piece, access dates might be required in addition to publication or revision dates, so you might want to check with your instructor (CMOS 14.12).
When recording the URL, if a permalink or shorter link is available, use it instead. Otherwise, use the full URL regardless of length and include the “https://” when writing the URL (CMOS 14.9; Turabian 22.214.171.124).
If a URL links to a database that requires a subscription, it is better to name the database (e.g., ProQuest) because not everyone may have access (CMOS 14.9).
Does the Web Page Need to be in the Bibliography?
Chicago style does not always require website material to be cited in a bibliography. Sometimes it is enough to describe the content in the text (like when citing a YouTube video in Chicago or a blog post).
For example, writing “EasyBib’s latest blog post, posted on January 21, 2020, gave excellent tips on how to write a research paper,” would likely give the reader enough information to find and identify the blog post. You can include a formal citation if needed, and our examples above will help you out.
Keep in mind, however, that this only applies to general web content, social media, and personal communications like email or Facebook messages. For most other online material, you should always include a formal citation. When in doubt, it is always better to provide a formal citation.
What You Need
Citing web pages usually requires the following information:
- Author of the material
- Title of the web page
- Title or description of the web page
- Owner or sponsor of the cite if this is different from the title
- Publication or revision date
Because online material can disappear any moment, make sure that you record all the information about the website when you use it. You might even want to consider taking a screenshot if you think you might need more information later.
The Chicago Manual of Style , 17th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. https://doi.org/10.7208/cmos17.
Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018.
Written by Janice Hansen . Janice has a doctorate in literature and a master’s degree in library science. She spends a lot of time with rare books and citations.
Chicago Formatting Guide
- Book Chapter
- Conference Paper
- Musical Recording
- Thesis or Dissertation
- Sheet Music
- YouTube Video
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Citing websites: Chicago/Turabian (17th ed.) citation guide
This guide is based on The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. It provides examples of citations for commonly-used sources, using Notes and bibliography style only . For more detailed information consult directly The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) [ print ] or check the Chicago Style Citation Quick Guide for citation examples.
For the Author-date style, see the Social sciences/sciences system .
More guidelines for citing this type of material can be found in sections 14.205 - 14.209 .
1. Donald Scott, "Mormonism and the American Mainstream," National Humanities Center, last modified August 2004, http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/nineteen/nkeyinfo/nmormon.htm.
2. Michael Geist, "The Canadian Wireless Story: Comparative Data Shows World's Highest Carrier Revenues Per SIM," Michael Geist (blog) , January 22, 2019, http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2019/01/the-canadian-wireless-story-comparative-data-shows-worlds-highest-carrier-revenues-per-sim/.
Scott, Donald. "Mormonism and the American Mainstream." National Humanities Center. Last modified August 2004. http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/nineteen/nkeyinfo/nmormon.htm.
Geist, Michael. "The Canadian Wireless Story: Comparative Data Shows World's Highest Carrier Revenues Per SIM." Michael Geist (blog). January 22, 2019. http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2019/01/the-canadian-wireless-story-comparative-data-shows-worlds-highest-carrier-revenues-per-sim/.
- Include the title and author/sponsor of cited websites in the body of your paper as well as in the notes and bibliographic entries ( 14.206 ).
- Website citations should include: author, title, owner or sponsor of the site , date of publication, modification or revision and URL ( 14.207 ).
- The title of a website is not put in quotation marks and is not italicized unless it is also the title of a book. Titled sections or pages within a website are put in quotation marks ( 14.206 ).
- If no publication, modification or revision date is available on the website, provide an access date (e.g. accessed May 18, 2005) ( 14.207 ).
- A blog title needs to be italicized (e.g. Michael Geist ) and the titles of blog entries put in quotation marks. Include also the word "blog" in parentheses if not part of the blog title, the date the blog entry was posted and a URL. Treat a blog entry in the same way you would an article in a periodical ( 14.206 , 14.208 ).
- References to website content (a webpage rather than the whole website or an entire work) must be included in the notes but not necessarily in the bibliography ( 14.207 ).
Turabian Citation Style Guide 9th Edition: A. Basic Web Page
- General Guidelines
- A. One Author
- B. Two or Three Authors
- C. More than Three Authors
- D. Chapter in an Edited Book with Multiple Authors
- E. Volume with a Specific Title in a Multi-Volume Work
- F. Organization Author
- G. No Author
- I. Reference Book
- J. Edition other than the First
- A. Basic Journal Article
- B. Journal Article from Online Periodical
- C. Journal Article from Article Database
- D. Magazine Article
- E. Magazine Article from Online Magazine
- F. Newspaper Article
- G. Newspaper Article from an Online Newspaper
- A. Basic Web Page
- B. Web Page No Author
- C. Blog Entries and Comments
- A. Motion Picture
- B. Television and Radio Programs
- A. Image from Electronic Source
- B. Published Photograph
- A. Interviews & Personal Communications
- B. Lectures
- C. Pamphlets, Brochures, & Reports
- D. Scriptural References
- E. Secondary Sources
- F. Government Publications
About Citing Websites
For each type of source in this guide, the general form and specific examples will be provided for both the Notes-Bibliography and the Author-Date style options of Turabian.
This information and several of the examples were drawn from A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations (8th edition). Numbers in parentheses refer to specific pages in the manual.
For further information, please ask your instructor or refer to the Turabian manual.
Basic Web Page
When citing websites, try to include as much basic information as you can in order to identify and locate the source even if the URL changes or becomes obsolete (pp. 197; 260).
When using the Notes-Bibliography style, the website citation information is normally limited to the notes unless it is critical to your argument. If no author information is provided and a formal bibliography entry is desired, list the source under the title of the website or the name of the owner/sponsor (p. 197).
- Turabian Quick Guide Examples for the publisher's website.
- Purdue Owl Chicago Style Information and examples from Purdues Online Writing Lab.
- University of Wisconsin's Writing Center Chicago/Turabian information and examples.
- Turabian Style Guidelines Summary of guidelines provided by the MSUB Academic Support Center.
- Sample Paper Sample of a Turabian-style paper provided by the Academic Support Center at MSUB.
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Citing Sources: Chicago/ Turabian
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Page of a Website
- FAQ about Citation
Websites are often missing information like the author's name or date published. If you don't have an individual author you may use the name of the organization as the author. If there is no date of publication, just use n.d. (which means no date ) and include the date you visited the site as Date accessed.
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How to reference a Website using the Chicago Manual of Style
The most basic entry for a website consists of the author name(s), page title, website title, web address, and date accessed.
Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).
Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
The first author’s name should be reversed, with a comma being placed after the last name and a period after the first name (or any middle name). Titles and affiliations associated with the author should be omitted. A suffix, such as a roman numeral or Jr./Sr., should appear after the author’s given name, preceded by a comma.
For a page with two or more authors, list them in the order as they appear on the website. Only the first author’s name should be reversed, while the others are written in normal order. Separate author names by a comma.
Smith, John, and Jane Doe. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
If no author is available, begin the citation with the website owner.
Cable News Network. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
The full page title, which is followed by a period, should be placed within quotation marks. Place the period within the quotation marks. Then include the website title, followed by a period. If the website title is not available, include the website owner in its place.
Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” Cable News Network. http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/01/21/obama_inaugurated/index.html (accessed February 1, 2009).
Include the web address of the page. Next, place the text “accessed” and the date on which you accessed the website (written in the format of “month day, year”) in parentheses. Conclude the citation with a period after the parentheses.
For informal websites (such as home page or fan websites) or websites without formal titles, use descriptive phrases in your citation in place of page or website titles.
If the website has a print counterpart, such as the website for a newspaper, place the website title in italics.
Smith, John. “Catalonia Declares Independence from Spain.” New York Times . http://www.newyorktimes.com/POLITICS/11/21/catalonia_spain.html (accessed February 1, 2017).
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- Cite: Why? When?
- Books or Ebooks
- Theses and Manuscripts
- Reference and Sacred Works
- Government Documents
- Music Resources
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools
- Format Your Paper
- Shortened Notes
Examples in this guide are provided for footnote citations (N) and bibliography (B). Footnotes and bibliography format contain most of the same elements but are formatted slightly differently. For example, notes use paragraph (first line) indentation , and the bibliography entries use hanging indents. If you cite one source multiple times, you may use shortened notes for citations after the first one -- see directions here .
Many Web-based content examples are covered elsewhere in this guide. Use the navigation menu to view more specific types.
General Web Site
If no publication or revision date is provided, include an access date. If there is no author, enter the item in the bibliography under its title or the name of its sponsor or owner.
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- Citing a Book
- Citing a Chapter or Essay in a Book
Basic Article Citation
Example scholarly journal article in print, example scholarly journal article online, example magazine or newspaper article in print, example magazine or newspaper article online.
- Citing a Webpage
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Author First M. Last Name, "Article Title," Journal Title Issue, number (date): page cited, doi or URL (if online).
Short version: Author Last Name, "Article Title (shortened if necessary)," page cited.
Author Last Name, First M. "Article Title." Journal Title Issue, number (date): page range. doi or URL (if online).
Note: if using a URL, write "Retrieved from" before it.
Patrick Wolfe, "Land, Labor, and Difference: Elementary Structures of Race," American Historical Review 106, no. 3 (2001): 890.
Short version: Wolfe, "Land, Labor, and Difference," 890.
Wolfe, Patrick. "Land, Labor, and Difference: Elementary Structures of Race." American Historical Review 106, no. 3 (2001): 866-905.
James Naylor, "Socialism for a New Generation: CCF Youth in the Popular Front Era," Canadian Historical Review 94, no. 1 (2013): 62. doi: 10.3138/chr.1164.
Short version: Naylor, "Socialism for a New Generation," 62.
Naylor, James. "Socialism for a New Generation: CCF Youth in the Popular Front Era." Canadian Historical Review 94, no. 1 (2013) : 55-79 . doi: 10.3138/chr.1164.
Magazine and newspaper articles usually do not include volume and issue information and instead emphasize the date.
Lerone Bennett Jr., "Why Black History is Important to You," Ebony , February 1982, 62.
Short version: Bennett Jr., "Why Black History is Important to You," 62.
Bennett Jr., Lerone. "Why Black History is Important to You." Ebony. February1982, 61-66.
Andrew Curry, "The Mummy Diaries," Discovery , July 2008, 65. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=a9h&AN=32580475&site=ehost-live
Short version: Curry, "The Mummy Diaries," 65.
Curry, Andrew. "The Mummy Diaries." Discovery. July 2008, 58- 65. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=a9h&AN=32580475&site=ehost-live
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