Chicago Author-Date Style | A Complete Guide to Citing Sources

The Chicago Manual of Style provides guidelines for two styles of source citation: notes and bibliography and author-date. Author-date style is the preferred option in the sciences and social sciences.

In author-date style, an in-text citation consists of the author’s name, the publication year, and (if relevant) a page number. Each citation must correspond to an entry in the reference list at the end of your paper, where you give full details of the source.

Chicago author-date style
Chicago author-date citation (McGuire 2016, 22)
Chicago reference entry McGuire, Ian. 2016. The North Water. London: Simon & Schuster.
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The Basics of In-Text Citation | APA & MLA Examples

An in-text citation is a short acknowledgement you include whenever you quote or take information from a source in academic writing. It points the reader to the source so they can see where you got your information.

In-text citations most commonly take the form of short parenthetical statements indicating the author and publication year of the source, as well as the page number if relevant.

Example: APA Style in-text citation
(Jackson, 2005, p. 16)

We also offer a free citation generator and in-depth guides to the main citation styles.

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Proofreading Rates | A Guide for Freelance Editors

One of the hardest parts of freelancing is figuring out the right rates to charge your clients, and this is no different for proofreaders and editors. This article provides useful data and guidance on the process of formulating your rates.

Rates for proofreading vary widely depending on a variety of factors (e.g., experience, difficulty), but rough median rates are indicated in the table below for proofreaders who work independently and those who work with established platforms.

Style of work Median rate per hour
Working with a platform $20–$28
Independent freelancer $36–$40

Bear in mind that as an independent freelancer, you carry out additional work that you don’t bill for: finding clients and admin tasks like invoicing. If you instead work with a platform like Scribbr, you might earn a lower nominal rate (since the company takes a cut), but the additional unpaid work is eliminated.

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What Is Common Knowledge? | Definition & Examples

In academic writing, “common knowledge” refers to information that the average educated reader would accept without needing a source citation to back it up.

There are two main categories of common knowledge:

  • Information that most people know
  • Information shared by a specific group of people, such as a national or cultural group, or academics in a particular field of study

In academic writing, it’s normally essential to cite your sources, but statements that are considered common knowledge do not need a citation.

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Writing in APA Style: Language guidelines

The American Psychological Association (APA) published the 7th edition of its style manual in 2019. As well as rules for citation and paper formatting, the manual provides various language guidelines to help you present your ideas in a clear, concise, and inclusive manner.

Key issues include active vs. passive voice, use of pronouns, anthropomorphism, inclusive language, punctuation, abbreviations and acronyms, and numbers.

Note: Scribbr offers APA editing services where expert editors help proofread your text, format your document, and cite your sources according to the APA Style guidelines.

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How to create an MLA style annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a special assignment that lists sources in a way similar to the MLA Works Cited list, but providing an annotation for each source giving extra information.

You might be assigned an annotated bibliography as part of the research process for a paper, or as an individual assignment.

MLA provides guidelines for writing and formatting your annotated bibliography. An example of a typical annotation is shown below.

Example of an MLA source annotation

Kenny, Anthony. A New History of Western Philosophy: In Four Parts. Oxford UP, 2010.

Broad history of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present day. Divided into four periods—ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern—each section begins with a chronological overview of the key thinkers, followed by chapters dedicated to each significant subfield in the period: metaphysics, political philosophy, God, etc. Kenny generally provides thorough and fair assessments of the major philosophers’ work, but is pointedly dismissive of Derrida and other critical theorists, significantly weakening the book’s coverage of “postmodern” philosophy.

You can create and manage your annotated bibliography with Scribbr’s free MLA Citation Generator. Choose your source type, retrieve the details, and click “Add annotation.”

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Creating an MLA title page

In MLA style, a title page is usually not required for your paper. Instead, MLA recommends including a header on your first page listing your name, your instructor’s name, the course name and number, and the submission date, followed by the title of your paper.

However, you should include a separate title page instead in these cases:

  • Your instructor requires it
  • The paper is a group project (i.e. you need to list multiple authors)

The formats for a separate title page and a first-page header are shown below. You can also use our templates in Word or Google Docs.

Word template Google Docs template

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Formatting dates in MLA style

In MLA Works Cited entries, publication dates are presented in day-month-year order. If the name of the month has five or more letters, abbreviate it to the first three.

Sometimes you just list the year (e.g. when citing a book), but if the source provides a more specific publication date, you should usually include it (e.g. when citing a journal article or web page). Occasionally you might even list the time of publication in addition to the date (e.g. when citing a timestamped online comment).

  • 2017
  • spring 2017
  • Mar. 2017
  • 5 Mar. 2017
  • 5 Mar. 2017, 1:15 p.m.

Don’t use ordinal numbers (e.g. “5th”) or commas within a date in the Works Cited list. Don’t include a 0 before a single-digit date (e.g. “05”), even if your source does.

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How to cite a dictionary entry in MLA style

In MLA style, a Works Cited entry for a dictionary entry usually starts with the title of the entry—since dictionaries usually don’t list authors.

The example below shows how to cite an entry in an online dictionary. If the page displays the year when the specific entry was last updated, use that year after the dictionary name. Otherwise, include an access date after the URL instead, as in this example.

MLA format Word, Part of speech. (Definition number).” Dictionary Name, Year, URL.
MLA Works Cited entry “Lock, N. (2).” Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 July 2020.
MLA in-text citation (“Lock,” def. 2.a)

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How to cite a short story in MLA

When you quote from a short story in MLA Style, make sure to properly introduce the quote and to follow it with an MLA in-text citation giving the author’s last name and the page number of the quote.

Short story quote and citation

The narrator tells us that Bartleby “seemed to gorge himself on my documents” (Melville 11).

The citation corresponds to an entry in your Works Cited list, giving the story’s author and its title in quotation marks, followed by the publication details of the container (e.g. a book, magazine, or website). The story in this example comes from a collection with an editor.

MLA format Author last name, First name. “Story Title.” Book Title, edited by Editor first name Last name, Publisher, Year, pp. Page range.
MLA Works Cited entry Melville, Herman. “Bartleby, the Scrivener.” Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales, edited by Robert Milder, Oxford UP, 1998, pp. 3–41.

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