CMS Documentary Notes

Whether you use footnotes at the bottom of the text pages or endnotes on a separate page at the end of the paper, you should number them consecutively throughout the paper. As one of the last steps before you finish your paper, check the note numbers to make sure that none have been accidentally omitted.

For the note numbers in the text, use arabic numerals typed slightly above the line. Most word processors and many typewriters can raise characters by half a line, and most word processors can reduce the type size (from 12 to 9 or 10 points, for example) to produce a superscript number 0). Note numbers should be placed at the end of a sentence or a clause, after the punctuation mark (with the exception of a dash, which should be preceded by the note number).

The numbers preceding the notes themselves are preferably typed on the same line as the note (and in the same type size) and followed by a period and a space. If you are using a computer program that generates footnotes with superscript numbers, however, most instructors will accept that style.

According to The Chicago Manual, footnotes in manuscripts to be submitted for publication must be double-spaced, but in academic papers not intended for publication, single-spacing with a blank line between notes is acceptable; Turabian recommends single-spacing both footnotes and endnotes, with a blank line between notes. The first line of each note should be indented by the same amount that paragraphs are indented. Either italics or underlining can be used to indicate the titles of books and other works.

Footnotes appear on the bottom of the same page of text where the corresponding note numbers appear. A short rule (about 20 characters long) separates the text and the footnotes. If the last footnote on a page runs over to the following page, the continuation is also separated from the text with a short rule.


1. Book with one author. The author’s name is not reversed. The name of the book is underlined or italicized, and the important words are capitalized. Publication information-place of publication, name of publisher, and date of publication-is enclosed in parentheses. The page number (or numbers) of the information being cited follows the publication information; page numbers are not necessary if the entire work is being cited. For inclusive page numbers, you only need to include the digits that have changed in the second number; for example, 321-5 (instead of 321-325) or 547-55 (instead of 547-555).

1. Julie Roy Jeffrey, Frontier Women: The Trans- Mississippi West 1840-1860 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1979). 2. Book with two or three authors.

2. Dennis Tedlock and Barbara Tedlock, Teaching from the American Earth: Indian Religion and Philosophy (New York: Liveright, 1975), 75.

3. Book with more than three authors. In a note, the name of the first author can be followed by “et al.” or “and others.” The bibliography entry, however, customarily lists all the authors (with the name of only the first one inverted).

3. Travis Hudson et al., The Eye of the Flute: Chumash Traditional History and Ritual as Told by Fernando Librado Kitsepawit (Santa Barbara, Calif.: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 1977), 20.

4. Book with a group or corporate author. If a work published by an organization has no author’s name on the title page, show the organization as the author in the reference note.

4. University of Chicago Press, The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).

5. Book with an editor. Begin the entry with the name of the editor (or editors), followed by the abbreviation “ed.” (or “eds.”).

5. H. Shelton Smith, Robert T. Handy, and Lefferts A. Loetscher, eds., American Christianity (New York: Scribner’s, 1960), 146.

6. Book with an editor or translator and an author. Unless the translator or editor is the point of the reference, the author’s name comes before the title, and the translator’s and/ or editor’s name comes after. Use the abbreviation “trans.” for “translator.” (Note that the two-part publication information in this entry indicates that the source is a reprint of a relatively recently published book; data for both the original and the reprint are given. Example 7 shows the treatment for a reprint of an older, classic work.)

6. Carlos Fuentes, Burnt Water, trans. Margaret Sayers Peden (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1980; reprint. New York: Noonday Press, 1986).

7. Foreword or introduction. This kind of note is used only when the foreword or introduction itself is the source of information. The name of the book’s author follows the title of the book. (Note that the publication information here shows the original date of publication as well as the date this classic work was reprinted.)

7. Tony Tanner, introduction to Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1813; reprint, edited by Tony- Tanner, New York: Penguin, 1980), x-xii.

8. Book without a listed author or editor. If no author is shown for a book, begin the note with the name of the book.

8. Dorothea Lange, with an essay by Christopher Cox, vol. 5 of Aperture Masters of Photography (New York: Aperture, 1987).

9. Book edition other than the first.

9. Lacy Baldwin Smith, This Realm of England, 5th ed. (Lexington, Mass.: D. C. Heath, 1988), 177-78.

10. Selection in an edited book. The name of the selection or chapter is enclosed in quotation marks. The name of the book is underlined or italicized. The name of the editor (or editors) is preceded by “ed.” (an abbreviation for “edited by”).

1. John Garrard, “Parties, Members and Voters After 1867,” in Later Victorian Britain, ed. T. R. Gourvish and Alan 0’Day (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988), 145.

11. Letter in a published collection.

2. Victoria to Vicky, 28 January 1863, Queen Victoria in Her Letters and Journals, ed. Christopher Hibbert (New York: Viking Penguin, 1985), 170.

12. Volume in a multivolume series. The volume title may either precede or follow the series title. If the volume does not have a separate title, include the volume number after the title of the series; if the note refers to specific pages, however, give the volume number with the page numbers at the end of the citation.

3. Paul L. Hughes and James F. Larkin, eds., Tudor Royal Proclamations , vol. 1 of The Ea rly Tudors (1485- 1553) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964), 80.

4. C. Peter Ripley, ed., The Black Abolitionists’ Papers, vol. 1 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985).


4. C . Peter Ripley, ed., The Black Abolitionists’ Papers (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985), 1: 111.

i3. Reference book. It is not necessary to provide the facts of publication in notes for well-known reference books. If the encyclopedia or dictionary is organized in alphabetical order, a page number is not necessary Instead, use the abbreviation “s.v” (for sub verbo, “under the word”) and cite the name of the entry where the information can be found. Citations for information from reference books are generally not included in the bibliography.

5. Dictionary of American Negro Biography, s.v. “Roudanez, Louis Charles.”


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