Chicago: Author-Date Referencing Guide

This referencing style guide is based on the The Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date system and is the preferred referencing style for Geography and Environmental Planning.

Where you have a referencing query that is not answered by the common examples on this website, please refer to the Chicago manual of style (author date).

Why Reference?

When preparing an assignment or research paper, it is vital that you acknowledge the resources you have used, as failure to do so constitutes plagiarism.

Your sources must be cited in the text of your assignment or research paper (in-text citations) where you have referred to information obtained from a particular source, and the list of references at the end of your assignment or research paper.

Guides and Examples

In-Text Citations

Short citations included in the text of a research paper or assignment will enable your readers to find the full details of the source in the reference list.

When citing references within the text of an assignment:

  • Citations must be in parentheses (brackets), or included as part of a statement.
  • Citations must include both (author and date) to enable your reader to find the full details of the source in the reference list e.g. (Smith 1998). If there are two or three authors for a particular reference, cite the names in the order in which they appear e.g. (Smith and Green 2020). If there are more than three authors of a cited reference, use et al. e.g. (Platt et al. 2004).
  • Page numbers may or may not be included, depending on the specificity of the reference e.g. (Jones 1995, 82) to indicate a specific page or (Green et al. 1990, 34-40) to indicate a range of pages.  It is also acceptable to use a colon rather than a comma before the page number e.g. (Teaiwa, 2005:18).
  • For electronic sources with no pagination, cite the paragraph number (abbreviate to para.). When referring to two or more texts by different authors, separate them with a semicolon (;) e.g. (Green 1992; Smith 1995).

Direct quotations:

Use double quotation marks to enclose another author's words. A location reference (page numbers or paragraph numbers) must be provided. If your direct quotation is more than 40 words, indent the quoted section without quotation marks.


When Mansfield noted that, "the oceans are treated as an undifferentiated space which has been uniformly dirtied by human activity" (2003, 337), it is not difficult to imagine substituting the "global capitalist economy" for the oceans.

Indirect quotations:

If you paraphrase another author's ideas or research findings, integrate them as part of your text in your own words. When paraphrasing or referring to an idea contained in another work, you are not required to provide a location reference (page number), but may do so if appropriate. Make it very clear where their ideas end and yours begin.


Examples of post-capitalist ways of living are already part of the present (Gibson-Graham 1996).

Citations from a secondary source:

If you use an idea from an author cited by another author, use "quoted in" to denote a secondary source. In the reference list at the end of your paper, list only the secondary source.


Wheatley (quoted in Sharpe and Rosell 2003, 1065) stated that males may travel outside their territorial boundaries during summer.

Males may travel outside their territorial boundaries during summer (Wheatley, quoted in Sharpe and Rosell 2003, 1065).

Citations for works with no year of publication

If no year is available, use "n.d." in both in-text citations and reference list (see 15.44). When referencing a website or other online content without a date, include the date the content was accessed (see 15.50) Note: the comma before the n.d. which only appears for in-text references with no date."

(New Zealand Geographical Society, n.d.)

New Zealand Geographical Society. n.d. “New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers (NZBoGT): Your Geography Teachers' Association.” Accessed October 13, 2021.

The list of references

The list of references will be at the end of your assignment/research paper, and will usually have the heading References or Works Cited. References must be listed in alphabetical order and not divided into sections.

Works by the same author and published in the same year are distinguished by letters appended to the year.

Example: If you are using two references by R.M. Smith, and both were published in 1998, one will bear the date 1998a and the other 1998b, and in-text citations will reflect this.

When you have multiple items with the same creator, order chronologically by year of publication. You may use a 3-em dash (———) in place of the repeated author field (see 15.17-15.20)

The following elements must be included in a reference:

  • Author's or editor's name/s.
  • Publication date:
    • for newspapers, social media and personal communications: the date is given after the title or description of the communication. Format as Month Date, Year eg: May 7, 2021.
  • Title of the item:
    • Italics are used for the titles of books, journals, newspapers;
    • Quotation marks are normally used for the titles of subsections of larger works (chapter and article titles).
  • Publication information:
    • for books, give the publisher's name and place of publication and if two or more publisher locations are given, give the location listed first in the book;
    • for journals, give volume, issue number and page numbers;
    • include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) if one is available. Format as https://doi-org/10.1093/ref:odnb/31351
    • for websites, give the full Web address (URL).

Note: Ensure that each citation in the text of your assignment also appears on your reference list, and that they are identical in spelling and year. Also check that every item in your reference list has been cited in text.

Tables and figures

All figures (illustrations) and tables require a short explanatory caption. For assignments or short publications they should be numbered sequentially in the order they appear in text (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3). In a longer publication with chapters or sections, you can number figures and tables using the chapter number (e.g., figure 3.2, table 4.5), in these examples figure 3.2 would be the second figure in Chapter 3.

Always refer to the figure number when mentioning in text, for example “as figure 3 shows…” and not where they are placed “the table below shows…”.

If you created the illustration or used your own data you do not need a source reference, but you can include a line to indicate this is your work, for example:
Fig. 1. Tiger enclosure (Photo by author).
Table 4.3. Increase of youth participation over time (Table by author).


  • Maps, photographs, graphs, charts and drawings (excluding tables) are referred to as figures or illustrations.
  • All figures should have a caption, which may vary in length, and usually appears below the figure.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style allows for variation in whether caption labels are in bold, or whether you use fig or figure (see section 3.23). Ensure that you are consistent in how you decide to format captions throughout your document and if you are formatting for publication follow publisher guidelines.
  • The format should be:
    • a. Figure label (if you have more than one figure, then number them).
    • b. Your title for the figure (in sentence style capitalisation).
    • c. Credit line (reference of source): ([Format] by [name of creator]. “Title of figure in original publication”, in [shortened form of source].
    • d. Copyright permission information (if publishing or for a Masters or Doctoral thesis).

Framework of romantic creativity of time.Figure. 5. Framework of romantic creativity of time. (Figure by Nicolas B. Verger and Raffi Duymedjian. “A Theoretical Framework of Romantic Creativity,” in Nicolas B. Verger and Raffi Duymedjian, “A Theoretical Framework of Romantic Creativity: Dyadic Creativity in Romantic Relationships and Plausible Links With Wellbeing,” figure 1, 37. Figure courtesy of Nicolas B. Verger and Raffi Duymedjian. CC BY-NC-ND).

Reference list entry: Verger, Nicolas B., and Raffi Duymedjian. 2020. “A Theoretical Framework of Romantic Creativity: Dyadic Creativity in Romantic Relationships and Plausible Links With Wellbeing.” International Journal of Wellbeing 10 (5): 27-42.


Tables are a great way to display a large amount of information but make sure they are as easy to read as possible.The Chicago Manual of Style contains a number of table examples and templates in Chapter 3, one such example is Table 1 below:

TABLE 1. Title of table
spannerNote: Any notes needed to interpret the table.
Source: A reference to the original data or source. Include copyright permission needed.
a A note specific to the first spanner head.
b A note specific to the data in cells marked with a b.
c A note specific to the Stub subentry marked with c.

If a table is copied exactly from another source and you are writing for publication or a thesis then you will need copyright permission.

Copyright permission for theses or publication

When writing for publication (or Masters and Doctoral thesis) permission to reproduce copyrighted material must be obtained from the copyright holder (often this will be the publisher). If you are reproducing or adapting an illustration, you must provide a reference (credit line) and a permission statement at the end of the caption. If you are reproducing work that has been made available with a Creative Commons license, or is out of copyright protection, you must still reference the source.

Examples include:
Photograph courtesy of Brill.
Adapted from Statistics New Zealand (2019)
Data from Johnson (2020).
Figure courtesy of Nicolas B. Verger and Raffi Duymedjian. CC BY-NC-ND.

Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for more information.
You should become familiar with:

If you are including photos you have taken yourself you do not need permission but consider your ethics approval and ensure you are not identifying participants who have consented to have their identity kept confidential. If your ethics application allows the identification of individuals, you must still gain permission to use any identifiable individuals (see 3.29).