Department of History



WKU History Department

Style Sheet for Footnotes and Endnotes

Also .doc, .rtf, and .pdf



All academic disciplines have field specific citation methods. It is the student's responsibility to understand and use the proper documentation format required in each department. The WKU History Department requires footnotes and endnotes in The Chicago Manual of Style 15th Edition citation format.

The WKU History Department policy states that all papers graded for credit in all courses (100-level to graduate-level) must include properly formatted footnotes using the Chicago Manual of Style (hereafter as CMS) citation format. All faculty in the department will deduct credit from papers failing to properly cite or lacking CMS format footnotes. Students are expected to learn the skill of proper footnoting early in college, and develop more advanced citation skills at each subsequent level. Just as expectations for analysis of sources go up at each stage of a student's progress from the 100- to 400-level courses, so too do expectations of the number of sources and the variety of citation styles used.

The WKU History Department has designed this web page to help students learn how to properly use footnotes. This page is not a substitute for using Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, which all history majors must follow, or Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, which a number of faculty in the department recommend. Both of these writing manuals are based on CMS and can be used interchangeably with this or any other CMS writing style guide. Citations for any types of sources not outlined below can be found in one of these two manuals. In addition, these two guides also outline the use of more than one source in a footnote and how to annotate in footnotes.


When and Where to Cite

When in doubt about whether you should cite, view the Indiana University How to Recognize Plagiarism tutorial and take the quiz. If material is so close to the original that questions about whether it is plagiarized or not might arise, cite! For use of the same words, use quotes. Warning: If you are just citing from a single source sentence after sentence, then you probably are not completing the assignment and you should rethink your essay.

Always cite:

  • when quoting from a primary or secondary source.
  • if you are paraphrasing material from a primary or secondary source.
  • after you have summarized an author's argument in order to give credit to the author for that author's original idea. (You should also note the author's name in the body of the essay text and give credit to their idea)
  • if you want to provide your reader references for additional information on the topic, expand on an idea that you propose, or show where someone else discusses something similar.
  • to show where there is a possible disagreement about ideas.


  • Place the citation mark as a superscript number after the punctuation at the end of the phrase, sentence, or quote (after the quotation mark) that the footnote references. Usually this should be after the final punctuation mark or after the quote. Example: "This is a quote."1
  • Each citation must be numbered consecutively in the text and footnotes. In other words, your footnotes should be number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. until the last footnote. No number should be repeated.



Using Your Word Processing Program's “Insert Footnote” Function

Most, if not all, word processing programs have an automatic function for inserting a footnote/endnote. It is important to learn how to do this in your word processing system. This will save time and will guarantee that the footnote reference mark (the superscript in the text), footnote numbering, and the footnote/endnote placement are consistent. Do not try to insert footnotes manually by typing numbers and guessing where to place the footnotes should go at the bottom since errors will creep into your writing.

For example, here are the instructions for Inserting a Footnote or an Endnote in Microsoft Word 2003:

  1. In print layout view (print layout view: A view of a document or other object as it will appear when you print it. For example, items such as headers, footnotes, columns, and text boxes appear in their actual positions.), click where you want to insert the note reference mark
    • On the Insert menu, point to Reference, and then click Footnote.
    • Click Footnotes or Endnotes.
  2. By default, Word places footnotes at the end of each page and endnotes at the end of the document. You can change the placement of footnotes and endnotes by making a selection in the Footnotes or Endnotes box.
    • In the Number format box, click the format you want.
    • Click Insert.
  3. Word inserts the note number and places the insertion point next to the note number.
    • Type the note text.
    • Scroll to your place in the document and continue typing.
  4. As you insert additional footnotes or endnotes in the document, Word automatically applies the correct number format.
  5. When you add, delete, or move notes that are automatically numbered, Word renumbers the footnote and endnote reference marks (note reference mark: A number, character, or combination of characters that indicates that additional information is contained in a footnote or endnote.
  6. You can view and edit footnotes and endnotes in your word processing system using the Footnote function in the View menu. This will open a window below your text with all your footnotes. You can scroll through and edit all your footnotes as you work.
Additional Resources:


Footnote and Endnote Citations

The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003)

The WKU History Department uses the Humanities Style documentation method of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS).

The following is a short list of how to cite some of the common source types used for essays in history courses. Please pay particular attention to the punctuation, order of names and titles, capitalization, and pagination rules. These must be followed exactly. Do not merely copy what you see written on the document or in other bibliographic material with the document. You need to use that information and then format it according to the CMS footnote/endnote format.

Reminder, this is only the CMS footnote format. There is a significant difference between the way in how one cites in a footnote/endnote and how it is done in a bibliography. Footnotes will appear at the bottom of the page, endnotes appear after the text.

A book with a single author:

First reference:

1Gene A. Brucker, Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 53.

Subsequent reference(s) when referencing only one work by that author:

2Brucker, 56.

Subsequent reference(s) when referencing more than one work by that author:

2Brucker, Giovanni and Lusanna, 56.

An article in a journal: (Please note that it is unnecessary to cite in the footnote if you got the article from JSTOR, ProjectMuse, or other library database)

First reference:

1John M. Najemy, "Guild Republicanism in Trecento Florence: The Successes and Ultimate Failure of Corporate Politics," The American Historical Review 84 (1979): 65.

Subsequent reference(s) when using of only one work by author:

2Najemy, 70.

Subsequent reference(s) when using more than one work by author:

2Najemy, "Guild Republicanism," 70.

An article by one author in an edited source: (always cite from the source you are using not where the source originally came from unless you have that source at hand)

First reference:

1Paul Oskar Kristeller, "Humanism and Scholasticism," in Major Problems of the Italian Renaissance, ed. Benjamin Kohl and Alison Smith (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1995), 286.

Subsequent reference(s) when using of only one work by author:

2Kristeller, 288.

Subsequent reference(s) when using more than one work by author:

2Kristeller, "Humanism," 288.

A primary document in a book: (Please cite the work using the book that you are using, not where that author got the work)

If it is a primary document reader such as the Wiesner, Discovering the Western Past:

First reference:

1Aristotle, "The Politics," in Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence, vol. 1, 2nd ed., ed. Merry Wiesner, Julius R. Ruff, and Bruce Wheeler (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993), 30.

Subsequent reference(s) when using of only one work by author:

2Aristotle, 31.

Subsequent reference(s) when using more than one work by author:

2Aristotle, "The Politics," 31.

A document (primary or secondary) is quoted in a book as part of the discussion and not as a separate document:

First reference (it would be rare to quote the same quote again):

1Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists, quoted in Edward Muir, "Images of Power: Art and Pageantry in Renaissance Venice," The American Historical Review 84 (1979): 25.

A primary source published electronically: (See How to Cite Electronic Primary Sources, Library of Congress for more detailed examples for different types of sources)

First reference:

1Eusebius, "The Conversion of Constantine," in A Select Library of Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, vol. 1, ed. and trans. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace (New York: Christian Literature Co., 1990), 489-91, in Internet Medieval Sourcebook, (accessed 9 March 2007), 3.

Subsequent reference(s) when referencing only one work by that author:

2Eusebius, 2.

Subsequent reference(s) when referencing more than one work by that author:

2Eusebius, "Conversion of Constantine," 2.


An article from a newspaper: (Please note that you do not need to cite the URL even if you got the article from a historical newspaper from an online database)

First Reference:

1"War Declared. Russian Rejection of German Demands. A Dramatic Interview," The London Times, 3 August 1914, 6.

Subsequent reference(s) if only one article from that date used:

The London Times, 3 August 1914, 6.

Subsequent reference(s) if more than one article from that date used:

"War Declared," The London Times, 3 August 1914, 6.


An unpublished classroom lecture: (this is rarely, if ever, necessary in the case of an in-class lecture since it is just repeating your professor's words. However, if you insist, please do so correctly)

First Reference:

1Beth Plummer, "Humanism and Renaissance Education," Class Lecture, Western Kentucky University, 18 February 2007.


Recent changes in CMS:

  • The most recent versions of CMS have dropped the use of p. or pp. to denote page numbers.
  • Please note that the most recent versions of CMS discourage the use of idem., op.cit., and loc. cit. to the point of recommending that they be avoided. Only ibid. remains in use, and then only in the case of a reference where the exact same page is being cited immediately after the first reference and when that reference falls on the same page of the paper. Otherwise, a short title or reference as shown above should be used.

Additional Resources