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Referencing and assignment writing: Citing books

Citing books

*For more examples refer to pp. 647-687 in Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Ed., 2003.

In general, the notes are presented with the following format and punctuation:


  • note number
  • author's initials or given name and last name,
  • title,
  • edition, if not the first.,
  • (place of publication : publisher, date),
  • volume number (if applicable):
  • actual page numbers you are referring to.


1 Xia Li and Nancy B. Crane, Electronic Styles :  A Handbook for Citing Electronic Information, 2nd ed. (Medford, N.J.: Information Today, Inc., 1996), 245.

If you are using other than the set edition of a primary text, give as much detail as practical to help the reader locate the passage. 

For novels, give the chapter as well as the page reference.

For a play, cite the act, scene and line numbers: for example, II, iii, 32-44.


Edited book:

4 Ori Z Soltes, ed., Georgia : Art and Cililization through the Ages (London : Philip Wilson, 1999), 280. 


Book with more than one volume

4 H.M. Green, A History of Australian Literature : Pure and Applied (Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1961), 2:1097.


Second or later edition

A new edition of a work usually entails substantial revision of the text or resetting of the type, while a reprint or impression entails only minor changes.

5 John N. Hazard, The Soviet System of Government, 5th ed. (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1980), 25.

*If the information is provided, include the publication details of the original edition prior to this edition's publication details.

6 Ernest Gowers, The Complete Plain Words, 3rd Ed. (London: H.M Stationery Office, 1986; Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1987), 26. Citations are to the Penguin edition.


Chapter in edited book

7 John Holloway, "Dickens and the Symbol," in Dickens 1970, ed. Michael Slater, 53 (London : Chapman Hall, 1970).

*According to pages 662-663 of the source text, page numbers for chapters in an edited book are placed before the publication details, rather than after.


Quotation found in a secondary source

8 Samuel Johnson, 20 March 1776, quoted in James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, eds. George Birkbeck Hill & L.F. Powell  (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1934), 2:450.

9 Louis Zukofsky, "Sincerity and Objectification," Poetry 37 (February 1931): 269, quoted in Bonnie Costello, Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981), 78.

*To cite from a secondary source is generally discouraged although sometimes necessary.


Style manual

The referencing recommendations in this guide are based on the Chicago manual of style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Please refer to Chapters 16 and 17 of that manual for further examples.

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