Skip to Main Content

WR150: Living the American Revolution

Citing Your Sources

Proper citation is an essential aspect of scholarship. Citing properly allows your reader or audience to locate the materials you have used. Most importantly, citations give credit to the authors of quoted or consulted information. Failure to acknowledge sources of information properly may constitute plagiarism.  For an explicit definition of plagiarism, see the Boston University Academic Conduct Code.

For detailed instructions on how to cite within the text of your paper, please consult a style manual listed in this guide. Please also note: some of the resources listed do not cover every possibility you might encounter when trying to cite your sources. For this reason, it is suggested that you consult a style manual to create your bibliography.

BU Librarians often recommend refworks RefWorks as the best tool to manage citations. Accounts are free for the BU community, and most importantly RefWorks can automatically create a bibliography in hundreds of styles. There are other such tools.

Finally, please also see our separate citation guides for Business students or for Science students.

Footnote style-Chicago Manual of Style

Book.  The first time you cite a book, give the author's full name, the full title of the  book as it appears on the title page, the place of publication, the publisher's name, the date of publication, and page from which your material has been drawn.  Note that the publication data is enclosed in parentheses.  For example:

  • 1.  Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978), 231.

Multivolume Works.  When all the volumes in a multivolume work have the same title, a reference to pages within a single volume is given in the following manner.  (Note that the volume number is given in Arabic numerals and that the volume and page numbers are separated by a colon.)  For example:

  • 2.  James Schouler, History of the United States of America, under the Constitution (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1904), 4:121.

When each volume in a multivolume work has a different title, a reference to pages within a single volume is given as follows:

  • 3.  Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall, vol. 4, Statesman, 1945-1959 (New York: Viking, 1987), 31.

Article in a Scholarly Journal.  For the first citation of an article, give the author's full name, the full title, and the name, volume number, month and year, and page number of the journal or quarterly.  For example:

  • 4.  Edwin S. Gaustad, “The Theological Effects of the Great Awakening in New England,” Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 40 (March 1954), 690.

Subsequent Citation.   Subsequent citations of the same book or article should give only the author's last name and an abbreviated (short) title.  For example:

  • 5.  Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 295.
  • 6.  Gaustad, “Theological Effects of the Great Awakening,” 693-695.

Use of the Abbreviation “Ibid.”  If a footnote refers to the same source that was cited in the immediately preceding footnote, the abbreviation ibid. (for ibidem, which means “in the same place") may take the place of the author’s name, title of the work, and as much of the succeeding material as is identical.  For example:

  • 7.  Ibid., 699.

Collected Works.  In citing printed collected works such as diaries or letters, the author’s name may be omitted if it is included in the title.  The name of the editor follows the title, preceded by a comma and the abbreviation “ed.,” which stands for “edited by.” For example:

  • 8.  An Englishman in America, 1785, Being the Diary of Joseph Hudfield, ed. Douglas S. Robertson (Toronto: Hunter-Rose, 1933), 23.

Books and journal articles: Bibliography


  • Campbell, Mildred, The English Yeoman under Elizabeth and the Early Stuarts. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1942.
  • Gaustad, Edwin S. "The Theological Effects of the Great Awakening in New England," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 40 (March 1954), 681-706.
  • Schouler, James. History of the United States of America, under the Constitution. 6 vols. Rev. ed. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1904.
  • Hudfield, Joseph. An Englishman in America, 1785, Being the Diary of Joseph Hudfield. Edited by Douglas S. Robertson. Toronto: Hunter-Rose, 1933.
  • Rigby, David Joseph. “The Combined Chiefs of Staff and Anglo-American Strategic Coordination in World War II.” Ph.D. dissertation, Brandeis University, 1996.

APA (American Psychological Association) Style

Chicago Style


Harvard Style

There is no official guide to Harvard Style. If you Google “Harvard Style Guide” you will find many websites that list examples. One of the best guides is from Monash University

MLA (Modern Language Association) Style

NLM (National Library of Medicine Style)

Citing Medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers

The official style manual for the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and suggested when citing documents from the associated databases MedLine and PubMed. The online edition supercedes the print edition as the most up to date.

General Citation Guides


Profile Photo
Donald Altschiller
Mugar Memorial Library
Subjects: History, Religion


This footnote and bibliography citation section were adapted from the Princeton University Library history research guide with their kind permission.