Chicago Referencing – Citing a Website
  • 3-minute read
  • 27th October 2016

Chicago Referencing – Citing a Website

Once you get past all the lolcats and memes, the internet has a few useful educational resources. As such, knowing how to cite a website is vital when researching a college paper online. And in this post, to help out, we look at how to cite a website using Chicago referencing.

Citations Overview

The Chicago Manual of Style suggests two ways of citing sources:

  • Parenthetical author–date citations
  • The notes and bibliography system

In both cases, citations of websites “can often be limited to a mention in the text.” However, since demonstrating your ability to cite sources is important in academic writing, it’s usually best to give a formal reference.

Author–Date Citations

With the author–date system, you should cite sources in the main text of your paper. The information required for a website is the author’s surname/authorial organization and a year of publication:

Heidegger was born in Messkirch, Germany (Wheeler 2011).

If no date of publication is available, the year the page was last modified or a date of access can be given. In the reference list, the information to include for a website is as follows:

Author Surname, First Name. Year of Publication/Last Modification. “Page Title.” Site Name. Accessed Month Day, Year. URL.

The site cited above would therefore appear in the reference list as:

Wheeler, Michael. 2011. “Martin Heidegger.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Accessed September 8, 2016.

Notes and Bibliography

For the notes and bibliography version of Chicago referencing, give citations in footnotes. The first time you cite a website, this should include the page’s name, publication information and the URL. If an author is named for the page you’re citing, you should give this information in the footnote, too:

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n. First Name Last Name, “Page Title,” Site Name, Publication Date and/or Date of Access, URL.

Repeat citations of the same source can then be shortened to just the author surname and page title, as follows:

1. Michael Wheeler, “Martin Heidegger,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, October 12, 2011, accessed September 8, 2016,
2. “Chapter 6: Curriculum: Philosophy – Martin Heidegger,” The Book of Life, accessed September 10, 2016,
3. Wheeler, “Martin Heidegger.”
4. “Chapter 6: Curriculum: Philosophy – Martin Heidegger.”

Finally, all cited sources should be added to a bibliography at the end of your document. The entry for a website here is similar to the first footnote. The only differences are the order of the author’s names and the punctuation:

Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Site Name. Publication Date and/or Date of Access. URL.

If the web page does not name an author, use the site/organization name instead. You would therefore list the websites cited above as follows:

The Book of Life. “Chapter 6: Curriculum: Philosophy – Martin Heidegger.” Accessed September 10, 2016.

Wheeler, Michael. “Martin Heidegger.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. October 12, 2011. Accessed September 8, 2016.

The information available from websites can vary, so the important thing is to provide enough detail to make the site and page used easily identifiable.

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