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. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/.

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, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/.
2. “Chapter 6: Curriculum: Philosophy – Martin Heidegger,” The Book of Life, accessed September 10, 2016, http://www.thebookoflife.org/the-great-philosophers-martin-heidegger/.
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. http://www.thebookoflife.org/the-great-philosophers-martin-heidegger/.

Wheeler, Michael. “Martin Heidegger.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. October 12, 2011. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/.

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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