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Chicago Referencing Guide

Notes-Bibliography Style

Video playlist: Chicago referencing for AUT students

Using the Chicago style for academic writing

This online guide is based on The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) and A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations (9th edition), by Kate L. Turabian.

It is essential to acknowledge the ownership of resources used in your academic writing.  At AUT, students in the School of Art & Design or Te Ara Poutama may be asked to use the Chicago Notes-Bibliography style to format references. This style is relatively flexible, as it accommodates a variety of sources, including more unusual sources.

When using Chicago style referencing in your academic writing, you must:

  • acknowledge each source that you refer to in a note, contained in a footnote within the body of your written work
  • include these sources, as well as all other sources that you have consulted, in a bibliography - a list of sources at the end of your written work

Is Chicago style the same as Chicago (Turabian) style?

The short answer is yes, in almost all cases. The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) lays out the rules for formatting writing and references in the Chicago style, and is aimed at professional writers. The Chicago (Turabian) style manual (9th edition) presents Chicago style for students and researchers, so it conforms to all the rules of Chicago style, but includes more guides and examples that are relevant to academic writing.

If you use Chicago (Turabian) style for your citations, then you are using Chicago style, as it applies to academic referencing. 

Note that there are actually two variants of Chicago style: Author-Date and Notes-Bibliography. At AUT the style used is Notes-Bibliography.

Why notes as well as a bibliography?

The same information appears in both notes and bibliographies, with slightly different formatting. Readers need this information in both places.

Notes let readers quickly check the source for a particular reference without disrupting the flow of their reading.

Bibliographies show readers the extent of your research and its relationship to prior work. They also help readers find and use your sources in their own research. Bibliographies can include sources that you have not directly referred to in your written work, but which were still useful to you in your research.

Academic integrity & plagiarism

Academic integrity

Academic integrity involves the acknowledgement of your own and other peoples’ written work, images, audio files, or their ideas. The only content which you do not need to acknowledge is common knowledge.


When you use someone else's ideas or words in your writing without acknowledging (referencing) where they came from, this behaviour could be classified as plagiarising or academic dishonesty.

Work can be plagiarised from many sources: books, articles, websites, course notes, other students’ assignments, even your own earlier assignments.

Plagiarism can occur by mistake if you are not careful.  Always write down the title and author of a work when you take notes from it. Learn more about how to avoid plagiarism.