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Run-On Sentences

Run-on sentences occur when writers try to combine more than one idea into a single sentence. They cause confusion because readers are not sure when one idea ends and the next one begins. Read our entry and test your knowledge with our quiz!



In 1937, Kate Turabian composed the first edition of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers and Dissertations. She designed the book to be a student-friendly alternative to the weightier Chicago Manual of Style. If your instructors ask you to use Chicago or Turabian style, they are referring to this book. The below guide is not intended to be a replacement for that book; we recommend purchasing A Manual for Writers, 7th Edition. However, we hope that this guide will help you quickly find the answers to your questions about citing sources in the Notes-Bibliography style. Numbers written in parentheses will refer to sections and pages in A Manual for Writers, so you can read more in the original source. In all cases, defer to your instructor or committee if their preferences disagree with those of Chicago Style.

  1. Choosing a Citation Style
  2. Notes-Bibliography Style
    1. Basic Rules of Bibliographic Notes
    2. Sources That May Be Omitted
  3. Notes
    1. Numbering Notes
    2. Complex Notes
    3. Shortened Notes
    4. Using Ibid.
    5. Parenthetical Notes
  4. Citing Books
  5. Citing Journal Articles
  6. Citing Interviews and Personal Communications
  7. Citing Electronic Sources

Choosing a Citation Style (15.3, 135)


Chicago Style offers two different styles for two different audiences. Notes-bibliography, or Bibliographic style for short, is for humanities and social science scholars, while parenthetical citations-reference list style is used for social, physical, and natural science scholars.

Notes-Bibliography Style (15.3.1 ,136)


The Notes-Bibliography Style contains two parts: an initial footnote or endnote in the text, and a bibliographic entry at the end of the paper. When a line contains a quotation, paraphrase, or just information from a source, include a superscript number after the end of the sentence. In Microsoft Word, you can use the Insert Footnote button to get started. This will also take you to the footnote itself to begin (see next paragraph).

I will put a superscript number at the end of the sentence.[1]

Your Notes can be footnotes, which appear at the bottom of the page, or endnotes, which appear at the end of your text. Each footnote has the same format:

Author’s Firstname and Lastname, Title of the Book or Work (Publishing City: Publisher, Year), page number.

James Gleick, Isaac Newton (New York: Pantheon, 2003), 142.

The next time you cite the same source, this information can be shortened:

Lastname, Title (no subtitle), page.

Gleick, Isaac Newton, 153.

These footnotes or endnotes will closely match the bibliography entry:

Lastname, Firstname. The Title of the Book: Subtitle. Publication City: Publisher, Year.

Gleick, James. Isaac Newton. New York: Pantheon, 2003.  


Basic Rules of Bibliographic Notes (16.1)


Notes are indented normally, like paragraphs. Bibliography entries use a hanging indent: the first line begins at the left margin, while the following lines are indented.

Multiple Authors

For Multiple Authors, use the word “and” to connect two author names.

List three authors using serial commas to separate them.

When there are four or more authors, write “et al.” after the first author in your notes. In your bibliography, list all authors.

In your Bibliography, reverse the last and first name of the first author, but not the others.

Strallybass, Peter, and Allon White. The Politics and Poetics of Transgression. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986.


Sources That May Be Omitted (16.2.3 , 150-151)


Some sources do not need to be included in the bibliography. They will still appear in the notes. These include newspaper articles, classical works, major reference works, personal communications blog entries, artworks, live performances, television, legal cases, and the Constitution.


Notes (16.3)


Your footnotes or endnotes will credit credit to your sources, and may also include additional comments that would be out of place in the main text. Scholars prefer footnotes to endnotes, because it is easier to refer to the bottom of a page than to check a later page for a source name, but you may choose endnotes for a clearer presentation.


Numbering Notes (16.3.3 , 152)


Restart note numbering with each chapter of a paper.

If you use footnotes for substantive comments only (that is, you use footnotes for substantive comments, and endnotes for giving credit to sources), use a different symbol than superscript numbers to avoid confusion with endnotes.


Complex Notes (16.3.5, 153-54)


If you cite several sources at once, use one big note instead of several smaller ones. Use semicolons to separate each source in a complex note.


Shortened Notes (16.4.1, 154-155)


Some instructors prefer a shortened note that leads the reader to the bibliography for the full citation. These shortened notes can be author-title or author-only. In either case, they also include the page number, and have commas between each part. Shorten titles to “four distinctive words.”

            Normal Note: 

Chris Brown, The Essential Smart Football (Seattle: CreateSpace, 2012), 25.

            Shortened Note: 

Brown, 36.


Using Ibid. (16.4.2, 155-156)


This is the only Latin term that will get used in your foot/endnotes. It means “same place,” so use it when referring to the same source as a previous comment. Include a different page number afterward if the page number changes. Capitalize it but do not italicize it.

            Ibid., 42.


Parenthetical Notes (16.4.3, 157-159)


If a particular work is discussed at length, some scholars now favor the inclusion of parenthetical notes. Use a footnote the first time it appears, then use parenthetical notes (in the Reference List Style) for later uses in the paper.

Unlike the superscript, the note comes before the final punctuation mark, unless the quoted material is a block quotation.


Citing Books (17.1, 162-181)


We have the format for a regular book note and bibliography above, but here are a few more rules to keep in mind. 

Editors and Translators

When an editor or translator is listed after the author’s name on the page, place the person’s name after the title in your notes and bibliography entries.

Notes: author, Title, ed. Editor’s name (City: Publisher, date), page.

Bibliography: author, firstname. Title. Edited by editor’s name. City: Publisher, year.

 

Bakhtin, Mikhail. Rabelais and His World. Translated by Helene Iswolsky. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. 

However, when the editor or translator is listed before the author on the title page, begin the entry with the editor, not the author.

Author’s name in the Title

In this situation, there is a slight difference between the notes and the bibliography. In your notes, do not include the author’s name to cut down on redundancy. However, you will want to include the author before the title in your bibliography, as you would with a normal book.

Capitalization of Titles in Bibliography

Write Titles “headline-style”—the major words are capitalized, while short prepositions, conjunctions, and articles are not.


Citing Journal Articles (17.2, 181-186)


Journal Articles have 5 main parts: the author, the article title, the journal title, the volume, issue, and date information, and the page numbers. Write authors as you would with books.

Article Titles: write the full article title, capitalizing the major words, and enclose the whole title in a pair of quotation marks.

Journal Title: Write out in full, using italics, and capitalizing the major words.

Issue Information: Turabian asks for volume, issue, month, and year, in order to eliminate any possible confusion due to errors. The correct order for this information is

Volume, no. Issue (Month Year):

Write the volume in Arabic numerals, regular type.

The issue will also be in Arabic numerals, regular type, following “no.”, which stands for “number.”

Omit the month if it is not included. If the Journal gives a season or day, use that instead.

If there is an issue number, but not a volume number, place a comma between the title and the issue number.

Page numbers follow a colon. Include the URL and accessed date if from an online journal.

For notes:

Author First and Last Name, “Title of Article,” Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Date of Publication): xx-xxx.

LeBron James, “The Mistake by the Lake: Cleveland Rots,” Journal of New Urbanism 14, no. 3 (June 2012): 14-28.

For bibliographies:

Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Date of Publication): xx-xxx.

Smith, Mark E. “How I Wrote Elastic Man.” Grotesque Quarterly, 8 (Fall 1980): 140-167.

 

If online journal:

Notes: Author First and Last Name, “Title of Article,” Title of Journal Volume, Issue (Date of Publication), under “Descriptive Locator (such as section of site)”, URL (accessed Date of Access).

 

Bibliography: Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume, Issue (Date of Publication). URL (accessed Date of Access).

If an online journal does not have page numbers, give a description of the location of the paper by using the word “under” and the closest subheading:

Holmes, Katie. “Scientology in Decline: A Case Study.” Journal of Comparative Religion 13, no. 3 (July 2012), under “What Tom Said.” http://www.journals.usc.edu/JCR/journal/issues/v13n3/789789/789789.html (accessed July 9, 2012).


Citing Interviews and Personal Communications (17.6.3, 195-196)


Unless published, interviews will only appear in notes.

Note format: Interviewee, interview by interviewer, location of interview, date, location of records of interview (if any exist).

Stringer Bell, interview by Jimmy McNulty, Baltimore, MD, April 2004.

Citing Electronic Sources (17.7, 198-199)


This section includes all web sources that are not formally published as a book or journal.

The standard web bibliography format is

Notes: Author, “Title of Page,” Web Site, URL (accessed Access Date).

Bibliography: Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Page.” Web Site. URL (accessed Access Date). 

Emerson, Jim. “The Dark Knight Rises: A Hero Ain’t Nothing But a Knuckle Sandwich.” Jim Emerson’s Scanners: Blog. http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2012/07/the_dark_knight_rises_a_hero_a.html#more (accessed July 31, 2012).  

Use the owner of the site or the Organization behind the site if there is not a listed author.

If an official page title is not available, use a descriptive title, such as “about” or “gallery.”


[1] Here is where footnotes end up.