Shane Landrum, Florida International University, explains how and why historians use footnotes. Many of these concepts are applicable to other humanities disciplines.
Every scholar (INCLUDING YOU!) must cite their sources, both primary and secondary.
This is to allow other scholars (including you!) to follow the trail of evidence being used to support an argument.
References can be in several formats, depending on the citation style used.
The styles used most often in the humanities are Chicago Manual of Style and MLA Style ("MLA" stands for Modern Language Association)
For information on interpreting APA (American Psychological Association) references and references from other social-science styles, see our Mining Reference - Social Sciences research guide.
In Chicago style, the most common formats for references are:
In MLA style, the most common format for references is
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Common Chicago Manual of Style abbreviations:
ed. or trans.: "edited by" and "translated by." Useful names to know, but distinct from a work's author. For a collection of essays etc., usually the editor's name is what's given as author, i.e. "Smith, John, ed., Soooo-EEE!: Essays on Hog Calling."
ibid.: "in the same place." Citation is to the same source given in previous footnote or endnote. ***The new Chicago Manual (2018) is discouraging use of ibid. in current references, but anything published prior to 2018 may include "ibid." in its references.
n.d.: "no date." Means the date of publication is unknown.
n.p.: "no place." Means the place of publication is unknown.
para.: paragraph, can be used when citing material on a website
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