How to cite a textbook in Chicago

Chicago style textbook citation

To cite a textbook in a reference entry in Chicago style 17th edition include the following elements:

  1. Author(s) of the textbook: Give first the last name, then the name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two authors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For more than seven authors, list the first seven names followed by et al.
  2. Title of the textbook: Give the title as presented in the source.
  3. Place of publication: Give the place of publication of the source.
  4. Publisher: Give the publisher name in full.
  5. Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a textbook in Chicago style 17th edition:

Author(s) of the textbook. Title of the textbook. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the Chicago style guidelines in action:


A language textbook with one author

Barnes, Michael. A New Introduction to Old Norse. London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 2007.

A physics textbook with two authors

Lindner, Albrecht, and Dieter Strauch. A Complete Course on Theoretical Physics: From Classical Mechanics to Advanced Quantum Statistics. Switzerland: Springer, 2019.

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