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How to Cite a Website in Chicago Style

Want to know how to cite a website in Chicago style? The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition, the most recent) requires listing the source’s author, page title, website name, publication date, and URL. This is the core information included in the bibliography and reference pages, although there is some variation depending on what you’re citing, which we explain below. 

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In general, to cite a website in Chicago style, use this formula: 

Last name, First name of author. “Page title.” Website name, Month Day, Year of publication. URL.

For example, if you want to cite Britannica’s entry about the city of Chicago in Chicago style, the reference page entry would look like this: 

Schallhorn, Cathlyn. “Chicago.” Britannica, December 17, 2021.

Typically with Chicago style, the names of months are written out in full instead of abbreviated. In-line citations in the Chicago style are known as author-date citations, an alternative to footnote citations. Chicago style in-line citations use the author’s last name and the year of publication in parentheses. Normally in Chicago style author-date citations also list the page numbers, but since we’re dealing with electronic sources you can omit them. 

(Schallhorn 2021)

This system works for all online sources, both primary and secondary sources, although you’ll have to change the formula slightly for some sources. We explain those changes below, but first let’s cover some rules about dates for Chicago style. 

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Rules for how to cite a website in Chicago style

Chicago style is particular about dates, so there’s a couple of rules to keep in mind when writing a research paper

  • If there’s a clear publication date, use it for your citations. That’s the first choice in Chicago style. 
  • If the page has been updated, you can use the revision date preceded by the phrase “Last modified.” Feel free to use the revision date in place of the original publication date if you feel it’s more important. 
  • If no publication or revision date is given, use the date of when you accessed the page, preceded by “Accessed.” 

How to cite a website in Chicago style: Online articles and blogs

To cite online articles and blogs in Chicago style, follow the same formula above but with a few minor changes. Perhaps the most significant change is that the website name for online newspapers, magazines, and blogs is set in italics. 

Drake, Nadia. “What is the multiverse—and is there any evidence it really exists?” National Geographic, May 4, 2022. 

Author-date citations remain unchanged. 

(Drake 2022)

Furthermore, you have to add a label for blogs. Simply add the word “blog” in parentheses after the name of the website. 

Kramer, Lindsay. “Punctuation: Everything you need to know.” Grammarly (blog), April 9, 2021.

How to cite a website in Chicago style: Videos

To cite a video in Chicago style, you have to mention that your source is a video and note its run time. This information comes after the date of posting and before the URL. 

How to cite YouTube videos in Chicago style

For videos from YouTube, follow this formula: 

Last name, First name of author. “Video title in quotations.” Channel or organization, Month Day, Year of post. YouTube video, run time. URL. 

If there is no specific author, you can skip that part and begin with the video title: 

“Do Your Best Schoolwork Faster | Better Results With Grammarly.” Grammarly, August 12, 2021. YouTube video, 1:49.

How to cite other videos in Chicago style

For videos that aren’t from YouTube, follow this formula:

Last name, First name of author or organization name. “Video title.” Website name. Month Day, Year of post. Video, run time. URL. 

Here’s a real-life example that shows how to cite videos in Chicago Style:

Hernandez, Daniela. “T-Rex Could Actually Be Three Separate Dinosaur Species, Study Argues.” Wall Street Journal. April 16, 2022. Video, 5:31.

How to cite a website in Chicago style: Social media

It’s easier to cite a social media website in Chicago style than in the style of its counterparts: APA and MLA. Simply follow the standard formula, adding the author’s handle in parentheses after their proper name. Social media posts don’t have titles, so instead use the text of the post itself. If the post is longer than 160 characters, cut the post off and add an ellipsis

If the account belongs to an organization, you can use the organization’s name in place of the author. 

Last name, First name of author or organization name (@username). “Text of post under 160 characters in quotations.” Website name without italics, Month, Day, Year of posting. URL. 

Grammarly (@Grammarly). “The more concise your message, the more likely it is to get a response.” Twitter, May 2, 2022. 

How to cite a website with multiple authors in Chicago style

For sources with more than one author, the format changes slightly. Here’s how to cite sources with two authors, three authors, and more than three authors. 

How to cite a website with two authors in Chicago style

Sources with two authors follow this formula: 

Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name. Parker, Drake, and Josh Nichols

Author-date citations use both authors’ last names in parentheses, in the same order as listed in the source: 

(Parker and Nichols 2004)

How to cite a website with three authors in Chicago style

Sources with three authors follow the same guidelines as with two authors, using this formula: 

Last Name, First Name, First Name Last Name, and First Name Last NameJackson, Percy, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood

Author-date citations use all three last names in parentheses:

(Jackson, Chase, and Underwood 2005)

How to cite a website with more than three authors in Chicago style

Sources with more than three authors use a truncated format. If there are fewer than ten authors, list each one in the bibliography following the same format as three authors (where only the first author is listed with their last name first). 

If there are more than ten authors, list only the first seven and then add “et al.” 

Writer, Alpha, Beta Writer, Gamma Writer, Delta Writer, Epsilon Writer, Zeta Writer, Eta Writer et al.

Author-date citations should follow this formula: 

(Last name of first author et al.)

(Jones et al. 2012)

How to cite a website with no author in Chicago style

If no author is given, simply skip that part of the citation and start with the page title. 

“Exclamation Point (or Exclamation Mark).” Grammarly (blog), January 14, 2021.

For in-line citations, use the first complete phrase in the title as the name. Try to find a natural breaking point. 

(“Exclamation Point” 2021)

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