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How to Cite Unpublished Sources in Chicago Manual Style


The Chicago Manual of Style has been the ultimate source of help for writers with grammar and documentation problems for more than 100 years. One of its most valuable teachings includes its citation guidelines. While citing previously published sources is fairly straightforward, how you cite unpublished sources can be a questionable area.

Check that the source you are citing is actually unpublished. Many times works can seem unpublished, but some digging through the table of contents or near the back pages will reveal valuable information. If there appears not to be any documentation, you can assume the work is unpublished.

Begin by making a footnote notation in your work where you cite the unpublished work. In the footnote at the bottom of the page write the unpublished work's author, last name first. If the work has more than one author, separate each by a comma.

Inspect the unpublished work for a date. Often times this will be found on the first page. However, depending on the author's style, it could be many other places. Take the time to search it through. Add the year the work was written after the author's name, separated by a comma and concluded with a period. If there is no date, leave this blank.

Include the title of the work after the date. Write the title as it appears on the work. Pay close attention to capitalization.

Follow the title with any organization or school that may be associated with the work. Often times, unpublished academic papers are required to have the school name associated with the work.