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Chicago Manual of Style

What If I'm Missing Information?

You have your quote and you have your source, but there is a problem; you don't have some of the information you need for a complete citation. Don't worry, there is a solution. Remember, no matter what, put in as much information as you have about your citation. 

Every piece of information has its place in the citation. When a piece is missing, you have a few options. 


Author is missing: Place the title in the Author's position. Continue the citation as normal.

Footnotes/Endnotes:  "Title of Article." Journal Title volume, no. issue (year): first page - last page.

Author-Date: "Title of Article." year. Journal Title volume, no. issue: first page - last page. 


Date is missing: use the place holder n.d. to indicate no date.

Footnotes/Endnotes: Last name, First name, and First name Last name. "Title of Article." Journal Title volume, no. Issue (n.d.): first page - last page. 

Author-Date: Last name, First name, and First name Last name. n.d. "Title of Article." Journal Title volume.issue: first page - last page.


Place of publication is missing: use the place holder n.p. to indicate no place

Footnotes/Endnotes Last name, First name, and First name last name. Title of Book, number of edition. N.p.: Publisher, year. 

Author-Date Last name, First name, and First name last name. year. Title of Book, number of edition. N.p.: Publisher. 


Publisher is missing: use the place holder n.p. to indicate no publisher.

Footnotes/Endnotes Last name, First name, and First name last name. Title of Book, number of edition. Place of publication: n.p., year. 

Author-Date Last name, First name, and First name last name. year. Title of Book, number of edition. Place of publication: n.p. 


When multiple pieces of information are missing, combine these tips - you can use "n.d." and "n.p." in the same citation if needed. Fill in what you can with the information you have. Use placeholders or move the title as a way to fill in the missing pieces.  

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