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Chicago Manual of Style



Edition Note

Please Note: This guide has not yet been updated to the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition, released in 2017. For the most up-to-date version of Chicago Manual of Style guidelines either check the Chicago Manual of Style (in our print reference collection) or consult the Purdue OWL Chicago Manual of Style guide, which has been updated.

About This Guide

This guide was designed to introduce students to The Chicago Manual of Style. It outlines fundamental formatting rules, provides some basic examples, and introduces RefWorks, a citation management software.

What is The Chicago Manual of Style?

The Chicago Manual of Style is a standardized format used in writing and is provides guidelines used to format and structure a document, cite other authors and works, and create a bibliography.

It contains two basic documentation systems:

(1) Notes and Bibliography

(2) Author-Date

Each documentation system tends to be used by scholars/students in different subject areas:   

1) The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in the humanities, including those in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and a bibliography.

2) The author-date system is often used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and date of publication. The short citations are amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided.

Aside from the use of notes versus parenthetical references in the text, the two systems share a similar style.