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Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Formatting and Citations

The Chicago Manual of Stylecurrently on its 17th edition, contains a series of guidelines for formatting your paper and recording the sources used as support in the paper. Chicago has two forms:

  • Notes and Bibliography, which includes in-text citations in footnotes (at the bottom of each page) or endnotes (at the end of the paper, but before the reference list);
  • Author-Date, which includes in-text citations in brackets in the main part of the text.

Both styles also include a detailed bibliography at the end of the paper, listing all the sources used in the paper in alphabetical order and their publication information. One good way to stay organized is to create a full bibliographic entry at the same time as your in-text citation. This will save you a lot of time creating and managing your citations.

So, when is Chicago needed? 

  • Using this citation and formatting style is often a requirement for subjects like history or music.
  • It is used for these subjects because it is a flexible style that allows writers to cite a wide range of source formats: not just academic sources, but common primary and popular sources too (like song recordings, historical documents, images, etc.)

Note: It is important to give credit to the authors and sources that inspired the original ideas in your writing. Not giving proper or sufficient credit is considered plagiarism, which can lead to serious consequences. Click on the link below to understand plagiarism and how to avoid it. If you are concerned or unsure about plagiarism on a specific assignment, talk to your instructor.

Important terms to remember

Paraphrased vs. direct quote: To paraphrase means to take someone's idea or words and put them into your own words - in this case, do not use quotation marks. A direct quote is when you take someone's idea word for word - in this case, use quotation marks. For any information that came from another source, paraphrased or directly quoted, always include an in-text citation to indicate where that information came from.