Chicago Style Format. The Chicago Manual of Style

Interested in learning how to write in Chicago style? Here is a short version of Chicago Manual of Style including examples of Chicago citation

Andrew Newman
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The Chicago style format is one of the most generally used style manuals. Instead of class papers, the Chicago style is used to format, reference, and cite works that should be published. This article will share in-depth information on the Chicago Manual of Style with a comprehensive guide on formatting a Chicago style paper. To learn how to write in Chicago/ Turabian style with ease, keenly read the entire article.

What is Chicago Style?

The Chicago Style manual contains rules regarding the formatting, referencing, and citing of sources and is intended for works primarily written in American English and published in historical or social sciences journals. The University of Chicago Press is the creator of this manual. The first version of the manual was released in 1906. The versions have been updated several times. As we write this article, it is on the 17th edition.

The main aim for the development of this style of writing was to assist professionals in the social sciences who publish articles, journals, and magazines to format their work. The Chicago style nurtured the growth of Turabian, which is intended for students and researchers. The Turabian contains slightly different requirements for citing and formatting academic papers. In addition, this style also applies to papers written in social sciences – in particular: History, Business, Fine Art, etc.

Unlike many other formats, the Chicago style recommends that authors use two different systems for citing sources: the Notes-Bibliography System and the Author-Date system.

The Notes-Bibliography method: requires putting numbered footnotes in the text with shortened versions of citations printed at the bottom of the page. Afterward, the complete citations are accommodated on a separate page at the end of the document. This method is preferred for documents in the field of humanities.

The second method, the Author-Date system: requires authors to include parenthetical citations in the text after directly quoting or paraphrasing a source. Citations in the parenthesis contain: the original author’s last name, the year of publication, the page number where the information used can be located in the source. At the end of the paper should be the References page, where each citation must have a relevant entry. In contrast to the Notes-Bibliography, the Author-Date System is applied to papers in sciences and social sciences.

As mentioned earlier, the Chicago format is interconnected with another style manual called Turabian. This style of writing was composed based on the Chicago style. To add to that, Turabian was named after its developer Kate Turabian, from the University of Chicago. Usually, the format is used for writing papers in social sciences, for instance, Economics.

How are Chicago and Turabian Styles Different?

Turabian is a style of writing that was created by Kate Turabian adapted from the Chicago style. Therefore, the main difference is that Turabian is more accessible, shorter, and consists of fewer requirements. In addition, unlike the Chicago style is developed for professionals who publish their books, the Turabian is created to guide students in writing papers and essays, thus containing no instructions on publishing. Most of the guidelines applicable to the Chicago paper format are similar to the Turabian writing style; hence, you can write in both styles with this article’s assistance.

What are the primary elements of a Chicago format paper? Both the Chicago and Turabian styles recommend the author divides their document into three parts: Title Page (cover page ), Main body, and Bibliography.

General Rules

Below is a list of general guidelines applicable to each Chicago style essay :

  • Font: legible, desired fonts are Times New Roman or Courier;
  • Font size: Usually not less than 10 pt, but preferably 12pt;
  • Space: Double space everywhere except within block quotes, table titles, notes, figure captions, and bibliography or Reference entries;
  • Spaces Between Paragraphs: None;
  • Margins: Not less than 1″;
  • Chicago Style Page Numbers: Put at the top right corner of each page, excluding the title page, so the first page of the main body should be numbered 1
  • Footnotes: Should be assigned on quoted and paraphrased passages if you use the Notes-Bibliography method.

Chicago Style Cover Page 

The first impression of your work is the title page or the cover page. It is vital to space it properly. How you structure your title page depends on the instructor’s specific guidelines, but if you have not been assigned any, here are the general guidelines on how to structure a Chicago cover page :

  • You should put the title of the paper one-third below the top of the page and center it.
  • After placing the document’s title, add the author’s name, class information, and the date ( all placed several lines below the title).
  • Double-space everything
  • If you need to include a subtitle, end the title line with a colon and type a subtitle on the following line.

Note: Although all documents written in Chicago style should have a title page, this rule does not always apply to papers written in Turabian style. Academic papers that follow the Turabian style may either incorporate a title page or provide the paper’s title on the first page followed by the main body. Nonetheless, if your professor instructs you to include a cover page, the rules mentioned above apply as well.

Chicago Style in Text Citation

The most significant section of the Chicago-style paper is the main body. This is where authors present their primary ideas and information on a particular topic. Below is a list of guidelines recommended by the Chicago Manual Style, which applies to the main body of the text:

  • Title of sources put within the paper, notes, and bibliography should follow headline-style capitalization.
  • Based on the type of work you refer to, you should italicize or put in quotation marks titles placed within the paper, notes, and bibliography:
  • Titles of longer works, including books and periodicals- have to be italicized.
  • Titles of shorter works, including chapters and articles- should be put in quotation marks.
  • Titles of most poems- have to be put in quotation marks.
  • Titles of shorter poems- should be italicized.
  • In any other case – When capitalizing, ensure to take a minimalist approach. Avoid overusing italics or quotation marks for no reason. In addition, use lowercase when there is no need for uppercase.

It essential to create block quotes when quoting from something. For prose, it is suggested to block a quote when it is longer than five lines. Get more information about block quotes further in this article.

Chicago Style Heading

There are no strict rules regarding the format of headings and subheadings of a document in the Chicago Manual of style. Nonetheless, it does provide authors with a few suggestions:

  • Put all subheadings on a line.
  • Follow a headline-capitalization style.
  • To distinguish subheadings, authors may use various font sizes
  • Ensure to keep consistency and parallel structure in all headings and subheadings.
  • Chicago Style recommends authors not to end the subheadings with periods.
  • The maximum levels of hierarchy should be three
  • All levels should be consistent and clear.
  • Authors may use different fonts, bold or italics, or various placements on the page (preferably either flush left or centered) to distinguish hierarchy levels.

Turabian provides more recommendations for formatting various levels of headings and subheadings than the Chicago Manual of Style. Below is a table that shares well-detailed recommendations for each of the three heading levels:



Level of Hierarchy


Recommended Format
1.Headline-style capitalization, bold or italic, centered.
2.Headline-style capitalization, not boldfaced or italicized, centered.
3.Headline-style capitalization, bold or italic, flush left

Below are some examples of different level headings: 

  Modernism and Modernity (level 1 heading)

Move from Naturalism (level 2 heading)

A Diverse Search for Direction (level 3 heading)

Chicago Style in-Text Citation

Each Chicago citation should be formatted based on the system it follows. As earlier stated, for the Notes-Bibliography System, you will need to put numbered footnotes. We will cover that later in our article.

As for the Author-Date System citations, they should follow these rules:

  • The writer should put the author’s last name, publication date, and page number in parenthesis.
  • Do not apply any quotation marks between the author’s last name and the publication date.
  • Do not use any abbreviations.
  • Separate the date of publication and the page number with a comma.
  • If the author of the source you are referring to is unknown, use the shortened title of the source in your in-text citation.
  • When citing the same pages of the source numerously, cite the source in full after the last reference.

Note: In case you are using a Notes-Bibliography method, then a Chicago in-text is placed in parenthesis only when it follows direct quotes. If you are paraphrasing information, you have to use the footnotes used.

An example of an in-text Chicago Manual of Style citation:

“That was how General Learned what the whole city already knew: not one but several assassination plots against him were brewing, and his last supporters were in the house to try to thwart them.” (Garcia Mὰrquez 1990, 18)

Block Quotes Chicago

Longer quotes should be placed in block quotations, also referred to as extracts. For prose, more extended quotes start from five lines and more (over 100 words). For poetry, it is two or more lines. An author should format these quotes differently.

Below are the main rules for blocking Chicago style Quotes 

  • Always start block quotes on a new line
  • Do not put such passages in quotation marks
  • Using the word processor’s indent tool, indent block quotes.

Prose example of Chicago Style Block Quote with the Author-Date System:

In his paradise in Lima, he had spent a Joyous night with a young girl who was covered with fine, straight down over every millimeter of her Bedouin skin. At dawn, while he was shaving, he looked at her lying naked in the bed, adrift in the peaceful sleep of a satisfied woman, and he could not resist the temptation of possessing her forever with a sacramental act. He covered her from head to foot with shaving lather, and with pleasure like that of love, he shaved her clean with his razor, sometimes using his right hand and sometimes his left as he shaved every part of her body, even the eyebrows that grew together, and left her doubly naked inside her magnificent newborn’s body. She asked, her soul in shreds if he really loved her, and she answered with the exact ritual phrase he had strewn without pity in so many hearts throughout his life: “More than anyone else in this world. ( Garcὶa Mὰrquez 1990,270)

Poetry example of Chicago style block quote with Author-Date System:

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, 

Mewling and puking in the nurses’s arms. ( Shakespeare 1623,34)

Prose example of Chicago style block quote Notes-Bibliography System:

In his paradise in Lima, he had spent a Joyous night with a young girl who was covered with fine, straight down over every millimeter of her Bedouin skin. At dawn, while he was shaving, he looked at her lying naked in the bed, adrift in the peaceful sleep of a satisfied woman, and he could not resist the temptation of possessing her forever with a sacramental act. He covered her from head to foot with shaving lather, and with pleasure like that of love, he shaved her clean with his razor, sometimes using his right hand and sometimes his left as he shaved every part of her body, even the eyebrows that grew together, and left her doubly naked inside her magnificent newborn’s body. She asked, her soul in shreds if he really loved her, and she answered with the exact ritual phrase he had strewn without pity in so many hearts throughout his life: “More than anyone else in this world.1

_________________

 Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “The General in His Labyrinth.” Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.

Poetry example of Chicago style block quote Notes-Bibliography System:

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, 

Mewling and puking in the nurses’s arms.2

_________________

2William Shakespeare, “First Folio.” Edward Blount and William and Isaac Jaggard,1623.

Numbers and Acronyms 

The Chicago format recommends the author uses words instead of numerals for numbers lesser than 100. For instance, you should write “fifty-one” instead of “51”. In other cases, where you refer to specific measurements (e.g., 15 pounds), you will still need to use a numeral.

When using acronyms for the first time in the document, the author is supposed to specify what they stand for: 

Example:

 The VAT( Value added tax) indicates…

After mentioning what it means for the first time, you should use the acronym alone. You should not write any numerals or acronyms at the beginning of a sentence. Rewrite the sentence so that the numeral or acronym appears elsewhere, or write out the complete phrase or number: Instead of “700 people attended the meeting,” write “seven hundred people attended the meeting” or say the meeting was attended by 700 people.

Chicago Style Bibliography: Footnotes and Endnotes 

If an author follows the Notes-Bibliography method, both Chicago and Turabian writing styles suggest that whenever you directly quote from an outside source or paraphrase some information, use footnotes or endnotes. On the contrary, you need to include parenthesis in the text when using the Author-Date style to cite sources.

Chicago Style Footnotes

Footnotes are notes printed at the bottom of a page. Every Chicago style footnote is numbered, and its number should correspond to the number after a quote, passage, or paraphrased piece of information. Chicago style footnotes can perform any of the following roles :

  • Give shortened citations to quotes and paraphrased materials.
  • Offer additional description or notes on some terms, phrases, etc.
  • Provide background information when necessary.
  • Offer links to external sources.
  • Indicate copyrights permissions, etc.

Below is a standard Chicago footnote format to follow:

  • Put footnotes at the bottom of the page.
  • You should include the footnote on the same page where the information you are citing is provided.
  • Ensure that you number the footnote with the same number placed after a citing quote or piece.
  • You should include the following information when making the first note for a specific source: The author’s full name, source title, and publication details.
  • If you are citing the same source again, the note only requires the author’s surname, a shortened form of the title ( if the length of the title is more than 4 words ), and page numbers.
  • Use the word “ibid,” which means “from the same place,” when citing the same source and page more than two times. If citing the same source but different pages, use “ibid” and follow it with a page number.

Chicago footnotes example:

Footnotes are used in the Chicago/ Turabian style paper.1There are many reasons as to why footnotes are a handy tool: perhaps the main one is the quick and easy access to information.2To no surprise, students likewise prefer footnotes to long and confusing bibliography pages, as they carry more information; a footnote presents no cons.3

_________________

1 Jan Hudson, “Chicago/ Turabian: Why You Should Use It.” New York Times Publication, 2003. Although they are used in the Chicago/ Turabian style, they are often used in other citation styles.

2  Hudson, “Why You Should Use” 12-33. Quick and easy access can be granted likewise by a bibliography page at the end of the essay; however, statistics show that very few students take the time to access it while many do read the footnotes at the end of the page.

3 Ibid. This is a harsh statement, perhaps, as footnotes are essential in giving additional information: they can sometimes cause the reader to lose their train of thought.

Chicago Style Endnotes 

Usually, the Chicago endnotes are similar to footnotes and play the same role. The difference between these two is where they appear; while footnotes appear at the bottom of a page, the endnotes appear at the end of a chapter, document, or article.

You should identify an endnote in the main body with a small superscript number. Afterward, the author can provide further explanation next to the relevant number at the end of the paper.

Chicago Style Bibliography

An author should dedicate a page that accommodates all references, regardless of whether they follow the Author-Date or Notes-bibliography method of documenting sources. If you follow the Author-Date style, you should title this page as references. In the Notes-Bibliography style, the page is titled Bibliography. This is the last page of the writing and should consist of the complete bibliographical information of all the external sources you’ve used in the work-both those in the text and the footnotes.

Below is a set of rules to follow when composing a Chicago style reference page:

  • At the top of the page, place the title of this page, which should be, References for Author-Date style or Bibliography for Notes-Bibliography style.
  • This page has to incorporate distinct entries for every source you have used and may as well include any other relevant sources.
  • Every entry should start on a new line.
  • The author should list the entries in alphabetical order.

Chicago Style Citations

Each Chicago style citation consists of four elements: the author’s information, the title of the source, pages where you derived information from the source, and the publication details- which include the publisher’s name, journal name, and year of publication.

Below are several general rules for forming citations according to the Chicago style:

  • Author’s Names: List the last and first name of each author
  • Titles: Italicize titles of longer works such as books and journals. Place in quotation marks, titles of shorter works, such as articles, chapters, and poems.
  • Publication Information: The publisher is listed first, followed by the journal’s name.
  • Punctuation: In a Chicago-style paper, all major elements are separated by periods.

We have prepared exhaustive examples of Chicago Citations for different types of sources in the Notes-Bibliography system:

Book (one author)

  • The first footnote: Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism ( London: Verso, 1991), 6-7.
  • The second footnote: Anderson, Imagined Communities, 7.
  • In the bibliography: Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 2014

Book (Two authors)

  • The first footnote:  Liam P. Unwin and Joseph Galloway, Peace In Ireland (Boston: Stronghope Press, 1990), 139. 
  • The second footnote: Unwin and Galloway, Peace in Ireland, 139.
  • In the bibliography: Unwin, Liam P., and Joseph Galloway. Peace in Ireland. Boston: Stronghope  Press, 1990.  

Translated Book

First, mention the author and then the translator.

  • The first footnote: Kate Cassimer, The Philosophy of the Happiness, trans.Fritz C.A. Koeln and James P. Leston (New York: Beacon Press, 1955), 14.
  • The second footnote: Cassimer, Kate. The Philosophy of the Happiness. Translated by Fritz C.A. Koeln and James P.
  • In the bibliography: Cassimer, Kate. The Philosophy of the Happiness. Translated by Fritz C.A. Koeln and James P.Leston. New York: Beacon Press, 1955.

Book Chapter ( Part of a book)

  • The first footnote: Mario Creet, “Fleming, Sir Sandford,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography: 1911-1920 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 359.
  • The second footnote: Creet, “Fleming, Sir Sandford,” 359.

In the bibliography: Creet, Mario. “Fleming, Sir Sandford.” In Dictionary of Canadian Biography: 1911-1920. 359.Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

E-Book

  • The first footnote: Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (New York, NY: Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006), 150, Kindle edition.
  • The second footnote:  Egan, The Worst Hard Time, 150.
  • In the bibliography: Egan, Timothy. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. New York, NY: Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006. Kindle edition. 

Journal Article 

When citing an article, list specific pages in the footnotes (s), but list the whole range of the article in the bibliography.

  • The first footnote: Nancy Tousley, “Tracing a History: Gisele Amantea,” Canadian Art 20,  no. 1 (2003): 64. 
  • The second footnote: Tousley, “Tracing a History,” 64.
  • In the bibliography: Tousley, Nancy. “Tracing a History: Gisele Amantea.” Canadian Art 20, no. 1 (2003): 63-65.  

Websites

Online sources such as scholarly articles can be mentioned in the text or as a note and, in turn, omitted from the bibliography. For instance : (“As of December 2017, the wall bordering Mexico and the United States will be built, as listed on the national United States Government website…”). If a more formal citation is required, it doesn’t have guidelines. Include an access date or, if available, a date that the site was last modified.

  • The first footnote: “FDA Guidelines. “Last modified May 18, 2011, {link}
  • The second footnote: “FDA Guidelines.”
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