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Chicago Manual of Style Guide (Chicago 17th Edition): Getting Started

What is Chicago Style?

The Chicago Manual of Style is a set of rules for publications, including research papers. Chicago style is especially popular in historical research. 

Chicago Style has two different formats Notes & Bibliography and Author/Date for in-text citing and the bibliography. Each use a slightly different format.
If you are asked by your instructor to use Chicago Style, make sure to ask which format you should follow. 

In Chicago, you must "cite" sources that you have paraphrased, quoted or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper where you add a brief in-text citation or footnote.
  2. In the reference list at the end of your paper where you give more complete information for the source.

Commonly Used Terms

Access Date: The date you first look at a source. The access date is added to the end of citations for all websites except library databases.

Citation: Details about one cited source.

Citing: The process of acknowledging the sources of your information and ideas.

In-Text Citation: A brief note at the point where information is used from a source to indicate where the information came from. An in-text citation should always match more detailed information that is available in the Reference List.

Paraphrasing: Taking information that you have read and putting it into your own words.

Plagiarism: Taking, using, and passing off as your own, the ideas or words of another.

Quoting: The copying of words of text originally published elsewhere. Direct quotations generally appear in quotation marks and end with a citation.

Reference List: Contains details on ALL the sources cited in a text or essay, and supports your research and/or premise.

Overview of This Guide

  • How to Use Chicago Style
    A quick overview of how to use Chicago style.
  • Format #1: Notes & Bibliography
    Includes both Note (in-text citing) and reference format examples of a variety of source types.
    • Books
      Examples for books with different number of authors, edited books, book chapters, and multiple editions.
    • Articles
      Examples for journal, magazine, and newspaper articles.
    • Web & Social Media
      Examples for web pages, blogs, podcasts, social media, and online video.
    • Other Sources
      Examples for sources that do not fall into the other source type categories like interviews, government documents, and encyclopedias.
  • Format #2: Author/Date
    Includes both in-text citing and reference format examples of a variety of source types.
    • Books
      Examples for books with different number of authors, edited books, book chapters, and multiple editions.
    • Articles
      Examples for journal, magazine, and newspaper articles.
    • Web & Social Media
      Examples for web pages, blogs, podcasts, social media, and online video.
    • Other Sources
      Examples for sources that do not fall into the other source type categories like interviews, government documents, and encyclopedias.
  • Citation Software
    Overview on citation software and how to generate citations.
  • More Help?
    More resources to help you to format your paper and cite in Chicago Manual of Style 

Why Cite? (1:42)

Do You Need Citation Help?

Visit the Reference Desk in the library during all open hours for assistance! We can't correct your citations but can give you guidance on specific issues or questions.

Note

This citation guide is based on the Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). The contents are accurate to the best of our knowledge.

Some examples illustrate the OCC Library's recommendations and should be viewed as modifications to the official Chicago Style guidelines. 

Attribution

This guide is used/adapted with the permission of Milner Library, Illinois State University.