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Chicago Citation Style

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is used most frequently in the humanities, history, and the arts.  CMS outlines two different systems of citation: Notes and Bibliography & Author-Date.

CMS Notes & Bibliography is the only style that fully defines and supports footnotes.

The examples in this guide will use the CMS Notes and Bibliography system.

For Author-Date citations, please see the CMS Section 15, but here is the basic form for in-text citations.

The Two Chicago Styles

Notes and Bibliography is by far the more commonly used of the two CMS systems and is the only current citation style that fully accommodates and provides rules for footnotes/endnotes.  Consider using the Notes and Bibliography system for any paper where footnotes/endnotes are required or if you need to document:

  • primary sources such as letters and manuscripts in archives
  • personal communications (informal discussions, emails, letters)
  • photos, images, and sculptures
  • classical and religious works that might be inappropriate for either a bibliography or parenthetical citation

Notes and Bibliography also allows authors to maintain a flow within main body of a text while at the same time providing convenient locations for:

  • translations
  • commentary and explanations
  • alternative sources
  • author's asides or a combination of citations and commentary

Chicago Author-Date style is similar to APA, and is better suited to social science, politics, and other disciplines that rely on secondary sources and material that has been recently published.

Official quick guides for basic citation questions, including both parenthetical and footnote citations: 

Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide

Turabian Quick Guide

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