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Chicago Manual of Style   Tags: citing sources  

Last Updated: May 18, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Tips That Help

Follow the style guide – ALWAYS.  This is not time to be creative.  Don’t agonize about why the guide tells you to do something, just do it!


Be consistent.  If the style guide says to use italics for the title of the book or journal (and Chicago does) use italics ALWAYS.


Don’t mix style guides.  Chicago and MLA cannot be used simultaneously in a paper.  Choose one and stick to it.


If you don’t know how to cite a particular source, look it up.  The style guide has thought of nearly every type of source.


Print off the citation of the source you consulted, when you consult it. Don’t say, “I’ll do it later,” or “I am not sure I want to use this source, I’ll go back to it if I do.”  Going back later without the citation is often impossible.




    This guide will explain how to cite information sources using the Chicago style.  It will also provide many examples of properly cited paper and electronic sources.  If you do not find what you need in this guide, the links at the right side of the screen may provide more assistance.  The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition), available at the EWC Library, is the best place to look when online guides do not help.  Ask at the desk and we will show you where it is located.  If you cannot come to the library, call us and we will help answer your question.

    The Chicago Manual of Style takes 1,000 pages of text to explain all its rules and variations.  For this reason, there are two other shorter style guides to help you.

    A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian is now in its 7th edition (2007).  It explains practically everything an undergraduate will need to produce a well-documented research paper. 

    A Pocket Guide to Writing in History by Mary Lynn Rampolla is now in its 6th edition (2009).  It further condenses the full style manual to help students complete well-researched and documented history papers.  The History Department at NWC requires students to use this guide.

    Students are advised to begin with either Rampolla or Turabian.  If one of these guides does not contain the information you need, you may have to refer to the "big orange" Chicago Manual.

    This online guide provides examples of materials most cited in student research papers.  When Turabian or Rampolla differ from the Chicago Manual, examples of both are given.


      Parts of Chicago Style

      Chicago style has three elements:

      A number in superscript form (above the letter) in your text

      For example, this sentence would appear in my paper, with the superscript1 indicating the footnote/endnote number:

      The courts in Helena provided a liberal definition of mental cruelty which then provided women with a path out of unhappy  marriages.1

      Footnote at the bottom of the page or endnote at the end of the paper

                 1Paula Petrik, No Step Backward: Women and Family on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 1987), 35.

      Bibliography at the end of the paper

      For example, this reference would appear at the end of my paper, arranged in alphabetical order by author’s last name, along with all the other references I used:

      Petrik, Paula. No Step Backward: Women and Family on the Rocky Mountain Mining
                 Frontier. Helena: Montana Historical Society, 1987.

      Each reference cited in the text must have a footnote/endnote and a full citation in the in the reference list at the end. This list is titled Bibliography. The good news is that word processing programs have features to help you generate and keep in order your footnotes/endnotes.  The bad news is that you still have to know how to format your references.






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