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What is Chicago Style of papers

Many topics are covered by the Chicago Manual Style (CMOS); like preparation of the manuscript and its publication to the grammar, documentation, usage, along with the dubbing of editor’s bible. Chicago is a style of documentation that has been initiated by the press of Chicago University in 1906. American English is used as the incorporation of the grammar and the punctuation.

At the time when its name has been reduced to the Chicago Manual of Style, the content within was grown from just 200 pages to the edition of 984 pages in 15 iterations of editions. In the year 2003, the most recent edition was published, which was also updated for the task of reflecting the computer technology advancement and the internet as well. There are new sections in the Chicago Manual of Style now that includes the preparation of e-publications and the guidelines to the citation of the electronic source.

If someone is given the task to format a paper according to the CMS, then the main job is to refer to the citation. There are mainly two systems of documentation in the Chicago style, the Notes and Bibliography, and the Author date. The subject under consideration and the sources to be cited will decide which system is to be used. There is a verity in the scholars as well for the selection of systems among these two.

The writers from the humanities group, especially the literature, arts, and history groups, mostly use the notes and bibliography style. The bibliographic information is presented in notes and sometimes in a bibliography. The Author-date style is mostly used by writers from the natural, physical, and social sciences. The sources in this system are briefly cited within the text, most of the cases in the round parenthesis, using the date of publication along with the name of the author. The amplification of short citations is done in a reference list that contains the information of the full bibliography.

Both the two systems provide the information regarding each of the sources; the difference between these two systems is not just the way they direct the reader but also their formatting terms — for example, the date’s position in the citation entries. We will further discuss how these styles work in research papers.

General Rules for the whole Paper

  • The spacing in the Chicago papers should be double-spaced. The single-spaced way is used for the bibliographies and the footnotes; there should be a blank line in between the entries.
  • There should be a header at every page except for the title page. The position of the header in the Chicago format is to be justified to the right and at the top of every page. The last name of the author and the page number should be in the header. The numbering should start from 2, as the title page is not numbered but actually the first page of the paper.
  • The title page of the paper fully takes the first page.
  • The bibliography page is created at the end of the paper using a new page. The labeling is done at the top middle of this page. The bibliography should include all the sources that were mentioned within the paper, along with any other sources relevant to the topic under discussion.
  • Each Source on the page should have the examples that include notes that are numbered, along with the entry of bibliography. The initial note is the complete one, while the 2nd note is the smaller one, which is used for the citations of those sources which are already cited.


  • While using the Chicago style, the piece of a word in the text is referred to using the footnotes or the endnotes.
  • The paraphrase and quotes are followed by a number in superscript to cite it from a source.
  • The sequence of the citation number should be maintained.
  • Every number then links to either a citation or an endnote or a footnote.
  • The endnote page should contain all the endnotes, titled "Notes" at the top center. Right after the bibliography, this page should appear.
  • Footnotes must appear at the bottom of the page, which they are referring to.

Jack knows, “Time is the most precious belonging”. 1
The numbered citation at the footnotes or the endnotes is referred by each superscript, like in the example.

Footnotes and Endnotes

When the in-text references are referred for the first time, then the first name of the author, his last name, publication place, name of the publisher, a title published, pages that are referred must be included. For example,

  1. Michael John, The last and first war, (Washington, Hamilton, 2009), 2.
    But if its second time you are citing the same reference, then the citation can be shortened to the last name of the author, short title, and the reference number of the page. For example,
  2. John, The Last, 120-135.
    In the case that the reference is done right immediately in the previous citation, then the citation can be shortened even further using ibid and the page number with it.
  3. Ibid 198

Bibliography in Chicago Style

The end of the paper contains the bibliography page on a new separate page. Labeling is done at the top center of the page, don’t bold or underline, enlarge, or use double quotations for the word Bibliography.

The first and the last words of the titles and the subtitles are to be capitalized along with all the other important words like pronouns, some conjunctions, verbs, adjectives, etc. Heading style capitalization is used for the titles and the subtitles of English-language books. While in the headline style, the title’s last words are capitalized as well as the subtitles.

Electronic Sources
A Digital Object Identifier is to be included whenever the publication or the book lists one. A DOI is an ID that is permanent, and when that DOI is properly typed in the address bar of the internet browser, it will take the reader to the source. When there is no DOI, then the author uses a URL.


The editor is abbreviated as ed. or eds. and the edition is abbreviated as ed. 


The sources are to be listed in the alphabetical order of the last name of the author. The “The”, “A”, and “And” are to be ignored while ordering using the title, i.e. when the name of the author is not listed. 


The first line in the citation is not to be indented, while the additional lines are must to be indented. Hanging indent is one of the ways to do it. 

Quotation marks

The italic formatting is used for the titles of the books, websites, and journals. While the articles, webpages, and the chapters should have their titles placed in the quotation marks.


The periods are used to separate all the major elements in the bibliography. 

Single space is used for the entries, and a blank line should be there between each entry.

 Authors in Chicago Style

1 author
 When there is just one author, then the last name of the author is to be followed by a comma then goes his first name.

  • Snow, John

2-10 authors
The name of the first author is inverted (last name, first name), while all the other names are in the normal order.

  • Snow, John, and Michael Jackson.

Over 10 Authors
There is a need to fully citing only the first seven names in the bibliography, and the phrase “et al” is used to replace all the other names of the authors.

Webpage in Chicago Style

General guidelines

  • Whenever you are citing a web document that is informally published and is nonperiodic, use the webpage citation. You must make sure that the document is not falling under any of the other specified categories. For example, the article from Wikipedia will be a part of online encyclopedias.
  • The example that is to be cited should be taken from the web pages of the free internet.
  • The Title of the webpage is to be mentioned, or the description of the page when the title is missing.
  • The Author of the webpage is to be cited if there is any.
  • The publisher of the site.
  • The date of the last modification of the publication or the revision is to be cited. If not available, then the date when the site is accessed should be mentioned.

Last_name, First_name M.” Title of the Webpage”. Title of Website. Last Modified Latest Modification Date. Accessed Month day, year. [mostly not important].

Book in Chicago Style

  • Publication Place, the first place of the publication, is listed, which is usually given on the first page, also called the title page. It is quite not necessary to mention the state or the country where the publication took place. But in case the location of the city is missing, then the state or the country is mentioned by using a comma and the two-letter abbreviation.
  • Whenever there are multiple authors, then the name of the government departments and the organizations, agencies, associations, and corporations can be used.
  • The Publisher’s name on the title page should be written. The name of the author can be made short in case of lengthy names. For example, Denial Jayson Bravo can be stated as “Jayson” or just “Bravo”.

Printed Version of Books

Last_name, M. Title of the book., Edition ed. [only after the 1st] City: Name of Publisher, Year of Publishing.

Printed, Edited Book
The editor's name is entered instead of the name of the author when we are citing the entire book, which is then followed by 'ed' in case of only one editor and 'eds' whenever there are more than one editors.

Printed, Translated Books
Citation is same as of any other book, just add “Translated by” following the names of the translators.
Last_name, First_name. Book Title. Translated by First_name Last_name. City: Name of Publisher, Year.

Chapter in Printed, Edited book
When you refer to any specific chapter of the book that also includes the areas where a direct quote is cited from the chapter, you have to put page numbers of the whole chapter right after the title of the book or the editor.
Journals in Chicago Style

Printed Journal

The page numbers should contain the entire article, including the starting and the ending pages of the paper.
Electronic Journals

  • Use DOI instead of URL
  • It is not required by Chicago to cite the date of access to the electronic sources that are formally published.
  • If you want to add a full link (URL) to the article, make sure that it is not too long and stable. Use a period to tend the URL.
  • You can also use a shorter version of the URL then you have to end the URL using a slash before a period.


Printed Magazine

  • In case of a printed version of the magazine, you have to include the day and the year of the publication if available. 

Electronic Magazine

  • In case of the formally published sources, the Chicago does not ask for the dates of access for the citation. 


The citation in Chicago style does not expect you to provide the full bibliographic citation of a personal interview, but it is allowed to do if you want to. 

Recorded Format

Interviewee’s Last_name, First_name Initial. Interview by interviewer’s name. ” Interview Title“ [if provided]. Radio, TV, Title of Journal, Producers of program. Month, Day, Year, edition. Location of Publication: Publisher company, year. Page no. [if required].
Printed Newspaper

  • In case of a printed version of a newspaper, the month, day, and year of the publication is to be mentioned if available.

Electronic Newspaper

  • For the electronic version of the newspaper, the citation in Chicago does not need the access dates of the formally published electronic sources.
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