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IWU OCLS Tutorials: Chicago Style - The Basics


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What is Chicago Style?


The Chicago Manual of Style, first published in 1906, has long been a standard reference book for writers, particularly those in the disciplines of literature, history, and the arts. 
This library guide covers the Notes and Bibliography System of Chicago Style, often used by those in the humanities and history. It does not include the Author-Date System, frequently used in the natural, physical and social sciences. Be sure you know which system your professor requires.
If you have a question not answered in this guide, ask your instructor, check with a librarian, or use the resources below.




What is the Notes/Bibliography System?


Requirements of the Notes and Bibliography style:


  • Include an alphabetized bibliography of full citations for each source. An example of a bibliography citation is shown at the bottom right of this page.  In alphabetizing bibliography entries, use the first element of the citation, usually the author's last name. For some, the first element is the title. When alphabetizing by title, ignore initial articles (A, An, The).


  • Insert a number in each place in your paper that references a source. This number is usually placed at the end of the sentence that discusses or quotes the source. Format this number as a superscript (above the line, like the number one that follows this¹).


  • For each numbered reference in your text, include a note. You may use footnotes (a numbered list of citations at the bottom of the page where the reference appears) or endnotes (a page after the body of the paper that lists all of the references in the entire paper).  


Full notes or shortened?  You might use shortened notes for two reasons:
  • When a bibliography is required, your professor might indicate that you may use shortened citations for all notes.


  • When a bibligoraphy is not required, your professor might indicate that you may use a full citation in a note when referring to a source for the first time. If you refer to a source more than once, you may use a shortened citation for the subsequent notes. The short form of a note should always include the author(s) last name(s), the title (shortened if it exceeds four words), and the page(s) to which you are referring.




Components of Notes and Bibliography Style


Insert a superscript number after a sentence, including information from a source. Include a corresponding citation in a footnote or endnote and a full citation in the Bibliography. 

Superscripted note reference within the text

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis dignissim massa non lacinia pretium. Pellentesque pretium dolor id nisl ultricies pulvinar.1 Aliquam eu ipsum

Depending on the preference of your professor, you may include, on the Notes page, a full citation or a shortened citation. 
Full citation in a note
1. Terence R. Mitchell, People in Organizations: An Introduction to Organizational Behavior (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1987), 24-25.
Shortened citations may be used (1) in a work with no bibliography when citing a source covered earlier with a full citation or (2) in a work that requires a bibliography for all notes. 
Shortened citation in a note
5. Mitchell, People in Organizations, 25.
All citations are included in a bibliography. Entries are alphabetized by the first word. Note that the publication information is formatted differently than in a full note citation.
Bibliography entry
Note: a bibliography entry will have a hanging indent (all lines except the first are indented).
 Mitchelle, Terence R. People in Organizations: An Introduction to Organizational Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1987.


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