The Chicago Style Format is quite common among students, especially those who study Social Sciences. By reading this article, you will learn the most important information about the Chicago Manual of Style, including formatting guides and Chicago style citations. By knowing the format, you will be able to take on any writing task in the academic field confidently and proficiently.
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), also known as the Turabian format, is commonly used in the publications of social sciences and historical journals. The manual was originally published in 1906. More than a century later, it has now reached its 17th edition. Chicago style format is considered one of the most widely used and respected formatting styles in the United States. There are two Chicago Manual Styles: the Notes-Bibliography System and the Author-Notes System. The first is often used in such areas as Arts, Literature, and History, while the second is mostly employed in Social Sciences.
The Chicago Style Format is quite comprehensive and clear when it comes to text formatting, citations, and quotations. There is another slightly different version of the Chicago formatting style, the Turabian, which is mostly aimed at students and researchers and also offers specific guidelines for formatting papers and essays.
As for the structure, any work done in Chicago Style Format is divided into three parts: the Title Page, the Main Body, and the Bibliography. The title page should be the first cover page of the essay, the main body should follow, and the Chicago style bibliography should include all the citations that you used for your research.
Papers completed in Chicago style always consist of numerous elements, including a title page, headings, quotes, footnotes, endnotes, etc. Each element of the paper should be organized and formatted properly according to the latest version of the Chicago/Turabian style manual.
In this section of our guide, we are going to look closer at each element present in this style, and define the key rules and suggestions regarding the proper formatting.
In a nutshell, a title or cover page of a written work is the first page used to specify the title, subtitle, author, and other relevant information regarding the paper. Simply put, it is the introduction to your paper. The Chicago or Turabian format manual requires following specific rules to structure and format this page.
We always encourage students to double-check specific requirements with their teacher in order to structure their title page right. However, in general, the rules are as follow:
The largest and the most important part of every academic paper is its main body. That’s where an author is supposed to disclose the topic, state the key ideas, and provide valid arguments and proof to support his claims. Needless to say that the Chicago style formatting guide implies following certain rules for organizing this part of your text. Below are the general requirements and suggestions that apply to the main body of the text:
In Chicago Style Format, headings should use headline-style for the purpose of capitalization. In your work, you may use various levels for your headings and subheadings, and it is important to make it clear which type of heading each one is. All headings of the same level should have the same format. For example, you may use a large font to create a heading for chapters, bold font to indicate section headings, and italics for subheadings.
Use block quotes if you need to insert any quotes of five lines or more (or more than 100 words)—or poetry quotes of two lines or more.
Please note there are no quotation marks in block quotes. Use a blank line to separate a block quote from the surrounding text on both the top and bottom. Block quotes are also marked by an additional ½ inch margin on each side. Unlike the rest of the text, they are not double spaced but single-spaced.
Numbers and Acronyms
If you need to use numbers in your paper, it is vital to follow specific rules defined in the style manual. Namely, the style guide suggests using words instead of numerals for all numbers that are below 100.
Use “twenty-five” instead of “25”
The exception of this rule is the case when you refer to a certain measurement. In this case, you should use numerals instead of words.
Use “47 pounds” instead of “forty-seven pounds”
When it comes to acronyms, the Chicago format requires explaining them to readers when you mention them for the first time in your text.
According to the APA (American Psychological Association), etc.
All the further mentions in text don’t need an explanation. So, once you specify what a particular acronym stands for when referring to it in text for the first time, further on you can simply use that same acronym alone.
Concerning both numbers and acronyms, it is required that you don’t write them right at the beginning of a sentence. It is suggested to rewrite such sentences so that numbers and acronyms would appear elsewhere like here:
Instead of “360 respondents provided data for the study,” write “The study collected data from 360 respondents.”
Instead of “APA has several research-focused groups,” write “Several research-focused groups emerged from the APA organization.”
Or you can leave a number or acronym at the beginning of a sentence if you write out the full number of the full phrase:
“Three hundred sixty respondents provided data for the study.”
“American Psychological Association has several research-focused groups.”
Footnotes and endnotes often appear in Chicago/Turabian style papers. They are used to cite references or to comment on the part of the text where they are used. Footnotes are placed at the bottom of the page while endnotes appear at the end of the work. Footnotes are mostly used in scholarly works because they are easy to use for quick referencing and can also be used to add extra tidbits of information that are not necessarily needed but might be interesting for the reader. Endnotes are used in long texts with a large number of citations. Students often prefer footnotes to long and confusing bibliography pages, as they include more information.
The main principles of footnotes and endnotes:
Example of a footnote:
1Jan Hudson, “Chicago/Turabian: Why You Should Use It”. New York Times publication, 2003. Although they are used in the Chicago/Turabian style, they are often used in other citation styles.
Chicago style papers usually end with a bibliography where the writer lists all the sources they used while writing the paper—including the ones cited in the footnotes. Chicago style bibliographies should:
The Chicago Manual of Style suggests authors use any of the two appropriate citation styles: the notes and bibliography style or the author-date style.
The author-date style implies locating all your citations right within the text, taking them in parentheses. As you can get from the name, this style requires you to indicate the name of the author and the publication date of the source to which you refer in the text. There are several ways to use such citations in a paper:
According to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925),
In the Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald 1925),
Another citation style you may use is the notes and bibliography style. Using this style, authors have to indicate their in-text references with a relevant number and provide a citation for each number in either footnotes or endnotes. The numbers should be located at the end of a sentence or clause consisting of the information that belongs to an external source, after any punctuation mark except a dash.
What is the difference between the endnotes and footnotes? Earlier in our guide, we explained footnotes and endnotes in detail. In brief, they are the same in formatting. The only difference is that footnotes appear at the bottom of each page, whereas endnotes are gathered separately on their own page that comes just before the bibliography. Regardless of whether you decide to use endnotes or footnotes, keep in mind that each Chicago style citation should also have a relevant entry on the bibliography page.
Which style to choose? Generally, both styles are acceptable and widely used in Chicago style papers. That is, there are no strict rules or recommendations on which one to choose. Thus, the choice is up to you. The main thing to keep in mind is that your citations have to be consistent throughout the whole paper. This means that if you decide to use the author-date style, be sure to use it in the entire work, and the same applies to the notes and bibliography style.
Yes, the Chicago style format implies that most of the text should be consistently double-spaced. However, some exceptions apply to this rule. Authors should use double space everywhere except for notes, block quotations, bibliography entries, figure captions, and table titles.
Yes. Every page in your paper should have an indicated number. The only exception that applies to this rule is your title page, which does not need to have a number. Since the title page doesn’t have a number, authors are required to index the first page that follows after the title page with the number 2.
According to the style manual, you should indicate pages with Arabic numbers, starting at the first page after your title page with the number 2. The most standard location for page numbers is in the top right of the page, one inch from the side, and one inch from the top of the page.
Yes, all papers in this format should begin with a title page. The title page should include the title of your work in the middle of the page, followed by your full name also in the middle of the page. At the bottom of the title page, there also should be your course number, instructor’s name, and the date - all located on separate lines and double-spaced.
As was mentioned earlier, the most common way to locate numbers on the page is by placing them in the upper right corner. However, you may also locate page numbers at the center of the bottom of the page. Regardless of which option you choose, the main rule is to make the location of page numbers consistent throughout the entire paper.
The latest Chicago Manual of Style available today is the 17th edition published in 2017. This manual contains a complete guide to the proper Chicago paper format, including the latest requirements, suggestions, and rules concerning the style, organization, structure, and format of papers.
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Monday, May 18, 2020