Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition
This section contains information on The Chicago Manual of Style method of document formatting and citation. These resources follow the seventeenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, which was issued in 2017.
Contributors: Jessica Clements, Elizabeth Angeli, Karen Schiller, S. C. Gooch, Laurie Pinkert, Allen Brizee, Ryan Murphy, Vanessa Iacocca, Ryan Schnurr
Last Edited: 2018-01-31 02:26:18
Please note that while these resources reflect the most recent updates in the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style concerning documentation practices, you can review a full list of updates concerning usage, technology, professional practice, etc. at The Chicago Manual of Style Online.
To see a side-by-side comparison of the three most widely used citation styles, including a chart of all CMOS citation guidelines, see the Citation Style Chart.
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation and has been lovingly called the “editors’ bible.” The material in this resource focuses primarily on one of the two CMOS documentation styles: the Notes-Bibliography System (NB), which is used by those in literature, history, and the arts. The other documentation style, the Author-Date System, is nearly identical in content but slightly different in form and is preferred in the social sciences.
In addition to consulting The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) for more information, students may also find it useful to consult Kate L. Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th ed.). This manual, which presents what is commonly known as the "Turabian" citation style, follows the two CMOS patterns of documentation but offers slight modifications suited to student texts.
Notes and Bibliography (NB) in Chicago style
The Chicago NB system is often used in the humanities and provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through footnote or endnote citation in their writing and through bibliography pages. It also offers writers an outlet for commenting on those cited sources. The NB system is most commonly used in the discipline of history.
The proper use of the NB system can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the intentional or accidental uncredited use of source material created by others. Most importantly, properly using the NB system builds credibility by demonstrating accountability to source material.
If you are asked to use the Chicago NB format, be sure to consult The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). Students should also refer to A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th ed.). Both are available in most writing centers and reference libraries and in bookstores.
Introduction to Notes
In the NB system, you should include a note (endnote or footnote) each time you use a source, whether through a direct quote or through a paraphrase or summary. Footnotes will be added at the end of the page on which the source is referenced, and endnotes will be compiled at the end of each chapter or at the end of the entire document.
In either case, a superscript number corresponding to a note with the bibliographic information for that source should be placed in the text following the end of the sentence or clause in which the source is referenced.
If a work includes a bibliography, then it is not necessary to provide full publication details in notes. However, if a bibliography is not included with a work, the first note for each source should include all relevant information about the source: author’s full name, source title, and facts of publication. If you cite the same source again, or if a bibliography is included in the work, the note need only include the surname of the author, a shortened form of the title (if more than four words), and page number(s). However, in a work that does not include a bibliography, it is recommended that the full citation be repeated when it is first used in a new chapter.
In contrast to earlier editions of CMOS, if you cite the same source two or more times consecutively, CMOS recommends using shortened citations. In a work with a bibliography, the first reference should use a shortened citation which includes the author’s name, the source title, and the page number(s), and consecutive references to the same work may omit the source title and simply include the author and page number. Although discouraged by CMOS, if you cite the same source and page number(s) from a single source two or more times consecutively, it is also possible to utilize the word “Ibid.,” an abbreviated form of the Latin ibidem, which means “in the same place,” as the corresponding note. If you use the same source but a different page number, the corresponding note should use “Ibid.” followed by a comma and the new page number(s).
In the NB system, the footnote or endnote itself begins with the appropriate full-sized number, followed by a period and then a space.
Introduction to Bibliographies
In the NB system, the bibliography provides an alphabetical list of all sources used in a given work. This page, most often titled Bibliography, is usually placed at the end of the work preceding the index. It should include all sources cited within the work and may sometimes include other relevant sources that were not cited but provide further reading.
Although bibliographic entries for various sources may be formatted differently, all included sources (books, articles, Web sites, etc.) are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. If no author or editor is listed, the title or, as a last resort, a descriptive phrase may be used.
Though useful, a bibliography is not required in works that provide full bibliographic information in the notes.
All entries in the bibliography will include the author (or editor, compiler, translator), title, and publication information.
The author’s name is inverted in the bibliography, placing the last name first and separating the last name and first name with a comma; for example, John Smith becomes Smith, John. (If an author is not listed first, this applies to compilers, translators, etc.)
Titles of books and journals are italicized. Titles of articles, chapters, poems, etc. are placed in quotation marks.
The year of publication is listed after the publisher or journal name.
In a bibliography, all major elements are separated by periods.
For more information and specific examples, see the sections on Books and Periodicals.
Please note that this OWL resource provides basic information regarding the formatting of entries used in the bibliography. For more information about Selected Bibliographies, Annotated Bibliographies, and Bibliographic Essays, please consult Chapter 14.61 of The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.).
The Chicago Manual of Style provides comprehensive guidance for citing books, articles and various additional materials in the bibliography, reference lists and notes of a manuscript. Specific provisions are made for citing electronic media to account for the creation of published material now available on the Internet. While individual citations for different types of sources will vary slightly in format, they all contain some very similar information.
Chicago Manual of Style: Citation Examples
Citation content for books, articles and additional materials require certain common information when using the Chicago Manual of Style:
- author (or editor or compiler)
- title and usually the subtitle
- the date of publication
Books will include the publisher and place of publication while articles from journals will give the journal name, volume and issue number and the page numbers of the article.
Notes will be numbered while bibliography and reference lists are not numbered; but rather, presented in alphabetical order.
Online works will also include retrieval information, including the URL and the date of access.
If a given work cited in the bibliography or reference list be excessively long due to title or subtitle, there are provisions for making the complete citation in the reference list and then using an abbreviated form in the notes list to avoid excessive documentation.
A Chicago Manual of Style should be consulted for the complete list of formatting guidelines.
Common Citation Format
The following example shows how to cite a work of fiction in bibliography and journal article format according to the Chicago Manual of Style:
- Bibliography (single author): Flynn, Vince. The Third Option. New York: Pocket Books, 2000.
- Bibliography (multiple authors): Barnes, Steven and Larry Niven. Dream Park. New York: Ace Books, 1981.
- Journal Article: Christopher, Darlene. “A Harder Focus on the Global Classroom.” Training + Development. February 2011, 30-31.
Note Citation Format
When citing works for a Notes section, the citation is similar to that of a bibliographic entry but there are some differences. Here is a Notes entry taken from the first bibliographic example above:
- 1. Vince Flynn, The Third Option. New York: Pocket Books. 2000.
Note entries are numbered for reference in the main body of work. The author’s name is given first name first rather than last name first as seen in the bibliographic entry. The inclusion of publishing city, publisher and year of publication remain the same.
Citing Online Sources
With the advent of the Internet and other online sources of information, it is often necessary to provide citation information from those sources.
Inclusion of as much information regarding the web address is necessary to allow finding of the exact location from which the citation originates. The date the site was accessed for the citation is often included as online content is much more malleable than printed works and can change on a daily basis.
Here is an example of a bibliographic online citation:
- Weston Liz Pulliam. My Best Financial Advice: Liz Pulliam Weston. Consumerist.com, August 2, 2007. http://consumerist.com/2007/08/my-best-financial-advice-liz-pulliam-weston.html.
Other Sources for Citation Information
The previous citation examples are just a small sampling of the various types of citations covered by the Chicago Manual of Style. More specific guidelines for other citation types can be found at the Chicago Manual of Style homepage as well as on a variety of other websites including:
These online references can cover the full breadth of the requirements for Chicago Style citations.