Essay on Chicago Style

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Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide

The Chicago Manual of Style presents two basic documentation systems, the humanities style (notes and bibliography) and the author-date system. Choosing between the two often depends on subject matter and nature of sources cited, as each system is favored by different groups of scholars.

The humanities style is preferred by many in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography. It accommodates a variety of sources, including esoteric ones less appropriate to the author-date system.

The more concise author-date system has long been used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and date of publication. The short citations are amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided.

Below are some common examples of materials cited in both styles. Each example is given first in humanities style (a note [N], followed by a bibliographic entry [B]) and then in author-date style (an in-text citation [T], followed by a reference-list entry [R]). For numerous specific examples, see chapters 16 and 17 of The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition.

Online sources that are analogous to print sources (such as articles published in online journals, magazines, or newspapers) should be cited similarly to their print counterparts but with the addition of a URL. Some publishers or disciplines may also require an access date. For online or other electronic sources that do not have a direct print counterpart (such as an institutional Web site or a Weblog), give as much information as you can in addition to the URL. The following examples include some of the most common types of electronic sources.

Book

One author

N: 1. Wendy Doniger, Splitting the Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 65.

B: Doniger, Wendy. Splitting the Difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Two authors

N: 6. Guy Cowlishaw and Robin Dunbar, Primate Conservation Biology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 104–7.

B: Cowlishaw, Guy, and Robin Dunbar. Primate Conservation Biology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Four or more authors

N: 13. Edward O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 262.

B: Laumann, Edward O., John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and Stuart Michaels. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Editor, translator, or compiler instead of author

N: 4. Richmond Lattimore, trans., The Iliad of Homer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951), 91–92.

B: Lattimore, Richmond, trans. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

Editor, translator, or compiler in addition to author

N: 16. Yves Bonnefoy, New and Selected Poems, ed. John Naughton and Anthony Rudolf (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 22.

B: Bonnefoy, Yves. New and Selected Poems. Edited by John Naughton and Anthony Rudolf. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Chapter or other part of a book

N: 5. Andrew Wiese, “‘The House I Live In’: Race, Class, and African American Suburban Dreams in the Postwar United States,” in The New Suburban History, ed. Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 101–2.

B: Wiese, Andrew. “‘The House I Live In’: Race, Class, and African American Suburban Dreams in the Postwar United States.” In The New Suburban History, edited by Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue, 99–119. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Chapter of an edited volume originally published elsewhere (as in primary sources)

N: 8. Quintus Tullius Cicero....
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