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Theater & Performing Arts Research Guide

What is Chicago Style?

What is Chicago style?book cover with title "The Chicago Manual of Style" 17th edition

  • It is a documentation style for writing and formatting research papers, including citing sources.
  • There are two different formats in the Chicago Style:
    • The Notes-Bibliography (NB) system which uses a bibliography and either footnotes or endnotes
      • Commonly used for humanities, including history, literature, and art
    • The Author-Date system which uses a bibliography and parenthetical citations within the text
      • Commonly used for science and social sciences
  • The Chicago Manual of Style contains comprehensive rules and examples for citing
    • Also known as Turabian Style which was named after Kate Turabian who wrote a research paper manual based on the Chicago Style that is geared towards students
    • The Turabian Style contains comprehensive rules and examples for citing

Chicago Style Resources

Citing Your Sources in Chicago Style

Notes-Bibliography System (Humanities)

  • Use a footnote or endnote to acknowledge that you are quoting or paraphrasing another author's words or ideas in the text of your research paper.

  • Place a super-text number at the end of a quote or paraphrased section.* Citation numbers should appear in sequential order.

  • Create a footnote at the bottom of the page. (See the Microsoft Word Template section below for directions on how to do this in your paper.)

  • The first footnote for a source contains the author, title, publication information, and page number(s). The remaining footnotes (shortened notes) for the same source contain only the author, title, and page number(s).

  • Here are some examples.

Author-Date System (Sciences)

  • Use an in-text citation to acknowledge that you are quoting or paraphrasing another author's words or ideas in the text of your research paper.

  • The in-text citation appears in parentheses and includes (Author's Last Name(s) Year of Publication, Page Numbers)

  • Here are some examples.

Bibliography (Required for both systems above!)

  • Include a reference list at the end of your paper. The list should begin on a new page and contain a full citation for each in-text citation referenced within your paper.
  • Leave two blank lines between your bibliography title and the first citation.
  • Citations should be single-spaced with a hanging indent. Leave one blank line between each citation.
  • Each full citation should include the specific publication information required by Chicago rules. This allows your reader to find the sources, if desired.
  • Arrange the citations alphabetically by the first word in each entry. This is usually the author's last name but may be the title if the source has no author.
  • The way a bibliographic entry is structured will be the same regardless of which in-text citation style you use, with one exception: if you used author-date as your in-text citation style, you will place the publication date immediately after the author section, as opposed to at/near the end. This makes it easier for readers to find the appropriate citation in your reference list.
  • Learn more about the Chicago style bibliography.

Microsoft Word Templates

Microsoft Word Tips for Chicago Style

  • When you open a new Microsoft Word document to start your paper, click on the References Tab, go to the Citations and Bibliography box, and in the Style box choose Chicago.
  • When you need to insert a Footnote, click on the References Tab, go to the Footnotes box, and click on Insert Footnote.
  • When you need to insert an In-text citation click on the Reference Tab, go to the Citations and Bibliography box, and click on Insert Citation.

Chicago Style Manuals in the Library