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Chicago Manual of Style

This guide will show you how to cite your sources using the Chicago citation style.

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About Chicago style

The Chicago Manual of Style is often used to document sources for papers and assignments in the Humanities (e.g., history, fine arts, and political science). 

Check with your instructor to find out which citation style you should use for an assignment.

Avoiding Plagiarism

 Here are three different ways you can present information you have found in your research to consciously avoid plagiarizing.

1. Direct quote

When you use or copy the exact words or section of words from an author, you can surround that direct quote by quotation marks. Include the correct citation acknowledging the original author in your sentence.

2. Summary

Write a summary using your own words of the ideas or the text you want to use. Be original without using the words of the original work and be sure you cite that statement.

3. Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is similar to a summary. It just means taking what you have read and rewriting it in your own words. You must cite that paraphrase.

What is Chicago Style?

When teachers ask you to write in "Chicago Style", they are referring to the editorial style that most subjects within Arts and Humanities have adopted to present written material in the field.

Editorial style is a set of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. Editorial style  concerns uniform use of such elements as:

  • punctuation and abbreviations
  • construction of tables
  • selection of headings
  • citation of references
  • presentation of statistics
  • as well as many other elements that are a part of every manuscript

The purpose of documentation is to:

  • Identify (cite) other people’s ideas and information used within your essay or term paper.
  • Indicate the authors or sources of these in a Bibliography at the end of your paper.
  • Identify the sources you researched to support your argument.
  • Provide all information necessary to enable your readers to find the sources you used.

The 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (2010) recognizes two basic styles of citation and this is a guideline for the Notes and Bibliography system only.

The changes between the 15th and 16th editions are not major and this page provides you a summary.

These rules are published in The Chicago Manual of Style.


Chicago Citation Style Overview

Learn more about Chicago-Turabian format for your research paper and assignments. This short video from the University of Regina presents in-text citations, footnotes, endnotes, title page, margins, page header, running head, title page, text block, page breaks, in-text citations.

Printable Handout

Print out a Quick Reference PDF handout of the Chicago Manual of Style for your notes.