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A Citation Guide: Chicago style

How to cite sources for any research project, from a three-minute speech to a doctoral dissertation.

Chicago, Chicago

"Chicago style" comes from the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and is actually three systems: Chicago author-date (similar to APA), Chicago notes-and-bibliography (a little like MLA), and Turabian (a simpler CMOS.) Use the one your instructor assigns, or the one favored by the field in which you are writing. For a basic guide, look at its website, https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html. Or, carefully use the Chicago section of the Purdue OWL. Purdue University's very reliable Online Writing Lab  (OWL)  is now yoked to a profit-oriented company, so the website is cluttered with ads and video. Ignore them. Just use the basic content: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/chicago_manual_of_style_17th_edition.html 

Below is a comparison of the two styles of Chicago style, taken from the CMOS website. The content is the same in both styles, but the format is slightly different. For in-text references, use footnotes instead of parentheses.

Chicago/Turabian Author-Date style

Journal article

In the reference list, include the page range for the whole article. In the text, cite specific page numbers. For articles consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database in the reference list entry. Many journal articles list a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). A DOI forms a permanent URL that begins https://doi.org/. This URL is preferable to the URL that appears in your browser’s address bar.

Sample reference list (in alphabetical order)

Chicago/Turabian Notes and Bibliography style

Journal article

In a note, cite specific page numbers. In the bibliography, include the page range for the whole article. For articles consulted online, include a URL or the name of the database. Many journal articles list a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). A DOI forms a permanent URL that begins https://doi.org/. This URL is preferable to the URL that appears in your browser’s address bar.

Notes (Use this form for the first mention of a source.)

Shortened notes (Use this form after the first mention.)

Bibliography entries (Put them in alphabetical order.)