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CMS Basics

What is the Chicago Manual of Style?

  • Some professors require “Chicago Style” for students working on a paper, thesis, or dissertation. CMS is also used by publishers, editors, and authors of journal articles.
  • CMS is used in history, art history, and other liberal arts and social science courses, depending on the professor teaching the course.
  • There are three different styles of CMS:
    • bibliography style with endnotes,
    • bibliography style with footnotes, and
    • reference style with in-text citations.

Be sure to ask your professor which one he or she prefers if you are asked to use CMS in one of your classes. Our tip sheets cover only “bibliography style” with both end– and footnotes.

Why should you use Chicago Style?

Chicago Style allows you to use other people’s ideas to support your own. You must make sure to document the source you are paraphrasing or quoting so that readers can distinguish between your ideas and the ideas of others. In other words, CMS/Turabian protects you against plagiarism!

Where should I start?

  • First, it will be helpful to become familiar with Chicago Style terminology and decide which style you’re using.
  • Next, view our models for how to create a bibliography and endnotes or footnotes following Chicago Style guidelines.
  • Running into trouble with any of these things, or want someone to double check your work? Create an appointment using our online scheduler.

For questions not covered here, refer to these helpful sources: