Chicago 17 style is used in writing research papers. Most students learn about this editorial style in college or post-graduate work. The terms Chicago and Turabian are often used interchangeably by teachers, which may cause some confusion. Turabian is a student version of Chicago style format; they follow the same format. Although it’s unlikely middle or high school students will use Chicago/Turabian style, it is helpful to have a basic understanding before starting college.
Overview of Chicago/Turabian Style Guide
The Chicago style is developed and updated by The University of Chicago Press. The manual, called The Chicago Manual of Style, is often referred to as CMOS. The most recent version is the 17th edition, published in 2017.
CMOS is an extensive manual that covers all aspects of publishing, including formatting for online publication. Some items that CMOS covers include:
- Style and usage
- Covers and jackets
- Copyright pages
- Table of contents
- Keywords, metadata, and abstracts
The 17th edition of CMOS is over 1,000 pages, including indexes and the bibliography.
As a student, you are not expected to know or cover all aspects of CMOS. There is an easier student version of Chicago style called Turabian, named after Kate Turabian, who first published a booklet of guidelines for students in 1937. From there, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations has become the standard format for students to follow Chicago style. This manual is now in its 9th edition. It is often referred to as simply A Manual for Writers.
A Manual for Writers covers:
- Research and writing
- Source citation
- Paper format
You will probably use MLA style in middle and high school and Chicago/Turabian style in college classes. It is always up to your teachers to let you know which bibliography style they prefer. Follow your assignment rubrics.
Two Types of Chicago/Turabian Style
Chicago/Turabian style includes two styles:
Author-date is a simpler version. It follows the basic author-date format in which the author’s name and date are the first two elements in the citation. A reference list of the actual sources used is included at the end of your paper. The Chicago author-date style is used in social sciences.
The notes-bibliography style, also called NB or notes-biblio, is used for studies in these subjects:
This is an extensive editorial style that includes notes within the text. These notes are placed either at the bottom of the page as footnotes or at the end of a chapter or book as endnotes. In some cases, notes within a text will be all that is required and there will no bibliography at all. In that case, all the source citation data will be included in the note.
If a bibliography is created, then the source citation data is included in the bibliographic entry.
Reference and bibliographic source citations need to contain basic elements:
- Author, editor, and/or translator
- Titles of books, articles, etc.
- Publication: Publisher and date of publication
As information is available on many different platforms, include the location, such as the website, database, or eBook publisher.
Bibliography vs. Works Cited or References
Although it is common to hear the term “bibliography” used, there are differences between works cited, references and a bibliography.
In Chicago/Turabian Style, either a reference list or a bibliography is used. You may title your reference list as “works cited,” but follow your teacher’s guidelines.
- A bibliography is a list of all works consulted.
- A reference list or works cited includes only those sources you used in your research paper.
Author-Date Citation Format
The author-date style uses parenthetical citations in the paper that match up with source citation entries in the reference list or bibliography.
In-Text Citation Format
In-text citations are called parenthetical citations in Chicago style. Parenthetical citations lead the reader to the exact source listed in the reference list. Include:
- Author’s name
- Date of publication
- Page number for a quotation
In forming your in-text citations, be sure to keep these rules in mind:
- Do not put a comma between the author’s name and the date.
- If you include a page number, separate it with a comma.
- Do not use p. or pp. to indicate the page number.
Source Citation Format
Formatting source citations in the Chicago/Turabian author-date style places the author’s name first, date of publication second, and then the title. Other elements of publication then follow after that.
Books are reliable sources for researchers. Check for the author or editor’s authority in the field and also the date of publication. Try to find the most recent publication date to make sure you’re quoting recent research. Use these formats for creating reference list entries for books:
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Year of Publication. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name.
Editor’s Last Name, Editor’s First Name, ed. Year of Publication. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name.
Author #1’s Last Name, Author #1’s First Name, and Author #2’s First and Last Names. Year of Publication. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name.
Author #1’s Last Name, Author #1’s First Name, Author #2’s First and Last Names, and Author #3’s First and Last Names. Year of Publication. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name.
Most sources are published online these days. If you’re using an online source, include the location. Remember to include these elements:
- Author (use website name if no author)
- Publication date (use n.d. if no date)
- Title of page
- Title of site
- Owner of the site
When formatting the citation, follow these guidelines:
- Add the URL or DOI at the end of the entry.
- Add https://doi.org to DOIs.
- Include an access date if you can’t find a publication date.
- Place a period at the end.
- Use a hanging indent.
Journal articles are an excellent resource for students to find current and relevant sources. Most journals are now indexed in databases and available online.
Follow these basic guidelines for formatting journal articles in print and online sources:
Print Format and Example
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Year of Publication. “Title of Article: Subtitle of Article.” Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Additional Date Information): YY-YY.
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Year of Publication. “Title of Article: Subtitle of Article.” Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Additional Date Information): YY-YY. URL.
Cite movies, films and television shows within your text and as a source citation. Use the first two elements within your parenthetical citation. Include these elements:
- Title of the work
- Date of availability
- Name of producer
- Medium in which you found your source
- URL as the final element in the entry
Slide Show Presentations
Presenting data using a slide show presentation software like PowerPoint is common. If you create a presentation, you need to include parenthetical citations as well as a reference slide for your sources.
You can also use presentations in your sources. Lectures and meeting notes are a good way to include timely research sources in your paper. Include the software, such as PowerPoint, within the reference list source citation. The main elements of your citation here are:
- Last name, first name of the author
- Date of lecture
- Title of the lecture
Cite religious or classical works, like the Bible, within the text only. Include the version the first time you cite it. After that, you can leave it out. You should use approved abbreviations in your parenthetical citations.
Example – First Citation:
Example – Subsequent Citations:
Visual and Performing Arts
Cite visual and performing arts within your text as parenthetical citations. Do not include source citations in your reference list.
Author-Date Reference List
Chicago/Turabian author-date style uses a reference list rather than a bibliography. Your teacher may want you to create a preliminary bibliography or one at the end of your paper. Always follow the assignment rubric.
The author-date reference list includes only those sources you actually used within your paper. With the exception of parenthetical citations for religious texts, visual and performing arts and so forth, every parenthetical citation must match exactly with the reference citation source.
Arranging Your Reference List
The reference list follows the letter by letter alphabetizing method. Other rules to keep in mind include:
- Center “References” at the top of the page.
- Double-space after the title, then begin your entries.
- Use a hanging indent format.
- Space one line between entries.
- Append https://doi.org to any DOI address.
- For sources by the same author, arrange them by date of publication.
- Use acceptable abbreviations.
Formatting an Author-Date Paper
CMOS recommends choosing a readable font, such as Times New Roman 12 or Arial 10. Use the same font consistently through your paper. Do not use a fancy or ornamental font such as Comic Sans.
For the title page:
- Center the text.
- Use headline-style capitalization.
- Place the title one-third of the way down the page.
- Space down several lines.
- Place your name and class information.
- Place the date.
Double-space all text except:
- Block quotations
- Table titles
- Figure captions
- Lists in appendixes
Single-space bibliographies and reference lists, but add a space in-between entries.
In terms of pagination, start numbering pages with the first page of text. Follow your instructor’s guidance on placement of page numbers.
Notes-Biblio Citation Format
Chicago/Turabian notes-bibliography citation format is rarely used in high school or even the first years of college. It is typically used for publishing extensive research on history, literature and the arts. You will see notes used in many of the books you reference for your sources. These books are extremely helpful in the research process as they guide you to further sources.
Basic Format of Notes-Biblio
Notes-biblio uses notes within the text, rather than an in-text citation leading you to a source citation. These notes are indicated within the text by a superscript number. The number points to additional information in the form of an endnote or footnote.
Example of Note
If you use the same source in another note, you can shorten the note this way:
(Source: CMOS, 17th Edition)
It’s possible to have both footnotes and endnotes in the same paper, but this is rarely used in high school or college papers.
Follow the basic format for notes and bibliographic entries while citing sources such as books, journals, periodicals, movies, film and lectures.
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Date of Publication.
For multiple authors, follow this format:
Author #1’s Last Name, Author #1’s First Name, and Author #2’s First and Last Names. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Date of Publication.
Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Article: Subtitle of Article.” Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Date of Publication): YY-YY.
For multiple authors, follow the same format as books. The first author’s name is listed in last name, first name format and the following authors are listed first name, last name.
When citing articles from magazines and newspaper, follow these guidelines:
- The title of the article is placed within quotation marks.
- The title of the magazine is italicized.
- Do not include page numbers.
- Include the full date in the entry.
You do not have to include a bibliographic entry for reference works, such as dictionaries. However, if you do rely heavily on these secondary sources for your research, you may include a separate section in the bibliography.
Artwork and Plays
Cite these sources within notes only. Do not create a matching bibliography entry.
Arranging Your Bibliography
Creating a notes style bibliography follows the letter by letter alphabetizing format. You may section your bibliography by types of works. A bibliography differs from a works cited or reference list as it includes all works you’ve consulted to prepare your paper.
Using Chicago/Turabian style guides is easier if you use Turabian’s student version. You will likely follow the author-date style rather than the notes style, but your teacher may require the latter. Always follow your instructor’s assignment rubric.