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Format & Cite: Chicago Citation Style Guide

Information about formatting research papers and citing sources

Chicago Manual of Style


Chicago Manual of Style has two documentation methods: Author-Date System and Notes-Bibliography System. Notes Bibliography is most commonly used at the College of Charleston, and all examples on this guide are modeled after those rules. However, it is to your benefit to always doublecheck with your faculty on what is necessary for a specific course. 

Notes-Bibliography uses uses numbered footnotes in the text to direct the reader to a shortened citation at the bottom of the page. This corresponds to a more complete citation on a Bibliography page that concludes the document. While these citations are very similar, there are key differences you need to pay attention to. (i.e. You cannot just copy and paste your bibliography citation into a note.)

Keep the following formatting rules in mind:

  • The first note will be written in full; subsequent notes of the same source are abbreviated. 
  • If you have notes from the same sourced one after another, use "Ibid." instead of repeating the detailed information. For example:
    • 5. Smith, Happy Songs, 41.
    • 6. Ibid., 45-9.
    • 7. Ibid.
    • 8. Lewis, "Pea Soup," 75.
    • 9. Ibid., 77.
    • 10. Smith, Happy Songs, 49.
  • Label the first page of your back matter, your comprehensive list of sources, Bibliography.
  • Each bibliography entry should be single spaced.
  • Leave one blank line between remaining entries.
  • List entries in letter-by-letter alphabetical order according to the first word in each entry, be that the author's name or the title of the piece.

Chicago Citation Style

Who should use Chicago Style?

Chicago style is the preferred citation style for history and theology.

Note: UP typically uses the "notes and bibliography" format of Chicago style, not the "author-date" format.

What is Chicago Style?

Chicago style was created by the University of Chicago. It is a set of rules for publications, including research papers.

In Chicago style, you must cite sources that you have paraphrased, quoted, or otherwise used to write your research paper. Cite your sources in two places:

  1. In the body of your paper where you add a footnote (which appears in the footer at the bottom of the page).
  2. In the bibliography at the end of your paper.