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Citing Sources: CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style)

NCC Library and Learning Center Chicago Manual of Style Handout

The Chicago Manual of Style

Find the complete Chicago Manual of Style in the library collection.

Basics of Chicago Citation

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) is published by the University of Chicago Press and is often used in business, history, fine arts, and the humanities. There are two different systems of CMOS, "Notes and Bibliography" and "Author/Date."  This guide will focus on the more popular Notes and Bibliography system. This format requires either footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography at the end of the paper. (Your instructor will specify if they prefer footnotes or endnotes.) A version of CMOS known as Turabian may also be accepted for student papers. Please check with your instructor for their preference.

CMOS also has specific rules related to capitalization, abbreviations, the appearance of dates, and punctuation in citations that are unique to this style and help distinguish it from others.

 

Core Elements

Depending on the source type (book, journal article, etc.), your bibliography entry and footnote/endnote are composed of these major elements:

  1. Author
  2. Title of source
  3. Publisher
  4. Publication date
  5. DOI

There are additional elements that may be required based on the source type. They are assembled in a specific order and followed by specific punctuation. 

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is an identifier assigned by the publisher that provides a persistent link to the online source. Scholarly journals accessed online are often assigned a DOI number. If a DOI is available, use it at the end of the citation.

Working with this template and the information indicated on your source, you should be able to create an accurate Bibliography entry for almost any source you use. 

Endnote/Footnote

Citing a Book with One Author

The first time a source is cited, a full citation is needed.  Any time the source is cited after that, you can use the shortened form of the citation.

Note (citation):

[new footnote number]. Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, (New York: Penguin Group, 2004), 95.

Shortened citation in a following footnote:

[new footnote number]. Evans, Third Reich, 102.

Citing a Book with 2 Authors

Note (citation):

[new footnote number]. William Kerrigan and Gordon Braden, The Idea of the Renaissance, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989), 40.

Shortened citation in a following footnote:

[new footnote number]. Kerrigan and Braden, Idea of Renaissance, 46.

Citing Online Journal Articles with a DOI or Stable URL

Note (citation):

[new footnote number]. James C. Van Hook, “Politics in Cold War Germany,” German Politics & Society 25, no. 2 (Summer 2007), 104, https://doi.org/10.3167/gps.2007.250207.

Shortened citation in a following footnote:

[new footnote number]. Van Hook, “Cold War Germany,” 108

Citing Online Journal Articles without a DOI or Stable URL

Note (citation):

[new footnote number]. Mark Grimsley, "A More Civil War: How the Union Waged a Just War," The Journal of American History 104, no. 3 (12, 2017): 768. ProQuest.

Shortened citation in a following footnote:

[new footnote number]. Grimsley, “Civil War,” 768.

For additional examples demonstrating other types of sources, please click on the NCC Library Chicago Manual of Style Handout link at the top of this page.

Bibliography

Citing a Book with One Author

Evans, Richard J. The Coming of the Third Reich. New York: Penguin Group, 2004.

Citing a Book with 2 Authors

Kerrigan, William and Gordon Braden, The Idea of the Renaissance. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989.

Citing Online Journal Articles with a DOI

Van Hook, James C. “Politics in Cold War Germany.” German Politics & Society 25, no. 2 (Summer 2007): 104-16. https://doi.org/10.3167/gps.2007.250207.

Citing Online Journal Articles without a DOI or Stable URL

Grimsley, Mark. "A More Civil War: How the Union Waged a Just War." The Journal of American History 104, no. 3 (12, 2017): 768. ProQuest.

For additional examples demonstrating other types of sources, please click on the NCC Library Chicago Manual of Style Handout link at the top of this page.

Bias Free Language Guidelines

The Chicago Manual of Style includes some guidelines on inclusive language, especially in regards to gender. However, as inclusive language is evolving and since the 17th edition of the Manual was published in 2017, some of these guidelines may now be viewed as outdated or incomplete.

Until the Manual is revised for a future edition, the University of Chicago Press directs writers to refer to the Conscious Style guide at consciousstyleguide.com for fuller guidance.