Chicago Manual Style (CMS) Citation Introduction
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar,
usage, and documentation. The material in this resource focuses primarily on the two CMS documentation styles:
the Notes-Bibliography System (NB), which is used by those in literature, history, and the arts, and the Author-Date
System, which is preferred in the sciences.
Notes and Bibliography in Chicago Style
The Chicago NB system is often used in the humanities and provides writers with a system for referencing their
sources through footnote or endnote citation in their writing and through bibliography pages. NB system is most
commonly used in the discipline of History.
The proper use of the NB system can protect writers from accusations of plagiarism, which is the intentional or
accidental un-credited use of source material created by others. Most importantly, properly using the NB system builds
credibility by demonstrating accountability to source material.
Introduction to Notes
In the Chicago Notes-Bibliography (NB) system, you should include a note (footnote) each time you use a source,
whether through a direct quote or through a paraphrase. Footnotes will be added at the end of the page on which the
source is referenced.
A superscript number corresponding to a note with the bibliographic information for that source should be placed in the
text, following the end of the sentence in which the source is referenced.
The first note for each source should include all relevant information about the source. If you cite the same source
again, the note need only include the surname of the author, the title (or a shortened form of the title) and page
If you cite the same source and page number(s) from a single source two or more times consecutively, the
corresponding note should use the word ‘Ibid.,’ an abbreviated form of the Latin ‘ibidem,’ which means ‘in the same
place.’ If you use the same source but a different page number, the corresponding note should use ‘Ibid.’ followed by a
comma and the new page number(s).
Introduction to Bibliographies
In the Notes-Bibliography System, the bibliography provides an alphabetical list of all sources used in a given work.
This page, most often titled Bibliography, is usually placed at the end of the work, preceding the index. It should
include all sources cited within the work and may sometimes include other relevant sources that were not cited but
provide further reading.
Although bibliographic entries for various sources may be formatted differently, all included sources (books, articles,
websites, etc.) are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. If no author or editor is listed, the title or keyword
may be used instead.
Common Elements: All entries in the bibliography will include the author (or editor, compiler, translator), title,
and date of publication. Author’s Names: The author’s name is inverted in the bibliography, placing the last name
first and separating the last name and first name with a comma, for example, John Smith becomes Smith, John.
(If an author is not listed first, this applies to compilers, translators, etc.) Titles: Titles of books and journals are
italicized. Titles of articles, chapters, poems, etc. are placed in quotation marks. Publication Information: The year
of publication is listed after the publisher or journal name. Punctuation: In a bibliography, all major elements are
separated by periods.
Schiller, Karen, Steve Gooch, Laurie Pinkert and Allen Brizee. “Chicago Manual Style,” Purdue Online Writing Lab, last
modified July 20, 2010, http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/.
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