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The Chicago Manual of Style or (Chicago In-Text Citations: The Basics)

Most writers are familiar with a specific citation style. Language arts students often use MLA (Modern Language Association) style, while those in the medical or education fields are required to use APA (American Psychological Association) style of citation. Although many papers written either in school or for publication use one of these two styles, there are other styles that can be used. Another frequently used style is the Chicago Manual of Style. Originally published in 1906, Chicago has been developed addressing areas specific to American English. With the advent of the computer age, additional citation regulations have been added as the need has arisen.

The formatting requirements of Chicago style are similar to other styles: one inch margins, double spacing, a readable font such as Times New Roman or another similar font, and a reasonable letter size of no less than ten point with twelve being the standard size. These specifications are all designed to make a paper legible. Other requirements that are similar to other citation styles include using quotation marks for short direct quotes and single spaced, indented format for the longer quotes.

In Chicago style, as with other styles, the writer is required to document all of the sources that were used to compile and write the paper even if they are not directly quoted. These are assembled in the Bibliography or References section at the end of the paper. There is a difference between these terms. Bibliography is used if the entries are written using notes and a bibliography while the term References describes entries that are set down in an author/date style. In either case, the term is centered at the top of the page with two blank lines between the title and the first entry.

Each entry is listed in alphabetical order by first word and has a space between each entry. All names are written out entirely, including authors’ names and names of publishers; the “and” is also written out instead of using the ampersand for multiple author names. When citing a source from the internet, it is preferable to use DOI’s; however, if those are not available, the web address may be used. You do not need to include an access date if the article is dated.

Where Chicago differs is the in-text citation format

It is correct to use the title of the work to cite the article if there is no credited author. In the in-text citation, a shortened version of the title is used. Likewise, if there is no date given, the abbreviation “n.d.” is used. The in-text citation lists the author, the date of the work, and the page number. If it is an online article that does not contain page numbers, you can provide a specific position of the quote using one of the following: section (sec.), equation (eq.), volume (vol.), or note (n.).

Authors are cited in the text by last name. In the case of multiple authors, for three or fewer authors every name must be written out every time the work is cited. If there are four or more authors, all of them are named in the References; however, when the work is cited within the text, it is only necessary to write out the first author’s name and use the phrase “et al.” A short quote would look like this. “This is the quoted material” (Author(s) surname(s) Date of publication (year only), page number (sec., eq., vol., or n.) if available). Finally, make sure quoted materials are included on the Reference/Bibliography page.

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