This style is probably the one you are least familiar with. It is much more common to be used in publishing than student academics. That said, history and art majors, you may want to pay attention to this.

The Chicago Manual of Style

20140807_114447Chicago is the granddaddy of the style manuals. You’d recognize it by its two-inch spine proudly proclaiming the 16th edition. First published in 1906 by the University of Chicago Press, it was originally created as a way of standardizing not only style rules, but standards of typography and proofreading for the University. It soon grew beyond the University and became the standard style manual for many in the publishing industry.1

Unlike MLA and APA, both of which focus more on the writing and formatting of academic papers and research, Chicago has much broader uses. Chicago deals with all aspects of the publishing process according to both the author’s and the publisher’s needs. Because of this, it’s going to have far, far more than you are going to need to just write your AH 110 class is going to ask for.

My best advice to you is do not get intimidated. The book may seem scary from the outside, but it has the best index of all of the style manuals. Whatever you need to find can be easily located either through its table of contents or the index. So don’t get lost wading through the entire book, make it a surgical strike for the information you need.

Formatting a Paper

Because Chicago has become so important to the publishing industry, it doesn’t provide a lot of guidelines specifically for students preparing a paper for class. It does offer standard manuscript preparation guidelines that you can find in our Chicago Style Guide, and we’ve also prepared a handy How to Format a Chicago Paper tutorial.

When it comes to title pages, Chicago doesn’t really talk about it. If you look up title page in its index, it’s going to tell you what the title page in a published book should have. A Pocket Style Manual offers an example of what students can do based off the Chicago guidelines,2 which can be found in How to Format a Chicago Paper. If you are unsure of what to do, you can always ask your teacher what he/she expects.


If you’ve been paying attention during these blog posts so far, you might have noticed I’m not using APA or MLA to cite my information. In fact, I’ve been using Chicago. Now you can scroll down and see how different it is. The reason I’ve been using Chicago is because it is less intrusive to the text. Instead of parenthetical citations, it uses either footnotes or endnotes. In a blog, endnotes are useful since it is read linearly. For a research paper, footnotes will be easier since they are seen at the end of each page.

So what should you know about Chicago citations? A complete listing can be found in our Chicago Style Guide, but for now, I’ll give you the big ones.

  • It’s not as scary as you think!
  • The reference/works cited page is titled Bibliography.
  • You do not need both footnotes and endnotes. Choose one.
  • You do need both the foot/endnotes and the bibliography.
  • Footnotes and endnotes are complete citations. These are not simply author and date or page number. This has all the same information as what is listed in the bibliography.
  • Foot/endnote entries are not the same as the bibliography entry. They may look the same at first glance, but there are major differences in punctuation. You must pay attention to the punctuation.
  • Foot/endnotes have a first line indent, while bibliography entries have a hanging indent.
  • Names in the foot/endnotes are written forward, while they are inverted in the bibliography.


1. The University of Chicago Press, “The History of The Chicago Manual of Style,” University of Chicago Press, accessed August 4, 2014,

2. Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers, A Pocket Style Manual, 6th ed. (Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2012), 239.