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Citation Style: Chicago

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The Chicago Manual of Style is a set of citation rules created by the University of Chicago Press. This style is widely used in publishing, and is also used by other humanities and social sciences disciplines. For some examples, see the Citation Quick Guide from The Chicago Manual of Style Online. 

We keep a copy of the handbook at the Library Reference Desk at all three Reynolds campuses. 

Unlike the APA and MLA, The Chicago Manual of Style provides two alternative formats: the (1) Notes and Bibliography format and (2) the Author-Date format.  Consult with your instructor to determine which of the systems you should use.

  • NOTES & BIBLIOGRAPHY STYLE : The notes and bibliography system is preferred by many in the humanities, including those in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography. It accommodates a variety of sources, including esoteric ones less appropriate to the author-date system.
  • AUTHOR-DATE STYLE: The author-date system is used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and date of publication. The short citations are amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided.

Save time by using Microsoft Word to format the hanging indent:

[1] Select the text you would like to format (you can select your entire list of citations, for example, to format all at once)

[2] From the Home tab in Word, select the arrow next to Paragraph

[3] Next, under Special, select Hanging

[4] Click OK.  Your selected text will now be formatted with a hanging indent.

Important Note

Always check with your instructor on what format specifications to use for a particular class or assignment, especially when citing online resources including material found in library databases.


This guide was adapted from the Chicago Style 17 Edtion pages in the Citation Styles Playbook created by Piedmont Virginia Community College Library.