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How to apply Chicago style properly

As you already know, there are many citation styles and when you are asked to complete a written assignment, you are usually given a task to apply a particular one. Some styles are easy and have only a few rules, while others are complicated and require more time. One of such styles is Chicago, so many students find it difficult to remember all the rules.

In this article, we will try to explain all the peculiarities of the sixteenth update of this style to give you a chance to complete any assignment with a Chicago formatting without any complications.

Definition of the style

The latest update of the Chicago style was presented back in 2010 and since then we have been waiting for a seventeenth edition, which may contain lots of innovations. However, in this article we will concentrate on the sixteenth update to help you throughout the way.

The abbreviation of Chicago Manual of Style is CMS and is applied to most of the subjects, including manuscripts, specifications and all sorts of publications. It is even called an editing Bible, so every student, who completes a research, should be familiar with this style.

The two systems, CMS deals with, are:
  1. Bibliography and notes;
  2. Author – date.

Actually, these two aspects are quite the same but are applied depending on the topic. The first one is usually used for literature, art or history works and the second – for scientific or social tasks. Below we will try to give you a full information on both of them.

How to complete notes and bibliography (NB)

For those students, who are familiar with humanities, it may be very simple to understand all of the peculiarities of the NB Chicago system. To say in few words, it gives tools and rules on how to properly cite references and sources you have used in your work.

It is possible to cite them in-text or on a separate bibliographic page. In addition, there is an outlet, where you can reference everything on your own.

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The main thing you need to remember is that notes or so-called footnotes are an essential part of your work and you need to include them every time you add a quote, a reference or any other source usage in your work. These footnotes need to be placed at the end of the page, where this reference appears.

Endnotes are the same references but placed at the end of the whole assignment. It works for all the sources without exceptions.

Proper formatting

Finally, we have come to the most important and complicated part of a Chicago style formatting. The first thing you need to do is to add all the necessary information on the author:

  1. First or full name if possible;
  2. Title of the publication;
  3. Additional features.

If you want to publish several quotes from the same source, you can simply place author’s last name, number of pages and a short title. For example:

A single author:
  1. Amy Winberg, The Guideline: How to Complete Proper Chicago Style formatting (Los Angeles: Rangers, 2007), 45-46.
  2. Winberg, The Guideline, 19. Los Angeles: Rangers, 2007.

  3. Winberg Amy, The Guideline: How to Complete Proper Chicago Style formatting.

Several authors:
  1. Stephen Seagull and Miguel Rodrigues, The Guide: How to become a super dad ( NY Publishing, 1997), 57.
  2. Seagull and Rodrigues, The Guide, 67-69.

  3. Stephen Seagull, Miguel Rodrigues. The Guide: How to become a super dad, NY Publishing, 1997.

When you need to cite the same publication twice or more on the same page, you should add an abbreviation ‘Ibid’, which means ‘at the same place’ in Latin. You can also use this abbreviation to cite the same title and just add page numbers, separated with commas.

Don’t forget to start notes (both foot- and end- ones) with current numbers, followed with periods.

What you need to know about bibliography

If you know what a reference list is, you won’t have any troubles with a bibliography, as it is the same thing. It is a page, where you need to list all the used sources, like books, publications, magazines and web pages in an alphabetic order.

Start this page with a single word ‘Bibliography’, centered and properly styled. Also mind that it should be placed at the end of your whole paper if you don’t include an index page.

You need to remember that you must add every cited source to your bibliography page. Sometimes you may even be required to add sources that weren’t referenced but had impact on your research.

The main thing to remember when listing used sources is that they need to be used in an alphabetic order, starting with the first letter of the last name. If the author is unknown, use first letter of a title.

How to format

Here are some tips, which will help you to complete a bibliography page:
  1. All of the elements should be listed in an alphabetic order. This refers to the name of the author, title of the source and additional details;
  2. Names. The main name is not the first one but the last. Both of them should be separated by a comma and the line should always start with the author’s first name;
  3. Title of the source. All the titles need to be italicized. However, names of articles, chapters or poems should be used in quotation marks;
  4. Release date. The publication year is crucial and should always be included to your work;
  5. Every part of your reference should be divided with periods.

How to use academic language

An academic language is a formal way to convey your thoughts and ideas to the public. That is why it has specific features, which should be carefully taken into account. The main thing is that you should always be objective without taking anyone’s sides. Here are the things you need to avoid:

  1. Personal pronouns. They make the whole paper personal and you may not sound professional or academic. Try to avoid such pronouns to always stay objective and clear;
  2. Contractions, which are a distinguishing feature of an informal paper. Always avoid them;
  3. So- called ‘run on expressions’. These are phrases, like ‘so on’, which aim to complete sentences. However, they sound inappropriate and fill in the text with meaningless words;
  4. Colloquialisms. These are phrases and words, which we use in communication and daily speech. They should also be avoided in your academic paper;
  5. Rhetorical questions. Don’t confuse the reader, as your academic assignment should also be clear and straight to the point.

Setting a proper tone for your academic paper is probably the most difficult task and even famous writers and publishers use services of editors to make their academic publication smooth and clear. If you also want to sound as professional, as possible, just follow our posts and we guarantee you will significantly improve your skills.

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