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Chicago Research Paper Formatting

What is Chicago?

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) presents two basic documentation systems: (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date. Choosing between the two often depends on what your professor requests. Here is an explanation of the differences: 

Notes and Bibliography: Commonly used in the humanitiessources are cited in numbered footnotes or endnotes. Each note corresponds to a raised (superscript) number in the text. Sources are also usually listed in a separate bibliography.

Author-date: Commonly used in the sciences and social sciences,  sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and year of publication. Each in-text citation matches up with an entry in a reference list, where full bibliographic information is provided.

Turabian style follows the CMOS patterns of documentation with slight modifications suited toward student texts.

 Please check out the Chicago 17th Template & Paper Sample tab for a template of each style! 

Terminology When Searching the Databases

Assignment Guidelines and/or Rubric: What is required in the assignment or how the assignment will be graded. Read these before searching. The assignment guidelines/rubric will tell you what limits to apply and what type of research material you need to use in the assignment. Refer back to the assignment guidelines/rubric frequently. 

Full Text: Allows you to read the complete article 

Peer Reviewed: Finds articles that have gone through a peer review process prior to publication, which indicates quality research. May also be called scholarly articles or refereed articles. 

Publication Date: Allows you to limit a search by date range. Read your assignment guidelines to determine if you need to use this limit. May need to go to the Advanced Search in a database to find this limit. 

Advanced Search: Allows you to add additional limits not found on the Basic Search page

Permalink: A stable link that lets you return to that page. When searching in the databases, look for a permalink to save the page. Saving the link at the top of the page or bookmarking the page will not work, and you could lose your resource(s). 


Cite/Citation: This symbol varies depending on what database you are using. Make sure to choose the correct citation style (e.g. MLA Style, APA Style, Chicago Style) for your assignment. Also, these automatically-generated citations are not necessarily correct. Check it using Polk State Libraries' Citing Sources guide. 

Email: This symbol lets you email the article (does not need to be your school email). Also, depending on the database, sometimes you can specify if you want the automatically-generated citation included with the article. It is a good idea to check your email to make sure you received the article before closing out of the browser. 


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