Writing@CSU Guide

Citation Guide: Chicago Manual of Style (Notes System)

The CMS style documentation system is used in both the humanities and the social sciences. A bit more complex than either the MLA or the APA, it offers two approaches for documenting sources: 1) a notes system and, 2) an author/date system similar to the APA. This guide explains the notes system. A separate guide explains the Chicago Manual of Style (Author/Date System). Inserted at the point of reference, superscripted numbers interact with sequentially numbered footnotes listed at the bottom of a page or endnotes listed at the end of the document.

These notes replace the types of end documentation found in both the MLA and APA systems, though it is advised that a bibliography accompany any document containing numerous notes regardless of their location. Check with your instructor on what is expected when you are asked to use this style.

This guide is largely based on style recommendations from the 14th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, however, you may also wish to consult the 6th edition of Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). In it you will find many corresponding or similar documentation patterns.

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