Chicago refers to the Chicago Manual of Style, a guide published by the University of Chicago Press. It has been the predominate style guide in publishing for over 100 years.
Other styles you may have heard of are MLA, which is governed by the Modern Language Association and typically used in literature and humanities, or APA, which is governed by the American Psychological Association and typically used in the social sciences.
While the styles vary depending on the field they serve, each does serve the same purpose: to standardize writing and citations in order that readers and researchers may have an easier time reading and finding sources.
Chicago style uses footnotes and a bibliography to cite sources in your paper. This is probably different from the use of a separate Works Cited page you're used to with MLA style.
For more information, see our full Chicago Style Guide
If you are using Microsoft Word, many of the Chicago parameters are the default setting. However, it's always a good idea to check.
Be sure your margins are 1" on all sides.
Chicago doesn't specify a font, but Times New Roman, 12 pt. is recommended.
Be sure to double space.
The title page includes the title, centered horizontally and about one-third down the page, then skip several lines and type your name, class name, and date, also centered horizontally.
Include your Last Name and the page number in the upper-right margin for all pages after the title page.
Number consecutively. Indent the first line.
Single space each entry. Double space between entries.
Use full note citation the first time the title appears. In subsequent entries, use a shortened note citation.
In shortened notes, use shortened titles if the title is more than four words. The Civitas Anthology of African American Slave Narratives could be shortened to Civitas Anthology or Slave Narratives. [14.28]
Notes in text are superscript, numbered consecutively, and appear at the end of a sentence or phrase after the punctuation. [14.20 -23]
If the same source is noted twice or more, it gets a new number each time. If it immediately follows the other use ibid. and the new page numbers. [14.29]
Use a DOl when available. A DOl (digital object identifier) is a number assigned to an article at publication that will permanently identify that article. You can put a DOl into a DOl resolver to find the article (http://dx.doi.org).
Use a stable URL if there is no DOl. Many databases have a stable URL available, but it can be hard to find. In EBSCO databases, it is called permalink. In JSTOR, you find it on the results page under the item information tab. In Project Muse, just use the article URL.
Use the database name if there is no DOl or stable URL.
1. Salman Rushdie, The Ground beneath Her Feet (New York: Henry Holt, 1999), 25.
Work in an anthology
Chapter in an edited or multi-author book
Article in a database
1. Barbara Erhlich White, "Renoir's Trip to Italy," Art Bulletin 51, no. 4 (1969): 333-51, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3048651
Rushdie, Salman. The Ground beneath Her Feet. New York: Henry Holt, 1999.
Work in an anthology