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OC Library Chicago Manual of Style Citation Guide

Introduction

OC Library provides online access to The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition).

Print copies are also available in the campus library Reference collections. 

This guide covers the most commonly cited types of sources and provides examples for types of sources that students frequently ask questions about. 

The Chicago Manual of Style offers two different systems for citation, and has created excellent quick guides for each:

Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guides in PDF.

  • The OC Library Guide for Chicago (Notes & Bibliography System) is available for download as a PDF.
  • The University of Alberta has generously made available its Chicago Citation Style QuickGuide (Author-Date System) for download as a PDF.   

Note: Chicago does not provide specific guidance on how to cite Indigenous Elders. 

Thanks to UBC Okanagan Library for permission to use and modify their Chicago Manual of Style Guide.

Why and When to Cite

The Chicago Manual offers this explanation for why we cite, "ethics, copyright laws and courtesy to readers require authors to identify the sources of direct quotations or paraphrases and of any facts or opinions not generally known or easily checked." 

For this reason, when we talk about citations, we're talking about two different instances, once in the body of our text -- In-text citations -- once at the end of our text -- the bibliography or reference list.

The OC Library Avoiding Plagiarism guide further explains why we cite.

Glossary of Terms

The Chicago Manual offers a full Glossary of terms used. The following selection of terms are commonly used throughout this guide:

Bibliography. A list of sources cited within the document that appears at the end of a document. This is used in the Notes and Bibliography system of Chicago. It is important to understand that some sources are only cited in notes and will not appear in the bibliography.

DOI. A digital object identifier, a persistent and unique number set to link back to that one resource located online. 

et. al. This means 'and others' in Latin. This phrase is often used to shorten long lists of author names to make citations easier to read. 

Notes: Endnotes and Footnotes. Notes are identified within the text of a document through superscript numbers that correspond to information about a source located either at the end of the document (Endnotes), or at the bottom of the page (Footnotes). Notes often contain explanatory information about a source as well as the citation details of that source. These are used in the Notes and Bibliography system of Chicago. A shortened note version is also used to prevent unnecessary duplication of citation details.

Parenthetical / in-text. These words are used to describe citation information that appears within the text of the document. These citation details are contained within (parentheses) and provide a shortened version of the full citation information found in the reference list. These are used in the Author-Date system of Chicago.

Reference List. A list of sources cited within the document that appears at the end of a document. This is used in the Author-Date system of Chicago and contains all sources cited in parenthetical references within the document.

URL. A uniform resource locator, a link to a resource located online. It can be updated over time and often not considered to be persistent, although examples of permanent URLs do exist. 

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