Documenting Using the Chicago Citation Method
Chicago style (CSM) also known as Tarabian is often noted as the "editor's bible". There are two forms: note-bibliography system and author-date system. Our emphasis will be on the note-bibliography system since it is more beneficial to instructors.
Who uses this form?
The notes-bibliography system is commonly used by scholars in literature, history, and the arts. Humanities and literature scholars who wish to publish in the field will benefit from the notes-bibliography form of citation since it is commonly used to reference sources via footnotes or end-note citations. It is also useful to note that history uses this form exclusively.
The second form of Chicago style, the author-date system, is used commonly by the social sciences, biological sciences, and lab sciences. Due to the similarities between this form and APA, the author-style system will not be addressed here.
Why should I use this form? MLA is easier!
There are many misconceptions regarding Chicago style. In reality Chicago and MLA citation forms are quite similar. Both utilize the same information within the citation itself. Obviously, the citation is located at the bottom of the page where the source is referenced, but Chicago eliminates the need for an in-text citation, replacing it with a number, which can be placed at the end of the referenced clause or at the end of the sentence.
This form also allows for the use of footnotes, which means you can elaborate or comment on a given quote, paraphrase, or summary within the text without impeding on the current discussion within the text. MLA won't let you do that!
A bibliography is used in place of a works cited page, but again the information is the same as that found in an MLA citation.
Despite its exotic reputation, the Chicago style citation method is a necessary tool to learn and is not as intimidating as it appears to be at first glance. All it takes is a little practice and it will become second nature as quickly as MLA.
Where Do I Find Resources?
There are several resources available for Chicago style. One of the best remains the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) at https://owl.english.purdue.edu. The Purdue OWL can assist in the formatting and documentation of paper using Chicago style. The writing lab can also provide feedback on papers, but again the turn around time can be a few days or more.
There are a number of reference handbooks available for Chicago style. One of the best currently on the market is A Pocket Style Manual (6th Edition), also known as The Hacker Handbook. This is a handy pocket style reference manual, which provides concise information on how to format a paper and cite sources using Chicago.
Learning in the Classroom:
Although Chicago style is used primarily by scholars seeking to publish in their fields, Chicago style is often utilized in history and political science courses as well. Students wishing to major in either of those fields will need to become accustomed to this method of citation. It is recommended that students wishing to major in either of these fields format and cite their papers using this method.