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The Chicago Manual of Style presents two basic documentation systems: (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date. Choosing between the two often depends on subject matter and the nature of sources cited, as each system is favored by different groups of scholars.
The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in the humanities, including those in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography. It accommodates a variety of sources, including esoteric ones less appropriate to the author-date system.
The author-date system has long been used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and date of publication. The short citations are amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided.
Provides information on manuscript preparation, punctuation, spelling, quotations, captions, tables, abbreviations, references, bibliographies, notes, and indexes, with sections on journals and electronic media.
This manual has a three-part structure, beginning with an overview of the steps in the research and writing process, including formulating questions, reading critically, building arguments, and revising drafts. Part II provides an overview of citation practices with detailed information on the two main scholarly citation styles (notes-bibliography and author-date), an array of source types with contemporary examples, and detailed guidance on citing online resources. The final section treats all matters of editorial style, with advice on punctuation, capitalization, spelling, abbreviations, table formatting, and the use of quotations. Style and citation recommendations have been revised throughout to reflect the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.
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The online writing lab at Purdue has an excellent explanation of the general Chicago Style guidelines as well as citation examples. The Chicago Style guidelines on Purdue OWL are also supplemented with information from Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations