The Chicago Manual of Style

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Title page of the first edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (1906)
The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition

The Chicago Manual of Style (abbreviated in writing as CMS or CMOS [the version used on its website], or, by some writers as Chicago) is a style guide for American English published since 1906 by the University of Chicago Press. Its sixteen editions have prescribed writing and citation styles widely used in publishing. It is "one of the most widely used and respected style guides in the United States."[1] CMOS deals with aspects of editorial practice, from American English grammar and use to document preparation.

Availability and usage

The Chicago Manual of Style is published in hardcover and online. The online edition includes the searchable text of both the fifteenth and sixteenth—its most recent—editions with features such as tools for editors, a citation guide summary, and searchable access to a Q&A, where University of Chicago Press editors answer readers' style questions. The Chicago Manual of Style also discusses the parts of a book and the editing process. An annual subscription is required for access to the online content of the Manual. (Access to the Q&A, however, is free, as well as to various editing tools.)

The Chicago Manual of Style is used in some social science publications and most historical journals. It remains the basis for the Style Guide of the American Anthropological Association and the Style Sheet for the Organization of American Historians. Many small publishers throughout the world adopt it as their style.

The Chicago Manual of Style includes chapters relevant to publishers of books and journals. It is used widely by academic and some trade publishers, as well as editors and authors who are required by those publishers to follow it. Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is based on the Manual.

Chicago style offers writers a choice of several different formats. It allows the mixing of formats, provided that the result is clear and consistent. For instance, the fifteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style permits the use of both in-text citation systems and/or footnotes or endnotes, including use of "content notes"; it gives information about in-text citation by page number (such as MLA style) or by year of publication (like APA style); it even provides for variations in styles of footnotes and endnotes, depending on whether the paper includes a full bibliography at the end. [2]


Author-date citations

Author-date citations are placed after the segments they support in the body of the work. They are usually placed just inside a mark of punctuation (Example Author, 2013). An exception is at the end of a block quotation, where the citation is placed outside the punctuation.[3]

Footnote citations to journal articles

Following is an example of a citation to an online journal article that is used as a footnote.[3]

Coloring is for demonstration purpose, and is not used in actual formatting.

James M. Heilman, and Andrew G. West. "Wikipedia and Medicine: Quantifying Readership, Editors, and the Significance of Natural Language." Journal of Medical Internet Research 17, no. 3 (2015). doi:10.2196/jmir.4069.


What now is known as The Chicago Manual of Style was first published in 1906 under the title Manual of Style: Being a compilation of the typographical rules in force at the University of Chicago Press, to which are appended specimens of type in use. From its first 203-page edition,[4] the CMOS evolved into a comprehensive reference style guide of 1,026 pages in its sixteenth edition.[1] It was one of the first editorial style guides published in the United States, and it is largely responsible for research methodology standardization, notably citation style.

The most significant revision to the manual was made for the twelfth edition, published in 1969. Its first printing of 20,000 copies sold out before it was printed.[5] In 1982, with the publication of the thirteenth edition, it was officially retitled The Chicago Manual of Style adopting the informal name already in widespread use.[5]

More recently, the publishers have released a new edition about every ten years. The fifteenth edition was revised to reflect the emergence of computer technology and the internet in publishing, offering guidance for citing electronic works. Other changes included a chapter by Bryan A. Garner on American English grammar and use,[6] and a revised treatment of mathematical copy.[7]

In August 2010, the sixteenth edition was published simultaneously in the hardcover and online editions for the first time in the Manual's history. In a departure from the trademark red-orange cover, the sixteenth edition featured a robin's-egg blue dust jacket (a nod to older editions with blue jackets, such as the eleventh and twelfth). The sixteenth edition features "music, foreign languages, and computer topics (such as Unicode characters and URLs)".[1] It also offers expanded recommendations for producing electronic publications, including web-based content and e-books. An updated appendix on production and digital technology demystifies the process of electronic workflow and offers a primer on the use of XML markup. It also included a revised glossary, including a host of terms associated with electronic and print publishing. The Chicago system of documentation is streamlined to achieve greater consistency between the author-date and notes-bibliography systems of citation, making both systems easier to use. In addition, updated and expanded examples address the many questions that arise when documenting online and digital sources, from the use of DOIs to citing social networking sites. Figures and tables are updated throughout the book, including a return to the Manual's popular hyphenation table and new, selective listings of Unicode numbers for special characters.

In 2013, an adapted Spanish version was published by the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain.[8]

History of editions

  • First Edition, 1906
  • Second Edition, 1910
  • Third Edition, 1911
  • Fourth Edition, 1914
  • Fifth Edition, 1917
  • Sixth Edition, 1919
  • Seventh Edition, 1920
  • Eighth Edition, 1925
  • Ninth Edition, 1927
  • Tenth Edition, 1937
  • Eleventh Edition, 1949
  • Twelfth Edition, 1969
  • Thirteenth Edition, 1982
  • Fourteenth Edition, 1993
  • Fifteenth Edition, 2003
  • Sixteenth Edition, 2010

Recent printed editions

  • University of Chicago (2003). The Chicago Manual of Style (fifteenth ed.). Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-10403-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • University of Chicago (2010). The Chicago Manual of Style (sixteenth ed.). Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-10420-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 David Spencer, "Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition", Type Desk, February 15, 2011. Accessed March 16, 2011.
  2. "Why Are There Different Citation Styles?". Yale College Writing Center. Retrieved 2014-06-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition), University of Chicago Press, section 15.25 and 15.27
  4. Manual of Style: Being a Compilation of the Typographical Rules in Force at the University of Chicago Press. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1906, 203.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The History of the Chicago Manual of Style", University of Chicago Press, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  6. Geoffrey K. Pullum, "The Chicago Manual of Style – and Grammar", Language Log, February 2, 2005. Accessed February 12, 2012.
  7. What’s New in the Fifteenth Edition of The Chicago Manual of Style at the Wayback Machine (archived February 17, 2009)
  8. Manual de Estilo Chicago-Deusto. Edición adaptada al español

External links