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The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) Introduction


The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) of documentation is typically used in the humanities, but is also used in a variety of other disciplines. The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition provides all the rules for citing sources of information in your essay and the proper format for the bibliography. For all essays and reports, you are required to document (acknowledge) all sources of information you use in your essay. CMOS requires the following:
  • Note number: A superscript number (example: 1) is used in the body of the essay to show where information from a source has been used. The note number should be placed near the information it is documenting or at the end of the sentence following the punctuation.
  • Note: The superscript number corresponds to either an entry at the bottom of the page (footnotes) or at the end of the essay (endnotes). These notes contain all the information needed (including page numbers) to allow another researcher to find the same information. Notes are numbered consecutively and are given a unique number (even if a source is used more than once). Use regular numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, …), not Roman numerals or letters.
  • Bibliography: At the end of the essay, the Bibliography or References list all sources alphabetically by the surname of the first author's.

General Format

The following links provide guidelines of the common rules of CMOS style of citation and referencing.
Tip: Always check with your professor which style of citation and referencing is required. There are variations in CMOS. This guide provides an overview of Notes-Bibliography style of CMOS. For more information go to the Ontario Tech University Library or consult the CMOS website:

The information about CMOS on this website is a compilation of the information from many sources, including the CMOS website and Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 7th Edition. Please view the official CMS website for more information:

For more information on citation material, visit the Library website and Purdue OWL website.

The University of Alberta also has two Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition Quick Guides for the Notes-Bibliography System and the Author-Date System. Another Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide can be accessed from Simon Fraser University.