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Quick Tips On How To Write A Research Paper Using The Chicago Format

If you write a research paper in history or other humanities (literature, arts), you’ll be required to use the formatting of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). The main emphasis in this manual is put on the citation methods. Citation is an essential element of a research paper. You’ll use different sources while writing it and you should make references to them in order not to be accused of plagiarism.

The Chicago format has two main styles: a notes and bibliography system (NB) and an author-date system. The first one is usually used in the humanities and history and characterized by the use of footnotes at the page bottom. The second one is employed in natural and social sciences and uses endnotes that are placed on a separate page at the end of the paper. Students generally prefer the NB system, as the footnotes take up much text space.

General remarks on structure:

  • CMS leaves up to you the choice of a format. You can invent your own structure; but make sure your text is coherent.
  • If your paper is rather lengthy, use the subheadings and include the table of contents.

Organization of Notes

When you introduce information taken from a particular source (either a quote or summarized text) you should create a footnote for it.

  • Add a superscript number at the end of cited material.
  • Provide the full-size number followed by a period at the bottom of the page. Include full bibliographic information in the first footnote. The numbers of pages used should also be identified.
  • Next time you need to cite the same source, write only the author’s last name, the shortened to four words title, and page numbers.
  • If the footnote repeats the information of the previous note, use a Latin abbreviation “Ibid.”, meaning “in the same place”. If the information is taken from the same source but different page, put a comma after “Ibid.” and write the number of page.

Organization of Bibliography

The bibliography is a list of cited sources organized in alphabetical order by author’s last name. It is written on a separate page at the end of your paper. Each element of the bibliography should include the author’s surname, title, and publication details (the publisher and the year of publication). Write the titles of books and names of periodicals in italics. If you want to refer to the electronic source you used that also exists in printed version, write the full information about it and then add a DOI or URL after colon.

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