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Chicago 17 Resource Center: About CMS



About this Guide

Always refer to the Chicago Manual of Style for authorized examples of citations.

Always ask your instructor for specific directions pertaining to your assignment.

Thanks to TRU Libraries for their Chicago Manual of Style guide, which serves as a foundation for this content. Additional content in this guide is taken from the Chicago Manual; others have been developed by GHC librarians.

Differences Between the Styles

You may be familiar with APA or MLA, but not Chicago. Here's a quick chart showing you the differences!

MLA 9, APA 7, Chicago 17 brief examples

Chicago calls the list of references at the end of your paper a BIBLIOGRAPHY. Each citation style has subtle differences in the way it formats this list. It's up to you to check those details as you work through citing your sources!

The In-Text Footnote Number

The big difference between Chicago and APA or MLA is how it formats its in-text citations. When you use the Chicago NOTES-BIB format, you do not use a parenthetical citation. Instead, you use a footnote number in your paper, like this example from the chart above:

The way a child develops may be impacted by nutrition.1 This is why parents and guardians should ensure healthy meals for the children under their care.

The number 1 in the example here corresponds to the footnote at the bottom of the paper. (PROTIP: All word processing tools like Word and Google Docs can automatically insert footnote numbers and footnotes in your paper. Check out the resources on this page for how to use them!)

The Footnote

The footnote at the bottom will look like this: 

1. Stephanie Dimov et al., “Diet Quality and Mental Health Problems in Late Childhood,” Nutritional Neuroscience 24, no. 1 (January 2021): 66, doi:10.1080/1028415X.2019.1592288.

Take a look at how closely it resembles a reference citation. There are two major differences:

  1. The author's name is not inverted. Instead it's FirstName LastName. If there are more than four authors, et al is used in place of the other author names.
  2. Where periods are used to indicate different "parts" of the Bibliography citation, the footnote uses commas.
The Citation

Now compare the footnote to the citation in the Bibliography:

Dimov, Stefanie, Lisa K. Mundy, Jordana K. Bayer, Felice N. Jacka, Louise Canterford, and George C. Patton. “Diet Quality and Mental Health Problems in Late Childhood.” Nutritional Neuroscience 24, no. 1 (January 2021): 62–70. doi:10.1080/1028415X.2019.1592288.


For more examples, check out the other resources on this page!

Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Manual of Style Guides at the Library
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