( FREE E-BOOK )
How to Write Clear, Readable, Effective Sentences that Readers Love!
( DOWNLOAD NOW! )
( Sponsor Ads )
StyleWriter - the world's largest style and usage checker, makes it easy to write error-free, plain English copy.
Creative Writing Software - Best-selling fiction writing software and story-development tools to help you write your next story or novel.
THE PARTS OF SPEECH [ ? ]
MISUSED ENGLISH WORDS
( GO BACK TO TOP )
Understanding Chicago Manual of Style Before You Start Your College Paper
by Peter Gallagher
Before you begin your thesis paper or dissertation, you must know what style in which to cite your sources and format your paper. College and university students can choose from a handful of styles, but the one style that your professor will most likely choose is Chicago Manual of Style. Although Chicago Style works for most academic papers, your professor may also decide that a different style is more ideal, such as APA Style, MLA Style, or AP Style. MLA Style, for instance, works effectively with in liberal arts studies, and APA Style works splendidly with psychological studies. Think of Chicago Style as a versatile alternative for developing your college paperit offers you many refined style and layout options.
Chicago Style demands that you obey a number of rules for formatting, citing and listing sources, and adding "front" and "back" matter. Initially it feels very intimidating trying to obey these rules (because there are so many). The official handbook of Chicago Style is over 900 pages (yikes!). No human can dissect these pages and learn every rule for every different situation. The good news is that many of the simple, basic rules are repetitive, making it much easier to adhere to Chicago Style. Most teachers in high school choose Chicago Style for their students because it is an easier style to learn. In this article I will help you understand Chicago Style and its main purpose as it applies to your paper.
I. THE ORIGIN OF CHICAGO STYLE MANUAL OF STYLE
The University of Chicago Press manages the standards and rules for Chicago Style. The principal handbook dedicated to Chicago Style is called "The Chicago Manual of Style," which you may see shortened as CMS or CMOS. The University of Chicago Press produced the original Chicago Style Manual in 1906.
The Chicago Style Manual offers guidance and criteria for every parts of writing; it is not confined to producing formal and academic papers. This handbook offers pointers and rules on English grammar, proper use of acronyms, and correct punctuation. Besides the printed version, you can visit the organization's website www.chicagomanualofstyle.org for additional information.
Chicago Style also has a second handbook called "A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations," written by Kate L. Turabian. You will often hear that Turabian Style and Chicago Style are one in the same style because they have identical but slightly refined rules. Kate Turabian worked as the disquisition assistant at the University of Chicago for nearly thirty years. She developed the Turabian Manual as a supplement to the Chicago Style Manual. The Turabian Manual was created to provide students with a census of rules and standards to observe for different writing assignments. The first Turabian Manual was published as a handout that Kate Turabian developed in the 1930s, explaining the precise style for formatting a thesis or dissertation. The Turabian Manual is still widely used. Kate Turabian died in 1987.
Turabian Style and Chicago Style are nearly similar, which is why professors often refer to them in combination. Turabian Style permits use of footnotes for citing sources, which splits it from other styles on creating formal papers. Papers that adhere to Chicago Style typically are less formal papers not designed for publication. However, Chicago Style is versatile enough to deal with practically any style of paper, including a research paper, essay, report, thesis or dissertation.
II. BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR PAPER
With any academic paper, the research process is the solution to develop a strong, error-free paper. While executing your research, do yourself a favor and record all sources that you use. Any quote or idea that you pluck from a source, you must inform your readers about the source. The information that each source needs will vary, according to the source publication; however, nearly every citation must have (at minimum): 1) the name of the author, 2) the title of the article, 3) the name of the publication, 4) the date of the publication, and 5) the pages containing the source material.
For more detailed rules that I did not address here, you may want to refer to my other articles at this website or access the many free university-sponsored websites devoted to writing and formatting in Chicago Style.
© Peter Gallagher, Brian Scott, LousyWriter.com