Chicago Style Guide
Documentation and formatting is an important part of best academic writing. Numerous styles of formatting and documenting papers are in existence today. A good example is the Chicago style guide. Chicago style guide was developed in 1906 by the University of Chicago. It is mainly used in writing book publications but some times this style is also applied in writing academic papers such as essays, terms papers, research papers, thesis and dissertations.
There are several features that distinguish Chicago style guide papers from other papers written using other writing styles. One of these features in the method of documenting sources. The Chicago manual guide allows the use of two methods of documenting sources. The first is the note/ bibliography system. The note/ bibliography system involves citing sources inside texts by use markers. The Chicago style guide defines markers as hypertext or raised numbers that are placed at the end of the sentence that contain ideas from the sources. Whenever, an idea from an external source is mentioned in the sentence a raised Arabic number is placed at the end of the sentence. The numbers are sequentially placed through out the papers.
The Chicago writing style markers are then accompanied by footnotes at the end of the page or endnotes at the end of a division. The footnotes and endnotes generally contain additional information for the sources that are represented inside texts by use of markers. Each footnote entry corresponds to a marker and provides bibliographic information of the source being represented by the marker. This information includes; the authors name, year of publication and the title of the source among other. Information included in the Chicago style guide footnotes and endnotes is then reflected in the bibliography page at the end of the paper. The Chicago style guide bibliography provides additional information concerning the sources referenced inside the paper. Sources are listed in the bibliography page in alphabetical order following the surname of the author. The note/bibliography system of documenting sources is popular among the fields of history and literature.
The second documentation option provided by the Chicago style guide is the author/ date system. The author date system entails documenting of sources inside text by use parenthetical entries. In the parenthetical entries the surname of the author and the materials date of publication are enclosed in parenthesis and placed at the end of sentences containing ideas from the source. Incases where the two or three authors exists the surnames of all the authors is included in parenthesis together with the date of publication of the material. Where more than three authors are involved, the Chicago style guide author date system permits the inclusion of the surname of only one author followed by the phrase “et al” then followed by the date of publication. In cases where the author of the material is not known the first few world of the material’s title may replace the author’s surname inside the parenthesis.
The sources cited inside text by use of parenthesis are then reflected at the back of the page in the Chicago style guide list of references. The list of reference provides the bibliographic information of the materials cited inside text. These include the surname of the author followed by the initial of the first name, date of publication of the material, title, place of publication in case of a book and the publisher. Where electronic sources are involved the information on place of publication and the publisher is replaced by the URL of the site where the material was found and the date of accessing the material. While making a journal entry the information concerning place of publication and publisher is replaced by the name of the journal, volumes and the issue number of the journal. Entries into the Chicago style guide reference page are also listed in alphabetical order. The author date system is popular in the fields of social sciences.
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