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What Professions Use the Chicago Manual of Style?

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The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS, also truncated as “Chicago-style”) is a style system that standardizes the format and layout of written publications. It’s primarily used in the United States, and it’s the preferred guideline of professions in the fields of art, science, humanities, history, religion, and social sciences. Knowing how to cite using the Chicago Manual of Style, therefore, is a required skill for anyone working or studying in these disciplines. That said, there are also Chicago Manual of Style freelancers available who specialize in the style’s use, and you can easily hire them on Guru if you need help applying the system to your work–whether you’re a student who’s still grasping the rules or a professional who wants to focus on the other tasks.

What Is the Chicago Manual of Style?

The Chicago Manual of Style is a style guide that establishes written standards of communication concerning the format, layout, and citation of books and publications.

The history of the CMOS spans over a century, beginning at the opening of the University of Chicago Press in 1891. At that time, professors would bring in their handwritten manuscripts to the Press’ compositors, who passed the proofs onto the “brainery,” or proofreaders, who would correct errors and edit for stylistic inconsistencies. To standardize the process, the staff created “the University Press stylebook and style sheet,” which was later passed on to the rest of the university community. The sheet grew into a pamphlet and was later developed into a book.

The CMOS is now in its 17th edition, with this latest version containing updates and expansions to accommodate changes in technology, source materials (e.g. online sources, such as YouTube), grammar, and usage. 

Who Uses the Chicago Manual of Style?

The Chicago Manual of Style is used in the disciplines of art, science, humanities, history, religion, and social sciences. Aside from writers, editors, and publishers, some of the professionals that follow it as a standard include:

  • Analysts
  • Archaeologists
  • Archivists
  • Curators
  • Designers
  • Directors
  • Economists
  • Geographers
  • Historians
  • Librarians
  • Psychologists
  • Researchers
  • Scientists
  • Teachers
  • Theologians

Why Use the Chicago Manual of Style?

Using the Chicago Manual of Style is advantageous for editors, writers, and readers alike. For editors, it simplifies the work of formats and layouts as there’s a structure to follow. The same is true for writers–CMOS also makes it easier for authors to organize their work.

Because CMOS is designed to be clean and thorough, it allows readers to understand texts more efficiently.

How to Use the Chicago Manual of Style Citation

Chicago Manual of Style citations can be written in two ways: the Notes-Bibliography (NB) style and the Author-Date style.

Notes and Bibliography Style

In the Notes and Bibliography style, citations are written as numbered footnotes or endnotes, each one corresponding to a superscript (or a raised number) in the main body. These sources are also usually accompanied by a separate bibliography.

The advantage of the NB style is that it can accommodate a wide variety of sources. Authors don’t need to worry about them overwhelming or not fitting neatly into the text; it’s the preferred CMOS citation style of those in the humanities discipline.

For books in NB style, the footnote or endnote format follows:

Author first name last name, Title of Book (Place of publication: publisher, year), page number(s).

Then, for the bibliography, it’s written as:

Author last name, first name. Title of Book. Place of publication: publisher, year.

Author-Date Style

The Author-Date style, which is sometimes referred to as the “Reference List” style, cites sources parenthetically in the text by the author’s last name and the year of publication. Each in-text citation matches up with an entry in a reference (or “Works Cited”) list, which provides the full information of the source.

In Author-Date style, the format for citing books in-text is:

(Author last name year, page number(s)).

For the reference list, write it as:

Author last name, first name. Year. Title of Book. Place of publication: publisher.

Hire a Chicago Manual of Style Specialist on Guru

The Chicago Manual of Style includes rules beyond just citations. Remembering and applying those rules accurately can be confusing and take a bit of work if you’re dealing with large bodies of text. If you need help, you can hire a freelance Chicago Manual of Style specialist on Guru who will ensure that you’re abiding by the guidelines and that your publication fits the standards in your field. Find the best CMOS specialist on Guru today!

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