The Chicago style of referencing presents two basic documentation systems: (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date. Choosing between the two often depends on subject matter and the nature of sources cited, as each system is favoured by different groups of scholars. Always make sure to check with your subject supervisor or your lecturer to see which method of Chicago referencing you should be using.
The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in the humanities, including those in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography. It accommodates a variety of sources, including esoteric ones less appropriate to the author-date system.
The author-date system has long been used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and date of publication. The short citations are amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided.
Aside from the use of notes versus parenthetical references in the text, the two systems share a similar style.
The Chicago Manual of Style is the official website of this style, and is also probably the most useful for both learning how to cite correctly and create a full biography and reference list. Within this website there is;
- A citation quick guide
- A Chicago Referencing Q and A
- The University of York's Chicago referencing guide contains useful information on the most commonly used sources.
- The Purdue Owl is also a useful website.