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Citations - CMS: General


CMS has two documentation styles:

Author-Date System (AD)

Notes-Bibliography System (NB)

Ask your instructor which one they require then select the appropriate tab on this guide.


Formatting Microsoft Word for CMS


What is CMS?

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation and has been lovingly called the “editors’ bible.”

When to use CMS?

There is two CMS documentation styles:

1. Notes-Bibliography System (NB), which is used by those in humanitiesliterature, history, and the arts.

Reference sources through footnote or endnote citations in their writing and through bibliography pages. It also offers writers an outlet for commenting on those cited sources. The NB system is most commonly used in the discipline of history.

‚Äč2. Author-Date System, is nearly identical in content but slightly different in form and is preferred in the social/sciences. 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.

What is a Citation?

A "citation" is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again, including:

  • Information about the author.
  • Title of the work.
  • Name and location of the company that published your copy of the source.
  • Date your copy was published.
  • Page numbers of the material you are borrowing.

Why Cite?

Giving credit to the original author by citing sources is the only way to use other people's work without plagiarizing. But there are a number of other reasons to cite sources:

  • Citations are extremely helpful to anyone who wants to find out more about your ideas and where they came from.
  • Not all sources are good or right -- your own ideas may often be more accurate or interesting than those of your sources. Proper citation will keep you from taking the rap for someone else's bad ideas.
  • Citing sources shows the amount of research you've done.
  • Citing sources strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas.

When to Cite?

Whenever you borrow words or ideas, you need to acknowledge their source. The following situations almost always require citation:

  • Quotations.
  • Paraphrasing.
  • Using an idea that someone else has already expressed.
  • Making specific reference to the work of another.
  • Someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas.

"What is a Citation?." iParadigms, LLC, 2015. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.

CMA Links

Ways to electronically generate citations:

Always double check the created citation with CMS Guide - How do I Cite tab

Navigate to the following resources for examples on in-text citations and your reference/bibliographic page.  

NB = Notes Bibliographic

AD = Author Date


The Chicago Manuel of Style Online - Notice the tabs for NB & AD.

The Graduate Student

  • Footnotes
  • Endnotes
  • Reference Page

Purdue - Select the source type from the menu on the left.

  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Web Sources
  • Film and Television
  • Interviews and Personal Communication
  • Lectures and Presentations
  • Public and Unpublished Materials

Purdue Citation Style Chart (MLA, APA, CMS): Purdue Quick Reference Chart

Reference Sources

This guide is used/adapted from The Chicago Manual of Style Online and Purdue University Online Writing Guide. 

Note: When copying this guide, please retain this box.