Skip to Main Content

Citation Styles Guide

A Practical Guide for Using APA or MLA Format.

Chicago/Turabian Template Paper

Play the Chicago Showdown Citation Game!

Feeling like you've go the hang of it? Play this game from Williams College Libraries to see if you really know your citations.


Chicago/Turabian Format

Developed at the University of Chicago and later tweeked by Kate Turabian during her time as the University of Chicago graduate school dissertation secretary, this style is most widely used for research papers in the history field.

From Purdue OWL's Introduction to Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition:

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation and has been lovingly called the “editors’ bible.” The material in this resource focuses primarily on one of the two CMOS documentation styles: the Notes-Bibliography System (NB), which is used by those in literature, history, and the arts. The other documentation style, the Author-Date System, is nearly identical in content but slightly different in form and is preferred in the social sciences.

In addition to consulting The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) for more information, students may also find it useful to consult Kate L. Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th ed.). This manual, which presents what is commonly known as the "Turabian" citation style, follows the two CMOS patterns of documentation but offers slight modifications suited to student texts.

Citation Management Tools

Online citation builders are helpful when you are in a rush and have a small number of sources to manage. Typically, citations are not saved and cannot be exported to a word processor using the free versions of these tools. You can copy and paste a formatted citation into your document. Use the links below to try some free tools.

Citation software like Zotero and Endnote are more time consuming to learn but extremely useful for saving and organizing larger, more complex collections of sources and their citations. For smaller projects, you may consider emailing articles you've found to yourself as a means of archiving them.

No citation manager is perfect - though they are a great way to start, you should always double check to make sure your citations are correct.

Not sure what citation management software to use? Check out PennState's Citation Tools Comparison Chart to see how Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote, and Endnote Basic compare!