The Chicago Manual of Style presents two basic documentation systems. Choosing between the two often depends on subject matter and nature of sources cited, as each system is favored by different groups of scholars.Click on the styles to access the Chicago Manual's online guide.
The Notes and Bibliography style: used by History, Literature and the Arts.
The Notes and Bibliography style (also known as the Humanities style) is preferred by many in literature, history, and the arts. This style uses a system of notes, whether footnotes or endnotes or both, and usually a bibliography. The notes allow space for unusual types of sources as well as for commentary on the sources cited, making this system extremely flexible. Because of this flexibility, the notes and bibliography system is preferred by many writers in literature, history, and the arts.
The Author-Date style: used by Physical, Natural and Social Sciences.
The Author-Date style 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.
The Chicago and Turabian styles are nearly identical.
Kate Turabian, the dissertation secretary at the University of Chicago for over 30 years, developed her guide for students and researchers writing papers, theses, and dissertations. Her manual is based on the University of Chicago Press's Manual of Style and departs from it in few places. "Turabian," as her guide is called, synthesizes the rules most important for students' papers and other scholarly research not intended for publication, and omits some of the publishing details and options that "Chicago" provides.