CMS Basics


Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is a writing guidebook for formatting and documenting essays used primarily by historians. In 2010, the system was updated to reflect new standards in writing research essays and scholarly publications. Using CMS correctly increases your credibility as a writer and helps you avoid accidental incidents of plagiarism. The following guidelines reflect the note-bibliography (NB) method of citing sources, which is often preferred over the author-date (AD) citation method.

For more detailed CMS guidelines, consult the complete CMS handbook, available in the KSU Writing Center.

TIPS FOR USING CMS STYLE
  1. Double-space the entire paper, excluding your bibliography entries.
  2. Use one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and sides of every page. Left-align the text.
  3. CMS requires a title page that includes the title of your paper, your name, the course title, the instructor’s name, and the date, but many professors prefer a simplified version of these requirements.
  4. Use a header on every page (excluding the title page) that includes your last name and the page number placed in the upper right corner of the page. Do not number the title page, but count it in the numbering.
  5. Put all summaries and paraphrases in your own words.
  6. Cite all quotations and borrowed ideas. Limit your use of quotations to only the most essential language.
  7. When using quotes, enclose all borrowed language in quotation marks.
  8. Long quotations of five to ten typed lines should be indented one-half inch from the left margin.
  9. Double-space the quotation and do not use quotation marks.
  10. CMS uses footnote or endnote citation.
IN-TEXT NOTATION

Historian James McPherson asserts that the Confederate States of America, during the Civil War, were not only fighting for state sovereignty and right of secession but for “the Constitution as they interpreted it….” 23

FOOTNOTE OR ENDNOTE (N)

23. James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 310.

30. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, 421.

31. Ibid., 422.

BIBLIOGRAPHY (B)

McPherson, James. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1988.

Book

N: (Indent) Note Number. Author’s First and Last Names, Title of Book: Subtitle of Book (Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Date of Publication), XX-XX.

(Indent) 53. Shelby Foote, Chickamauga and Other Civil War Stories (New York: Dell Publishing Group, 1993), 41.

B: Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Date of Publication.

Foote, Shelby. Chickamauga and Other Civil War Stories. New York: Dell

Publishing Group, 1993.

Web Site

N: (Indent) Note Number. Author’s First and Last Names, “Title of Web Page,” Sponsor, date of modification or access, URL.

(Indent) 23. “Battle of Gettysburg,” The Civil War Home Page, accessed January 17, 2013, http://www.civil-war.net/pages/maps/gettysburg.jpg.

B: Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Web Page.” Sponsor. Date of modification or access. URL.

“Battle of Gettysburg.” The Civil War Home Page. Accessed January 17, 2013.

http://www.civil-war.net/pages/maps/gettysburg.jpg.

Article in an Online Journal

Note: Include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) if listed by the journal. If no DOI is available, list the URL.

N: (Indent) Note Number. Author’s First and Last Names, “Title of Article: Subtitle of Article,” Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Date of Publication): XX-XX, DOI or URL.

(Indent) 83. Alice Fahs, “The Sentimental Soldier in Popular Civil War Literature, 1861-65,” Civil War History 46, no. 2 (June 2000): 108, doi: 10.1353/cwh.2000.0040.

B: Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Article: Subtitle of Article.” Title of Journal Volume Number, Issue Number (Date of Publication): XX-XX. DOI or URL.

Fahs, Alice. “The Sentimental Soldier in Popular Civil War Literature, 1861
-65.” Civil War History 46, no. 2 (June 2000): 108. doi:
10.1353/cwh.2000.0040.

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