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Research: Chicago Referencing Style: Questions about Chicago style

Chicago is a referencing system that uses a noting technique. This guide is intended for IB Diploma Programme students.

What is the Chicago style?

Chicago style is a major writing style. If your teacher wants you to use a footnoting system of referencing, then Chicago is the main style to use.

Note that if your teacher wants you to use an "author/date" system, then APA and Harvard are major styles you can choose. If your teacher asks you to follow an author citation system, then use MLA. 

Just like the other major styles (e.g. APA, MLA) Chicago style is not just a guide or style of referencing, but a style guide for academic writing, formating, and many other details associated with technical or academic writing styles. However, referencing and citation are two major aspects of the style.

Just to recap on useful terms:

a citation is the method you use to identify where you have used a source of information in your text. 

a reference comprises the details used to identify a source of information. 

References build up to form a reference list or bibliography.

Don't forget, you need to cite and reference a source of information if you quote the source in your text. However, many people forget that you also need to cite and reference a source if you paraphrase the source, or just refer to a specific source of information in your writing. 

Styles of academic writing/referencing are updated from time to time, and the latest version of the Chicago style is the 16th edition.

Closely related to the Chicago style is the Turabian style (the latest version of this style is the 8th edition).

Below are details of useful books and ebook in the College Library Service that provide further information on Chicago and Turabian styles.


Footnotes or endnotes?

You can use either footnotes or endnotes.

Once you have chosen one citation technique (footnotes or endnotes), then you need to use this technique for the whole piece of work. 

You don't need footnotes and endnotes - choose one system only. 

Do you need to include a bibliography?

No, you don't need to include a bibliography, provided all the details required are found in the noting system used. 

However, your teacher may wish you to include a bibliography. Also, the Extended Essay guidelines require a bibliography (or some kind of comprehensive list of sources of information used in the essay).  

So, it is recommended that you include a bibliography at the end of your essay, when using Chicago style.

Because there are several options in the Chicago style, this Libguide contains several tabs with information about these options, i.e. using Chicago with footnotes, endnotes or notes and bibliography.



Can you use an online service to help you reference with Chicago style?

Yes, you can use either Easybib or RefMe.

There is a LibGuide about setting up Easybib here

In addition, MacWord has a citation/reference option, in which you can choose Chicago/Turabian as your reference style. 


What does the IB require?

The IB says that you (and your teacher) can choose a major style of referencing.

Once you have chosen a style, you need to be consistent in its use.

This means that in a piece of work, e.g. Extended Essay, TOK essay or IA, you need to stick with one style. In addition, you need to follow the style through. For example, if you use footnotes and have opted to use MLA, you're not being consistent in your use of MLA, as MLA requires you to follow an in-text system where the author of the source of information you use is given in parenthesis or brackets in the text - for example (Singh) or (Taylor). 

This applies to the option for footnoting or endnoting as well as the way the style you choose has rules for the way information in each reference is ordered.

College Academic Honesty policy

Using EasyBib or other tools

If you set up an account with EasyBib or BibMe through Google, you're subscribing to the free version of the tool, and they generally only offer one referencing style in the free version, and that is usually MLA. A number of students use the free version of these tools and generate MLA references, when they need to do Chicago style of referencing.

If this has happened to you, there are two options to help you:

1. The College has switched citation services from EasyBib to RefMe.  The free version of RefMe offers MLA, APA, and Chicago referencing styles.  

2.  See the librarian, who will suggest some strategies. 

Bibliography for this lib guide

The following items were used to compile this LibGuide:

Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. 

Turabian, Kate L. A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers. 8th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. 


This guide was created and maintained by Dr. Anthony Tilke, 2013-2015; curated by Kurt Wittig 2015-present.