Wednesday, November 6, 2019
An Introduction to the Chicago Manual of Style
An Introduction to the Chicago Manual of Style If you dont work in a field like professional academia, publishing, or research, style guides can read a little obsessive. Groups like the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA) and University of Chicago publish thousands of rules on formatting, grammar, usage, and source acknowledgement for academic writing and publishing, and they get nitty-gritty. In a Chicago-style citation note, for instance, If a symbol rather than a number is used Ã¢â¬ ¦ the symbol appears as a superscript in the text but not in the note, where it is not followed by a period but may be followed by a space, as long as this is done consistently (The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., 14.24).But in certain fields, minutiae help. CollegeScholarships.org reports that in academic writing, how you present your information Ã¢â¬ ¦ is often seen as [being as] important as the ideas you are putting forth. The genre has rigid attribution requirements and relies heavily on precision, clarity and consistency. A uniform style minimizes technical distractions, keeping the focus on the content.Broadly speaking, its not that uniform, because different academic genres use different style manuals. Generally, in the United States, APA reigns in the social sciences, MLA in undergraduate English and the arts, and CMS in literature and history.The Chicago Manual of Style began in 1891 as a one-page style sheet for typesetters at the University of Chicago Press. It has since grown to 1,000 pages. Here, some of the more commonly encountered and misunderstood rules in the book. (Note that our source for this review is the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.)CommasSerial commasEffective use of the comma involves good judgment, with the goal being ease of reading, according to the Chicago Manual of Style. To that end, Chicago style says Heck, yes! to the oft-debated serial (a.k.a. Oxford) comma, arguing it prevents confusion.DO use serial commas. The serial comma precedes the las t item in a list of three or more. The exception to the serial-comma rule is when the final and is replaced by an ampersand ().Her dad spreads butter, jelly, bananas, and honey on the bread.The day she overslept, spilled her coffee, and lost her keys, she was late for work.If I dont see any oranges, tangerines, or lemons, Ill go to the other store.Bed, Bath BeyondDO put a comma after a year or state. If you can remove it from the sentence without changing the meaning, it gets a second comma. Correct: On May 31, 2011, she graduated from a Santa Fe, New Mexico, college.DO put a comma after etc. or et al. (Dont italicize them, either.) Correct: Ill bring the forks, napkins, plates, etc., if you bring the food.DO NOT put a comma between two predicates. Correct: She ran to the store and picked up a carton of milk.ApostrophesApostrophes get confusing in their possessive roles when paired with a noun ending in s. In CMS style:The possessive form of singular noun gets an s, even if it ends in s. Correct: The passs elevationThe possessive form of a plural noun ending in s gets only an apostrophe. Correct: After the dogs naps, they played in the yard.Plural numbers and letters: Years and capital letters take only an s, while lowercase letters take an s Correct: By the early 1970s, bellbottoms were popular. Correct: She learned the ABCs at school. Correct: They were told to mind their ps and qs.QuotesIf youre putting the period to the right of the closing quotation marks, youre doing it wrong.Punctuating quotesCommas and periods go before the closing quotation marks. Correct: It was he, she said, pointing at the defendant. Correct: The opening line reads, Call me Ishmael.Colons and semicolons go after the closing quotation marks. Correct: He was upset when she said, I think we should stay home; he thought they should go out as planned.Question and exclamation marks go outside closing quotation marks unless theyre in the quote. Correct: Didnt you hear her say Lets go? Co rrect: She yelled, Oh no!Idioms and expressionsDO NOT put quotes around familiar expressions. Correct: It was time to learn about the birds and the bees. Correct: The robbery was just the tip of the iceberg.TitlesTitles of peopleCivil, military and professional titles are treated differently depending on their position relative to the persons name. Among Chicago styles rules:DO capitalize a title when it immediately precedes a personal name. Correct: I watched as Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts took the floor.Ã¢â¬ ¦UNLESS its acting as a descriptive phrase: Correct: I watched as Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy took the floor.DO NOT capitalize a title when it follows a name. Correct: I watched as Ted Kennedy, senator from Massachusetts, took the floor.Titles of worksTitles of published works vary by type and length.Use italics for books and periodicals. Correct: She read The New York Times.Use quotation marks for book chapters, articles, other short works. Correct: In America n Home Cooking: A Popular History, Miller explores why Americans still cook.Capitalize titles in headline style. Headline styles instructions, which the Chicago Manual acknowledges are occasionally arbitrary, include:DO NOT capitalize articles (a, an, the)DO NOT capitalize common coordinating conjunctions (and, but, for, nor, or)DO capitalize the first and last word, regardless of part of speech. Correct: Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela Correct: In Newsweeks How to Sleep: Ability to Dream May Be in the Genes, Aristos Georgiou argues for a genetic link.NumbersTreatment of numbers in text varies between style guides. CMS prefers:Spell out numbers one through one hundred. Correct: She ordered one hundred balloons and 101 party hats.Spell out numbers ending with hundred, thousand, etc. Correct: There were seven thousand seats for 6,999 students.DO NOT superscript ordinal numbers. Correct: Anne celebrated her 500th day at work. Incorrect: Anne celebrated her 500th day at work.For mattingInstructors and publications often have their own sets of formatting guidelines, so be sure to check those. If theyre following CMS:DO NOT put a period at the end of a caption consisting of one incomplete sentence. Ã¢â¬ ¦ Unless most other captions in the manuscript are complete sentences, in which case you can punctuate the incomplete sentence for consistency.DO put a period at the end of an incomplete sentence if its followed by at least one complete sentence (which also gets a period).DO NOT use a double space after periods.DO NOT justify text. All text should be aligned flush left (ragged right).Citation system: Notes and bibliographyThe citation section is perhaps the most important part of a style guide. In academic research, authors are expected to follow citation rules to a tee. CMS has two different systems: name-date and notes-bibliography. Its best to check whether your instructor or publication has a preference.In the notes and bibliography system, you cite sourc es in footnotes or endnotes, which are denoted by superscripted numbers in the text, and also list them in a separate bibliography section. Entries in the bibliography are alphabetized, regardless of the order in which they first appear in the text. The following examples show proper formatting for typical book, journal and website entries. (Note: punctuation and spacing count.)BookNote1. Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (New York: Back Bay Books, 1995), 21.Subsequent note for same book13. Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, 98-100.Bibliography (alphabetical)Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom. New York: Back Bay Books, 1995.Journal articleNote (specific page number)3. Tim Miller, American Home Cooking: A Popular History, Journal of American History 105, no. 1, (June 2018): 143.Subsequent note for same article4. Miller, American Home Cooking: A Popular History, 144.Bibliography (articles complete page range)Miller, Tim. American Home Cooking: A Popular History, Journal of American History 105, no. 1, (June 2018): 143Ã¢â¬â4.Online journal articleInclude a URL or database name for online journal articles in all entries except subsequent entries for the same source.Note3. Tim Miller, American Home Cooking: A Popular History, Journal of American History 105, no. 1 (June 2018): 143, https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jay032.Subsequent note for same articleMiller, American Home Cooking: A Popular History, 144.BibliographyMiller, Tim. American Home Cooking: A Popular History, Journal of American History 105, no. 1 (June 2018): 143-4, https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jay032.Website contentIn addition to the standard information, include the date of publication or revision; if neither of those is listed, include the date you accessed it online.Note8. Citation Quick Guide, Chicago Manual of Style Online, accessed March 26, 2018, https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html.Subsequent note for same content9. Citation Quick Guide.BibliographyChicago Manual of Style Online. Citation Quick Guide. Accessed March 26, 2018. https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html.Citation System: Author-DateThe author-date system has only two components. There are no superscripted numbers in the text, footnotes or endnotes. Rather, full citations are collected in an alphabetized reference list, and in-text citations include the sources author, date and page range in parentheses.BookReference listMandela, Nelson. 1995. Long Walk to Freedom. New York: Back Bay Books.In-text citationMandela 1995, 98-100.Journal articleAs in the notes-bibliography system, in-text citations contain specific page numbers, while references show the whole page range for the article.Reference listMiller, Tim. 2018. American Home Cooking: A Popular History. Journal of American History 105, no. 1 (June): 143-4.In-text citation(Miller 2018, 143.)Online journal articleIf you accessed the article online, tack on a URL or database name. Reference list Miller, Tim. 2 018. American Home Cooking: A Popular History.Journal of American History 105, no. 1 (June): 143-4. https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jay032. In-text citation (Miller 2018, 143.)Website contentAs in the notes-and-bibliography system, the addition here is the date of publication, revision, or access.Reference listChicago Manual of Style Online. n.d. Citation Quick Guide. Accessed March 26, 2018. https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html.In-text citationCitation rules, as with most other rules in style guides, get far more in-depth than this and may come with multiple exceptions; when in doubt, check the unabridged manual. Its tough to follow every rule in the Chicago Manual, but no ones rejecting manuscripts on the grounds of inconsistent caption punctuation. If you have limited time, focus on citing your sources by the book.