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How To...: CMS Style

This guide offers all GNTC users How To guides on Citing Sources, Evaluating Sources, and Researching, as well as using GALILEO, LibGuides, and Web Safari.

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Superscript Numbers & Footnotes

Superscript Numbers

Superscript numbers are the tiny numbers that are added to the end of clause or sentence. In math, they show when something is "squared". In the CMS, it prevents citations from interrupting the flow of the paper by having the information at the bottom in footnotes. Superscripts in CMS are sequential, starting with 1, then 2, then 3, and going up as far as necessary.

To make a superscript number in Microsoft Word, there are two options. The first is to use the button that has an x2; however, you then have to make sure your footnote matches correctly. The second, recommended option, is to go to "References" in the line of tabs at the top, and to choose "Insert Footnote". This option will create the superscript number where your cursor is and make sure that it is in sequential order with the one before it. It will also automatically insert a space in the footnotes for the citation.


Footnotes are the citations at the end of the page. They are separated from the rest of the paper by a short line. Ordinarily, the footnote has a normal number in front of it, though if using the above method to create the footnotes, the number will be superscript. Either is generally acceptable, but ask your instructor if you're unsure. If you are not using the premade footnotes, move to the last quarter of the page, insert a line of '-----' and then hit enter and begin your first citation on the page.

CMS Style

Welcome to the Guide on The Chicago Manual of Style/Turabian Style!

This guide will not provide an intensive look into the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) and Turabian styles, but it will give a basic idea of what an CMS citation should look like and some of the basic formatting of an CMS style paper. The information for this guide will come primarily from the OWL at Purdue. Proper citations will be listed within the guide.

Note: You as a student are responsible for your CMS citations--while this guide represents the style as accurately as possible at the time of completion, it is best to refer to the most recent CMS style manual to ensure accuracy.

What is CMS/Turabian?

CMS stands for the Chicago Manual of Style; this style is also know as Turabian, as Kate Turabian created the most common student edition of the manual. "CMS" will be used in this guide, but should apply to both Chicago Manual of Style and Turabian. The CMS is primarily used for history and other humanities subjects, but it can also be used for the social sciences.Instructors may specify which style they would like their class to use; if not, make sure to ask!

The CMS Style is a style of formatting research papers. It provides a standard for writers and for readers so that they know what to expect when reading a paper with that format. Every CMS style paper should have the same style of heading, same title and abstract, references page, and page numbers. Additionally CMS papers follow the same basic formula of organization. It has its own standards for punctuation, spelling, capitalization and more. For full details on the formatting side of CMS, look at the Chicago Manual of Style or Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations .

The Two Styles of CMS

There are two different styles of CMS. The first is Notes-Bibliography and the following information relates to this style. The second is Author-Date or Parenthetical Citations-Reference List which will not be discussed here. For more information on the Author-Date style, check out Indiana University's University Writing Center handout written by Jaclyn Lutzke.

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CMS Style In-Text Citations

CMS Style In-Text Notes

This section will cover how to create in-text citations for the most common situations. For how to cite materials outside of what is offered below, please consult the Chicago Manual of Style, speak to a librarian, or speak to your instructor for individualized help. OWL at Purdue also offers citation information for a variety of sources.

In-text Citations

This is where the CMS style differs the most from the APA and MLA styles. Rather than parentheses at the end of a quotation mark or the information included in the sentence, CMS uses superscript numbers and footnotes at the bottom of the page to show content has been drawn from another source. This is because CMS (and history) places its emphasis on the source that content is being pulled from. CMS requires students to place all of the publication information into the in-text note--which would take up a lot of room. Each note includes: author's name, title of work, place of publication, publisher, number of issue if necessary, date of publication, and page number. For materials accessed online, it also includes date of access and URL.

To cite a single item by a single author, add the first superscript number directly after the punctuation of the clause or sentence. Then, in the footnote, put the same number in normal text and include the following: First Name, Last Name, Title of item (Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), Page number.


"Are notes single-spaced or double spaced? What about the bibliography? Space your footnotes and endnotes the same way you do your text."1

1. Charles Lipson, Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 61.

To cite a single work by multiple authors, follow the same basic pattern. With two authors, list both names each time with the conjunction "and". For three authors, list all last names with commas in between the first two and "and". For four authors, use the first author's last name and "et al.".


"In crimes of violence and in burglary, the scene of the crimes may be the most important aspect of the investigation".2

2. Joe Nickell and John F. Fischer, Crime Science: Methods of Forensic Detection (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1999): 23.

Shusta, Levine, Harris, and Wong "present practical reasons why officers should have an understanding of the cultural backgrounds of the groups they commonly encounter".3

3. Robert M. Shusta et al. Multicultural Law Enforcement: Strategies for Peacekeeping in a Diverse Society, 2nd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002): 3.

Because "the United States, compared to virtually all other nations, has experienced unparalleled growth in its multicultural population," it is important to focus on the relationships between culture and crimes.4

4. Shusta et al. Multicultural Law Enforcement, 4.
OR, if on the same page and directly after another reference to the same source,

4. Ibid., 4.

To cite two or more works by separate authors, when paraphrasing, place all sources under a single note in the order of reference. When quoting, give each source an individual note.


Racial discrimination and profiling are still evident in the United States, and when officers are not aware of this, it can lead to defense lawyers using real or conceived racial tension to try and turn the case, such as in the O. J. Simpson case.5

5. Shusta et al., Multicultural Law Enforcement, 3; Nickell and Fisher, Crime Science, 205-15.

To cite two or more works by the same author, list each separately in its own note.


A common theme in the stories of Charles Dickens is the ability of his characters to overcome the difficult life they begin in. Pip gets entangled with criminals, but survives it to get married and earn a good job;6 Oliver starts as an orphan only to be found by distant relatives that are eager to take care of him.7

6. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (New York: Tor, 1998).

7. Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist( New York: Penguin Classics, 1985).

To cite a work without an author, use the title or a shortened version of a long title along with the date.


"Long-term memory has an enormous capacity. It includes all the facts and knowledge that we accumulate throughout our entire lives-from the rules of English grammar to the lyrics of a favorite song."8

8. "Learning and Memory," The Human Body: How it Works Online, accessed August 30, 2012.

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CMS Reference Citations

CMS Reference & Citations

This section covers how to create reference citations for the three main resources. For how to cite materials besides books, articles, and websites, please consult the Chicago Manual of Style, speak to a librarian, or speak to your instructor for individualized help. OWL at Purdue also offers citation information for a variety of sources.


Bibliographic entries change slightly depending on the type of material being cited. In all cases, the author's last name is listed first when available, and this is used to alphabetize the entries on the page. If there is no author, then the title is used for alphabetizing.


Information specific to books: book titles are italicized while chapter titles are placed in quotation marks. Edition information put after the title with a period before and a period after. Then, publication information follows.

Book template:
Author Last name, first name. Title. Edition information. Location: Publisher, year of publication.

Books written by a company have the entire name spelled out.


Lipson, Charles. Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and more. 2nd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Books with the same author should go in alphabetical order by title; replace the author's name on subsequent entries with "---".

Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist. New York: Penguin, 1985.
---. Great Expectations. New York: Tor, 1998.

Books with multiple authors include up to ten names and use the word "and". If there are more than ten authors, list the first seven names and then add "et al"


Nickell, Joe, and John F. Fischer. Crime science: Methods of forensic detection. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1999.
Shusta, Robert M., Deena R. Levine, Philip R. Harris, and Herbert Z. Wong. Multicultural law enforcement: strategies for peacekeeping in a diverse society. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.


Information specific to print (physical) articles: Article titles are put into quotation marks while the periodical the article came from (journals, newsletters, newspapers, or magazines) has an italicized title with first letters of most words capitalized. Volume and issue numbers follow the periodical title and are not italicized. The month and year follow the volume and issue number in parentheses. Page numbers must include entire article.

Information specific to online articles from databases or online journals: Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) are required if there is no Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Date of access is not always required but is recommended. Otherwise, electronic articles follow the same template as print articles when possible.

Print Article Template:
Author 1 Last name, First name, Author 2 First Name, Last name, and Author 3 First name, Last name. "Title of article." Title of Periodical volume number, issue no. (Month/Season Year): page numbers.

Online Article Template:
Author 1 Last name, First name, Author 2 First name, Last name, and Author 3 First name, Last name. "Title of article." Title of Periodical volume number, issue no. (Month/Season Year): page numbers. Accessed on Day Month, Year, URL or doi:xx.xxxxxxxxxx.

Print article from a magazine.

Woodbridge, Kim. "Make your own small-business facebook page." 29, 12 (December 2011): 29-32.

Print article from a journal.

Nelson, Roxanne. "AJN reports: Childhood vaccinations." American Journal of Nursing 111, 11 (November 2011): 19-20.

Print article from a newspaper. Note: Newspaper articles do not need page numbers because editions can change.

Fram, Alan. "Congress approves bill averting weekend government shutdown." Chattanooga Times Free Press November 18, 2011.

Online article from a magazine.

Harbert, Tam. "IT's age problem." Computerworld, November 21, 2011. Accessed November 22, 2011.

Online article from a journal.

Turale, Sue. "Preparing nurses for the 21st century: Reflecting on nursing shortages and other challenges in practice and education." Nursing and Health Sciences 13, 3 (September 2011): 229-231. Accessed November 22, 2011. doi:10.1111/j.1442-2018.2011.00638.x.

Online article from a newspaper.

Feller, Ben. "Obama Speech About Job Security _ for Him, for All." Atlanta Journal Constitution, September 6, 2012. Accessed September 6, 2012.


Information specific to websites: Use superscript numbers and include an entry on the references page. Page numbers are rarely available on websites, so if necessary, include section titles, paragraphs, or other easily recognizable sections.

Website template:
Author Last name, First name. "Page title." Website title, last modified on Month, Day Year if available. URL.

Website page

Clements, Jessica, Elizabeth Angeli, Karen Schiller, S. C. Gooch, Laurie Pinkert, and Allen Brizee. "Web Sources." The Purdue OWL, December 07, 2011. Accessed September 6, 2012.

Website without Author

"Learning and Memory." The Human Body: How it Works Online. Accessed August 30, 2012.

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CMS Formatting

CMS Formatting


Aside from having its own method for creating citations, the CMS has specific requirements for formatting papers so that each paper looks similar and is easy to read. Below are some basic instructions for formatting an CMS paper. Please note that your instructor may not require some elements be in CMS formatting, such as the title page--always check with him or her..

Elements of an CMS paper

  • Title page
  • Body
  • Footnotes or Endnotes
  • Bibliography

Title Page
The title page is the first page of a paper. It is not numbered and has the title approximately a third of the way down the page. The title is followed by the author's (your) first name and last name. Underneath the author's name is class information and date.

Many instructors will not require a title page. In this case, if they ask for CMS style, double check how they want title created--it may simply be justified to the left or to the right and include your name, the date, the instructor's name, the class, and then the title centered. Always check on this if it is not specified!

The body of the paper is where the main text goes. It is double-spaced and is justified to the left hand side of the page. Paragraphs should be indented. Inside the body is the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

In a Notes-Bibliography CMS paper, footnotes (or endnotes) are required! These are signaled with a superscripted number and are separated from the rest of the text with a small horizontal line. Each footnote should have a normal number in front of it that corresponds with the superscript number in the text. The first line of each footnote is indented but the rest are justified to the left. Footnotes should be single-spaced with a single line of space to separate.

The references section begins on a new page with the title "References" centered. Include the information from the CMS Reference Citations. Each entry should be in alphabetical order by the author's last name. The first line should be all the way to the left, while any additional lines are indented (called a "hanging indent").

Appearance of a CMS Paper

Header/Page Number
A header on a CMS paper is simple. Unless otherwise specified by your instructor, simply insert a page number on the right hand side of the header by double clicking in Word and inserting. This number is not included on title pages, but is included on reference pages.

CMS papers are typically written using Times New Roman in 12 point font.

CMS asks for double spacing for lines in every page, including excluding footnotes and references.

Paragraph Indentations
CMS requires new paragraphs except for block quotations, to be indented by a single tab key.

The CMS offers headings in varying font styles. These headings are individual to each paper and may not be necessary at all. Headings for Bibliography pages should simply be centered.

The Heading Levels

  • Level 1
  • Level 2
    • Level 3
    • Level 4
    • Level 5.Text of paragraph.

For an excellent example of a CMS paper, come to the library and visit the OWL at Purdue website!

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Subject Guide

Useful Links

References & Further Information

References & Further Information

Look here for the books, websites, and articles consulted when creating these resources. These are also excellent places to find more information on this topic.

  • Lipson, Charles. Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2011.
  • Clements, Jessica, Elizabeth Angeli, Karen Schiller, S.C. Gooch, Laurie Pinkerts, and Allen Brizee. "Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition." The Purdue OWL. Accessed September 7, 2012.
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