Chicago and Alternatives

The University of Chicago Press maintains the Chicago Manual of Style, originally a guide for authors published by the university and the press staff. Today, the Chicago style is used by many non-fiction publishers. The formatting and style guide applies to manuscripts as well as the appearance of published works.

What would become The Chicago Manual of Style began in the 1890s as a single sheet of typographic fundamentals, prepared by a proofreader at the University of Chicago Press as a guide for the University community. That sheet grew into a pamphlet, and the pamphlet grew into a book—the first edition of the Manual of Style, published in 1906. Nearly a century later the Manual is in use in homes and offices around the world. (May 2004)

The University of Chicago Press maintains a guide for electronic submission, which also applies to students submitting papers from a word processor. See the Electronic Manuscript Preparation Guide at for up-to-date information on the format.

General Grammar

Verb Tense

The Chicago Manual of Style is a general guide, used across the disciplines. As a result, it tends towards agnosticism on verb tenses and similar issues.



Most academic journals and university presses using CMS prefer 12-point Courier for editing purposes, but accept Times faces as well. Check with your editor.

Spaces and Punctuation

Use only one space for CMS manuscripts. This is also the publication standard.

Underlining, Italics, and Quotes

Italics are favored in book publishing, and the CMS is intended for publishers.

Citations within Text

Citation formats are specified in the APA and MLA styles. The CMS does not specify citation formats; use the format appropriate to the topic.


Bibliographic entries should be as complete as possible to locate an external source. In most cases, publisher names and common journals can be abbreviated for space. Again, the CMS is agnostic on style, which should be selected based on the standards of each academic field.

Citation Information Order

APA: (1) Author, (2) Year, (3) Title, (4) Editor, (5) Collection, (6) Pages, (7) City, (8) Publisher.

MLA: (1) Author, (2) Title, (3) Volume/Issue, (4) Editor, (5) Edition, (6) Number of Volumes, (7) Place of Publucation, (8) Publisher, (9) Date, (10) Page.


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Writer: C. S. Wyatt
Updated: 08-Mar-2017
Editor: S. D. Schnelbach