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CMS Format: Writing in Chicago Style

CMS Format

CMS refers to a research format described in the Chicago Manual of Style. This format is often used for history, philosophy and religion papers; instructors in other disciplines may also prefer CMS format.

Capitalizing Titles

Use headline-style capitalization for titles:

Capitalize:

  • The first and last word of the title
  • The first word after a colon
  • All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions

Do not capitalize:

  • Articles (a, an and the)
  • Coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)
  • Prepositions

"Explaining the Relation between Birth Order and Intelligence"

The Theory of the Novel

Using Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks for:

  • Prose quotations under five lines long
  • Verse quotations under two lines long
  • Titles of short works contained within a longer work, such as periodical articles, book chapters, reference book entries, tv episodes, songs/poems, etc.,

Use single quotation marks (apostrophes) for quotes inside quotes:

Max Stark points out, "The difference between 'annoyance' and 'harassment' is clear."

Using Italics

Use italics for:

  • Titles of self-contained works such as books, magazines, journals, newspapers, plays, movies, television series, websites, etc.

                        Coming of Age in Samoa; Psychology Today; WebMD

  • Non-English words that may not be familiar to the reader.

Critics have called the movie the director's tour de force.

  • Names of legal cases

Brown v. Board of Education

  • First use of key terms defined in your paper

Many of the poet's sonnets are written in the Shakespearean or English style.

Numbers

Within the text of your paper, write out:

  • Numbers from one through one hundred
  • Round numbers ending in the words hundred, thousand, million, etc.
  • Numbers at the beginning of a sentence
  • References to times of day in increments of hours, half hours, and quarter hours:

            The meeting began at seven-thirty in the morning.

Use numerals for:

  • Numbers over one hundred, except as above
  • Multiple related numbers in one sentence:

The researchers tested 100 children, 84 in public school and 16 in private school.

  • Percentages and decimals:

Only 4% of the graduates attended, down 86% from the previous year.

  •  References to exact times of day:

The meeting began at 7:34 a.m.

  • Parts of published works: chapter 3, page 437
  • Equations and formulas

Exception: In papers that use a great deal of numeric information, spell out only numbers of one digit; use numerals for all others: In two days, 89 subjects were tested.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations should be used sparingly in the text of your paper; in many cases the full term, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses, should be used on first reference:

                 He graduated from Laramie County Community College (LCCC) in 2018.

  • Abbreviations written in capital letters (e.g. acronyms) should not include periods:

FBI

  • Abbreviations written in lower-case letters usually include periods:

11:24 a.m.

  • A shortened form of a word used as a title before a name should be followed by a period and a space:

Capt. Mitchell

  • Initials used in a name should be followed by periods and spaces:

C. S. Lewis

Do not abbreviate:

  • Days of the week or months
  • Units of measurement, except in scientific papers