The Chicago Manual of Style

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The Chicago Manual of Style (abbreviated in writing as CMS or CMOS, or verbally as Chicago) is a style guide for American English published by the University of Chicago Press, prescribing a writing style widely used in publishing. The CMS deals with all aspects of editorial practice, from American English grammar and usage to document preparation.


The first edition of the CMS was published by the University of Chicago in 1906, as A Manual of Style; in 1982, it was officially retitled The Chicago Manual of Style upon publication of the 13th edition, the informal name already in widespread use by the book's users. Recently, the publishers have released a new edition every decade or so; the most recent is the 15th edition, published in 2003. The 15th edition has been revised throughout to reflect the prominent computer technology and the Internet in publishing, offering stylistic guidance for citing electronic works; other changes include a new chapter on American English grammar and usage, and revised treatment of mathematical copy.

Currently, the CMS is published in hardcover and in an online edition. The online edition includes the fully-searchable text of the 15th edition with added features such as tools for editors, a quick citation guide, and searchable access to the Chicago Style Q&A, a feature popular with copyeditors and grammar aficionados, wherein University of Chicago Press manuscript editors answer readers' editorial style questions. An annual subscription is required for access to the content of the Manual, but the rest of the site is available free.


What became The Chicago Manual of Style was first published in 1906 under the title Manual of Style: Being a compilation of the typographical rules in force at the University of Chicago Press, to which are appended specimens of type in use.Template:Facts From its earliest, 200-page edition, the CMS evolved into a reference style guide of 984 pages in its 15th edition. It was one of the first editorial style guides published in the United States, and is largely responsible for research methodology standardization, most specifically about citation style.Template:Facts

By 1969, the CMS was the leading style guide in publishing, selling some 150,000 copies of the 12th edition; however, throughout the 1960s the demand for a more concise and up-to-date style guide grew.Template:Facts The Modern Language Association found that The Chicago Manual of Style was not evolving fast enough to suit the demands of the modern humanities researcher, and, as such, made the citations excessively complicated for modern methods (e.g. the microfilming drive, and, in particular, the evolving world of electronic records).Template:Facts The MLA publishes its own style guides: The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, addressed to scholars and editors in the disciplines of languages and literatures, and The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, directed more to secondary and post-secondary instructors and students in those fields.

The Chicago Manual of Style is used in some social science publications and most historical journals. It remains the basis for the Style Guide of the American Anthropological Association and the Style Sheet for the Organization of American Historians, respectively.

The Chicago Manual of Style includes chapters relevant to publishers of books and journals. It is used widely by academic and some trade publishers, and editors and authors who are required by those publishers to follow it.



  • The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2003. ISBN 0226104036 (hardcover). ISBN 0226104052 (hardcover with CD-ROM). ISBN 0226104044 (CD-ROM).
  • The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Online ed. Released September 29, 2006. Accessed October 12, 2007.

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