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The Chicago Manual of Style

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  5,722 ratings  ·  244 reviews
The 15th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style has been superseded by the 17th edition.

In the 1890s, a proofreader at the University of Chicago Press prepared a single sheet of typographic fundamentals intended 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
Hardcover, 15th Edition, 956 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by The University of Chicago Press (first published 1906)
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4.28  · 
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 ·  5,722 ratings  ·  244 reviews

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Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It doesn't matter if you're a fan of MLA, AP, or even (dare I say it) Franklin Covey, the Chicago Manual of Style will never let real-world writers and editors* down. Sure, at first you'll stagger through its appendix and feel overwhelmed by the layout, but rest assured, with time, you'll come to rely on it like your trusty blankey that has always been there for you through all these years.

*By real-world writers and editors, I mean that elitist class of people who poo poo on people who write for
Oct 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: editors, authors who work with editors, snarky people
My Bible.

Why did they have to change the rule about a bold or italic punctuation mark being set bold or italic according to the preceding typeface?

Why don't they include better samples of how to abbreviate journal titles for Documentation II style?

Why is the index still horrendous?

I use this book every single day, even if I'm just threatening my dog with it to get her off the furniture.
Feb 23, 2012 is currently reading it
Memo to Goodreads admin people: the 15th edition is old hat. Nowadays it is the 16th edition that is authoritative. The once-proud 15th edition has had its pedestal tugged out from under it. Only losers refer to the old-fashioned, outmoded, antiquated 15th edition anymore, or even hold on to their copy. Screw the 15th edition.

Please create a listing for the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. I'd like to post a review complaining that I see few differences between it and the 15th edition (wh
Jun 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: writers, especially of non-fiction
Recommended to Miriam by: my dissertation advisor (and it was more an order than a recomme
Shelves: non-fiction
Too heavy, too expensive, and too orange. Other than that, it is great! Very thorough and well-organized. This is the only style guide I've had where I could both locate the information I needed quickly and get a sufficiently clear and complete explanation to be sure how it applied to my own writing.
Erik Graff
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: editors/students/authors
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: reference
Having been laid off from my happy position at Loyola University Chicago, having no luck at finding a similar position there or elsewhere and being semi-employed by a small academic publishing house, I decided to get serious about another career. So, I started publishing lots reviews and one scholarly article and began trying to drum up editorial work. Being already familiar with the MLA style, I picked up a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style and read through the whole thing. It wasn't so bad. ...more
Carlston Floyd
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
The serial comma is a beautiful, perfect thing. This book is nowhere near perfect, but there's nothing else like it.
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic, writing
I was working on an essay for which I had to cite a particularly bibliographically complex book; it was a commentary by Averroës, translated by one person, introduced by another, and edited by yet another poor soul. I hadn't a clue how to formulate all the relevant information in my bibliography. Throughout my psychology master’s program, it was easy: it was all APA, everything was always APA. But now I realized that, for my philosophical essays, I hadn't been conforming to any particular system ...more
This is the book that should be in every drawer in every hotel room. I'll get right on the phone with the Gideons.
Sin Claire
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book to be revered. If more of the aspiring writers who upload their works to Kindle and Nook spent a month or two getting acquainted with its contents, they could avoid the kinds of mistakes that anger readers. Almost every reader has some grammar pet peeve. The thing that drives them up the wall may not even register with you.

There are various works online and in print that claim to be the "Bible" of self publishing. This is the only book that is Bible of the industry. Whether you ha
Will Mego
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Can you read a style guide?
Yes. The middle parts of them are essentially books on grammar.
This is the best of them.
Serena W. Sorrell
Review for 17th edition:
This is--by far--a better edition than the last. In addition to making some much needed revisions, gender identity pronouns and updated practices have been added. Overall, the style is smoother and more user friendly than the last edition, which was overly dry most of the time and made for a difficult once through read. As this is my primary textbook and resource for the copyediting program I'm currently enrolled in (not to mention the field once I graduate) I find readin
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both useful and delightful for anyone interested in writing or the making of books.
The ultimate style ref :)
Clare Fitzgerald
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
At my fancy new freelance gig there is often some downtime between jobs, which, after having examined all of the house style guides multiple times I decided to use to review the CMoS, since I haven’t actually had to use it in a while. And that, dear reader, is how I ended up reading the entire Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition, by the University of Chicago Press, cover to cover. (Yes, I know that’s not how style guides are mean to be read.) (And yes, I know there are sixteen editions, b ...more
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
Anyone who aspires to be an editor of any sort -- developmental, line, but especially copy -- must buy this book and learn how to find what's in it quickly and easily. It seems every other person I meet these days describes herself as an editor, but I rather doubt that they really know what that means. Being literate and knowing about the serial comma do not make you an editor. The U of C Manual of Style is indispensable, a must-have. And when each new, thick, and expensive edition is published, ...more
Rachel Aranda
This reference book is probably one of the easiest I've used. I originally bought it because I was going to write a paper in Chicago Style that counted as a major grade but have no experience with in this style before. Honestly I had never heard of Chicago Style until August 20, 2016. I did my research on Chicago Style but knew there was no way I could remember all the rules required for technical editing. Thanks to Amazon I found this book and it has proved super helpful. whenever I was in doub ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Chicago >>>> (by orders of magnitude) MLA or APA*. And this is the best reference ever: what to do if an author translates her/his own work into another language? how to alphabetize that writer with 3 last names? what about that quote gathered from the annals of a local community committee council that seems to have no publisher? No need to fret, the Chicago Manual of Style's got your back.

* Still embittered that I couldn't convince my advisor to allow me to use Chicago (ugh, APA is
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of my students gave me a Barnes and Noble gift certificate at the end of school term. It was enough to cover the hefty price of this manual. I have been wanting to buy this for a long time and I will be using it for years, so the price is really not as great as the value.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I guess I can't really say that I've read this book, but I've definitely used it. Few books have kept me up later into the night. When you find a really great exposition on dashes and hyphens, who needs sleep???
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so I didn't actually read every single word, but I did go through this thoroughly as part of a class on editing.

The Bible. Accept no substitutes.

(And if you don't use Oxford commas, there is just no hope for you.)
Kristina Leonard
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shockingly readable. It was work-related anyway!
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is never a question left unanswered. In a world of uncertainty, this is our foundation.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I'll admit I have not read it cover to cover...
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
Don't edit copy without it.
Craig Pearson
Aug 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
Very dry subject matter. Bad memories of all the writing needed for my master's program. I understand the need for conformity but my simple mind could not get past the complex rules of writing.
Nicole Sampson
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is very well organized and easy to use. The online version is even easier because of the search option.
Adam Tripodi
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Either a person likes the MLA or APA format, The Chicago Manual Style can never let a writer down. It might be heavy on the pocket, but it is one of the most thorough and well-organised books I have ever read. The book is straightforward to understand. An individual can effortlessly locate the desired information, and it will be elaborated in detail for the writer to apply to their work. After a thorough read of the book, I could differentiate between British and American concords better than be ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who wants to be a professional writer needs to have a copy of this book.
Can't exactly be a writer if you don't understand the mechanics of American English. All the standards followed by most publishing houses is from the CMS. Even if one doesn't use it to study diligently, it's good to have within reach to know how to reference something or when certain words should by hyphenated, and so on.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chicago Manual of Style leaves AP, APA, MLA, and every other chump-ass style book in the dust. The main difference? It's not just about capitalization, citation, and annotation. Grammar. It has the best and most concise explanation of grammar minefields such as "effect" vs. "affect". A must-have for any shelf.
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