Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. I am the copyeditor of my college newspaper. My question concerns incorporating elements of The Chicago Manual of Style into the college newspaper’s stylebook. To what extent, if any, does the copyright prevent the incorporation of Chicago’s style and usage guidelines into the house rules of individual publications?

A. Thank you for asking! We appreciate your use of CMOS. Any time you use paragraphs or verbatim examples from another source, you should put them in quotation marks or style them as block quotations and cite the source in notes. It just goes against the scholarly grain to do otherwise. There are also ways to acknowledge the use of CMOS more casually, once it’s been cited. For instance, you might write, “All examples in this section are from CMOS 16.” Or “All examples in blue are quoted from CMOS.” Even though you aren’t planning to publish your in-house guide, you should resist the temptation to use unattributed borrowings, which, after all, would be plagiarism. And you never know where your guide will end up—it could be e-mailed outside your college, scanned, or posted online.