Important Tools

The Chicago Manual of Style, Dictionaries, and Other Important Tools

Style Manuals

Go into the “Quick Guide” first – the link is at the top of the page. It is the best place to get started; the manual as a whole is very detailed and can be overwhelming at first. You’ll be able to use full manual more efficiently after you have a basic understanding of the various parts of a Chicago Style citation. Alternatively, check out:

  • Color-Coded Guide to Chicago Citation Style before delving into the full manual. It is a highly visual quick reference page created by the University of Illinois Library.

Academic Integrity

For information on the reasons for citing resources; help with paraphrasing, quoting, citing; plagiarism and how to avoid it; and copyright, see: What is Academic Integrity?

Selections from the University of Illinois Library’s Online Reference Collection


  • The Oxford English Dictionary. This dictionary is “the” dictionary when it comes to the English language. It has detailed, comprehensive entries on word meaning, usage, and etymology. It is available to U of I students via the University of Illinois Library’s subscription.
  • VisuWords. A graphical dictionary/thesaurus that allows you to see the relations between words, concepts, and associations.

Philosophy Resources

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
A well-regarded online encyclopedia of people, terms, and concepts in philosophy. Created by Standford University and freely available.

Philosopher’s Index
A database of article, book, and anthology citations about philosophers, philosophical concepts, etc. Available to U of I students via the University of Illinois Library’s subscription.

Online Tutorials 

Using Research
Text tutorials from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL). The OWL has created excellent guides on quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing; avoiding plagiarism; and fair use. Also has a paraphrasing exercise.

Is It Scholarly?
A University of Illinois Library webpage on evaluating information resources.

Research Writing Rescue
A guide written by the University of Illinois Library to help you get through the process of researching and writing a scholarly paper.

LEARN tutorials
Created by the University of Illinois Library to help students figure out how to search databases effectively, use the Library’s Online Catalog, distinguish scholarly from non-scholarly books, find dissertations, and more.