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Chicago Style Format. The Chicago Manual of Style in 5 pages

Chicago Style Format. The Chicago Manual of Style in 5 pages

Mainly social sciences students may be familiar with Chicago style format. This article from EssayPro experts contains information about the Chicago Manual of Style including guides to document formatting and Chicago citation. Keep reading if you are interested in learning how to write in Chicago style.

Table of Contents

What is Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style or CMS is widely used in a publication of social sciences and historical journals. The manual was originally published in 1906 and now it in its 17th edition. Chicago style format, also known as Turabian format, is considered one of the most widely used and respected styles in the United States.

There are two Chicago Manual Styles: Notes-Bibliography System and Author-Notes System. The first one is often used in arts, literature and history, and the other one in the social sciences.

How to Write in Chicago Style

The general Chicago style follows these rules:

  • Clear font. Times New Roman 12pt font is recommended

  • Double spaced except for block quotes.

  • 1” margins

  • No spaces between paragraphs

  • Your last name and page number should be at the top right of every page

  • Do not number the title page. The first page of your essay should begin with a 2.

  • Chicago format requires footnotes on paraphrased or quoted passages

CMS is divided into three parts: Title Page, Main Body, and Bibliography. The title page should be the first cover page of the essay, the main body follows, and the bibliography is all the citations that you used for research.

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Chicago Style Cover Page

Spacing is a crucial aspect of your Chicago style title page, which is also called a cover page. Ask your teacher for specific details on how to structure your title page, but the general instructions go as follows:

  • Your title should be in the middle of the page. If it is longer than one line, it must be double spaced.
  • Center your full name in the middle of the page.
  • At the down of the page put your course number, your instructor’s name and the date. These should be in separate double-spaced lines.

Chicago Style in Text Citation

The parenthetical citation should consist of:

  • The author’s last name, publication date, and the page number.
  • Do not include abbreviations in your parenthetical citations.
  • There should be no punctuation between the author’s last name and the date of publishing.
  • There should be a comma between the year and the page number.
  • Chicago style parenthetical citation should follow direct quotes. You can use footnotes for paraphrased information.
  • When a source has no author, use a shortened title of the piece.
  • When the same pages of the source are cited, you only need to cite the source in full after the last reference.
  • The Chicago Author-Date reference style requires citation after every quote: this can get redundant. Make sure to keep your citations sparse, but remember that it’s better to over cite than to under the cite.

Chicago Style Citation Example:

“Philosophy should not be a core subject in university and school education. If a person doesn’t understand the fundamentals of philosophy, they will never be able to understand the grander scope and merit of the subject; thus, exposing it to them is a waste of the student’s and the professor's time. Philosophy is for the passionate, the inquisitive, and the truly brilliant.” (Trufold 1982, 32)

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Footnotes and Endnotes Chicago Style

As mentioned previously, in a Chicago citation you should include footnotes or endnotes each time you use a direct quote or a paraphrased summary of a source.

Footnotes are added at the end of the page on which source is referenced. Endnotes are compilations of source references at the end of each chapter or the entire document.

Both are acceptable in the Chicago/Turabian format. In either case, footnotes and endnotes begin with a superscript number with bibliographic information attached.

The first note for each source must include all relevant information about the source: author’s full name, source title, and publication.

When you cite that same source again, the note only requires the surname of the author, a shortened form of the title (if the length of the title is >4) and page numbers. If you cite the same source and page more than two times, use the word “Ibid.” which means “from the same place.” If they are from different pages, use the word Ibid. followed by a page number.

Example of Chicago Style Footnote Citation:

  • Footnotes are used in the Chicago/Turabian style paper.1 There are many reasons as to why footnotes are a handy tool: perhaps the main one is the quick and easy access to information.2 To no surprise, students likewise prefer footnotes to long and confusing bibliography pages, as they carry more information; a footnote presents no cons.3

  • 1Jan Hudson, “Chicago/Turabian: Why You Should Use It”. New York Times publication, 2003. Although they are used in the Chicago/Turabian style, they are often used in other citation styles.

  • 2 Hudson, “Why You Should Use” 12-33. Quick and easy access can be granted likewise by a bibliography page at the end of the essay, however, statistics show that very few students take time to access it while many do read the footnotes at the end of the page.

  • 3 Ibid. This is a harsh statement, perhaps, as footnotes do have a single can not addressed in this paper: they sometimes cause the reader to lose their train of thought.

Chicago Style Bibliography

Chicago style papers usually end with a bibliography where the writer lists all the sources they used in writing the paper — including the ones cited in the footnotes. Your Chicago style bibliography should be:

  • Listed in alphabetical order
  • Be titled “Bibliography” at the top center of the page
  • Includes all the works cited in the paper and may include other relevant sources

Chicago Style Citations

Author’s Names: List the last and first name of the author.
Titles: Titles of longer works such as books and journals are italicized. Titles shorter works such as articles, chapters, and poems are placed in quotation marks.
Publication Information: The publisher is listed first, followed by a journal name.
Punctuation: In a Chicago style paper, all major elements are separated by periods.

Book (one author)

  • The first footnote: Anastasia Rheinbay, Dancing in Flight: My Journey as an Artist. (New York: Penguin, 2014), 33-45.
  • The second footnote: Rheinbay, Dancing in Flight, 9.
  • In bibliography: Rheinbay, Anastasia. Dancing in Flight: My Journey as an Artist. New York: Penguin, 2014.

Book (two or more authors)

  • The first footnote: Inna P. James and Ryan Grist, How to Exist: How Not To Exist, 1999–2003 (New York: Mc Graw Hill, 2002), 58.
  • The second footnote: James and Grist, Exist, 58–33.
  • In bibliography: James, Inna P., and Ryan Grist. How to Exist: How Not To Exist, 1999–2003. New York: Mc Graw Hill, 2002

Book Chapter (Part of a book)

  • The first footnote: John D. Rockefeller, “How I Made My Millions.” in Easy To Be Rich: The First Man of Steel. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), 73.
  • The second footnote: Rockefeller, “Made Millions,” 72-75.
  • In bibliography: Rockefeller, John D. “How I Made My Millions.” In Easy To Be Rich: The First Man of Steel. 72-75. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.


  • The first footnote: Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (New York: Penguin Classics, 2007), Kindle edition.
  • The second footnote: James, (The Turn of the Screw*.
  • In bibliography: James, Henry. The Turn of the Screw. New York: Penguin Classics, 2007. Kindle edition.

Journal Article

When citing an article, list specific pages in the footnote, but list the whole range of the article in the Bibliography.

  • The first footnote: Aidan Novak, “Transgender Journey: woMan” Men’s Health 58 (2023): #238.
  • The second footnote: Novak, “Transgender,” 52.
  • In bibliography: Novak, Aidan. “Transgender Journey: woMan.” Men’s Health #238 (2023): 52-60.


Online sources (including scholarly articles) can be mentioned in the text or as a note and in turn omitted from the bibliography. For example: (“As of December 2017, the wall bordering Mexico and the United States will be built, as listed on the national United States Government website...”). If a more formal citation is required, it doesn’t have guidelines. Include an access date or, if available, a date that the site was last modified.

  • The first footnote: “FDA Guidelines.” Last modified May 18, 2011, {link}
  • The second footnote: “FDA Guidelines.”
  • In bibliography: FDA. “FDA Guidelines.” Last modified May 18, 2011. {link}

Did this Chicago/Turabian Style Guide Help You?

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