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How to Write in Chicago/Turabian Style

How to Write in Chicago/Turabian Style

Chicago Manual of Style or CMS is widely used in a publication of social sciences and historical journals. It is considered the most one of the most widely used and respected styles in the United States.
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Table Of Contents

Turabian/Chicago Style Format

The general style citation 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 style format requires footnotes on paraphrased or quoted passages.

CMS is divided into four 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.

Read more: How to format an essay

Title Page

Spacing is a crucial aspect of your title 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 at 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.

In-Text Citation

Parenthetical Citation should consist of:

  • The author’s last name, publication date, and 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.

  • Parenthetical citations 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.


“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)

Footnotes and Endnotes

As mentioned previously, in a Chicago/Turabian citation style, 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 at the end of the entire document.

Both are acceptable in the Chicago/Turabian style. 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.


  • 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. A 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 con not addressed in this paper: they sometimes cause the reader to lose their train of thought.


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 bibliography should be:

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

How to Cite

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

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Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

If your professor is extra picky about citations, then you are in the right place. This article is very helpful with deciphering exactly how to cite in the Chicago Manual style. One thing I want to reinforce is that the Chicago style splits into two documentation systems: notes and bibliography and author-date. If your instructor doesn’t articulate which style they are looking for, then you can make a choice between the two forms depending on the sources. The author-date system is more handy for sciences (natural and social) mainly because the sources are briefly cited in the text and appear in parenthesis with the author’s last name and publication. Notes and bibliography style is preferred by humanities (literature, history, etc.) That style provides more information on the sources. Make sure that the style you choose best fits your topic. Best of luck citing your essay and don’t forget to clarify things with your instructor!

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