Chicago Style of Citation

Undoubtedly, the papers you hand in should be nicely laid out and formatted correctly. Below are some essential guidelines for setting up the format of your paper. Setting everything up correctly at the outset is much easier because it saves you having to go back through your paper and do a lot of reformatting later.

General Layout and Page Formatting

  • Use one-inch margins on all four sides of every page – top, bottom, right and left-hand side.
  • Use a 12pt Times/Times New Roman font.
  • Text should be double-spaced throughout.
  • Text should be justified on the left-hand side but left jagged on the right-hand side. Fully-justified text i.e. in the style of a newspaper should be avoided.
  • Indent the beginning or first line of each paragraph by half an inch; use block quotes and “hanging” bibliography-type indents.
  • Place page numbers in the corner at the top right of the page, from the first page of text onwards. Add your own surname as well, so that your work can be identified should the pages become separated. Number pages all the way through from the very first page of essay text through to the last page of the bibliography, but do not count pages after the end of your essay’s text in your total page count. (In a paper that is five pages in length, there may also be a title or cover page, two pages of essay notes, and a page worth of bibliography entries, all of which comes to a total of nine pages).
  • Verify with your tutor if it is acceptable to print on both sides of the paper.

Creating Cover or Title Pages

  • Your essay’s title should be located in the center of the cover page mid-way down.
  • Add your own name directly under the title and also in the center.
  • Include your tutor’s name, course name, block, and date in the center at the page end and on separate lines.
  • Type the title page in a 12pt Times/Times New Roman font. Do not decorate a title page with bold or underlined text, or in any fancy font or typeface.
  • Cover or title pages should not have a page number or be counted in the overall page count.

Order of Assembly

  • Title/cover page
  • Essay’s body paragraphs
  • Appendices (if applicable)
  • Notes
  • The essay’s bibliography

Names, Use of Abbreviations, and Numbering

Use the full names of any people, organizations, and/or legislative bills when you first use these. Add the abbreviated version or acronym in parenthesis after the first time you spell out the name of an organization or agency in full, for example, United Nations (UN).

After spelling out the names of people once, they can then be referred to by their last names in the rest of your work and organizations or agencies by their abbreviated name or acronym.

You should write any numbers less than 100 in full.

How Endnotes Differ from Footnotes

It is common practice to place endnotes at the end of a paper’s main text and on a fresh page. By contrast, it is usual to place footnotes at the end of any page where a reference appears. Both types of notes use the very same formatting rules.

Note numbers within the text should appear at the end of sentences where there are references, even if these appear early on in a sentence.

Place note numbers after all punctuation marks in a sentence.

The recommended numbering style is Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) rather than Roman numbers (i, ii, iii, iv, etc.)

The endnotes page should be titled ‘Notes’ at the top. Do not use the word ‘Endnotes’ and use 10pt Times/Times New Roman font for this heading.

Each entry should be typed in single-spacing with a double space between different entries.

Make sure the first line of all note entries is indented.

Do not reuse numbers; use new numbers for each new reference, even for those that have been used previously.

Look for shorter versions of any references you reuse.

You should separate sources with a semicolon when you include several different sources in one individual note. Do not use two (or more) note numbers at a sentence’s end.

Creating Bibliographies

Start your bibliography on a fresh page. Type the word ‘Bibliography’ in the center at the top of the new page in a 12pt Times/Times New Roman font. Avoid using large or emboldened fonts for the bibliography heading.

Take care to ensure your bibliography is formatted correctly – different styles are used for bibliographies than are used for notes.

“Hanging” indents are used in the first line of an entry for a bibliography. This means you should align the first line of the entry to the margin and indent the following lines.

Alphabetize any sources for which there are no known authors according to their titles. Do not create a new list for these sources.

Unless your tutor asks you to do so, do not separate primary sources from secondary sources.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • The format is author’s first name/surname for notes while it is author’s surname/first name for bibliographies.
  • It is not acceptable to reuse note numbers. New citation equals new number!
  • Indents are something you should attend carefully to. Indent the first line for notes and use hanging indents for bibliography entries.
  • Create bibliographies in alphabetic order under author’s name, or by title where an author’s is unknown. Notes are allocated numbers and compiled according to the order sources are used.

A bibliography should not have ‘Works Cited’ at the top of its first page. This applies to the MLA citation style.

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