How to do Chicago Style Citation: Format, Citation & Samples

Written by

Mark Robert

8 mins read
chicago style

Chicago style citation is a specific format for documenting sources used in a research paper. It is used mainly in the humanities, social sciences, and business fields. If you're studying in one of these areas, it's important to learn Chicago-style citation.

Making citations can be confusing, especially if you're not used to a specific style. Chicago style citation is one of the most common styles, but it can be tricky to master.

In this blog post, we'll go over the basics of Chicago-style citation formatting, as well as provide some examples. There are several other citation styles and Chicago style is one of them.

So whether you're a student writing a paper or someone who just needs to cite sources for work, this style guide will help!

What is Chicago Style Citation?

The Chicago Manual of Style citation is an official guide that helps you format and style your research papers and publications. It includes guidelines for citation, content formatting, and how to quote other work in your paper.

The Turabian style is a simplified version of the Chicago style. It was specifically developed for students who are writing papers. The Chicago style was originally developed for publishers.

The following are the common Chicago format paper guidelines:

  • Text should be 12 pt. font size and in Times New Roman font style
  • Double spaced text
  • Margins should be 1 inch on all four sides of the paper
  • New paragraphs should be ½ inch indented
  • Page numbers can be placed at the top right or bottom center

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Types of Chicago Style Citation

There are two different citation systems researchers use in Chicago style. You can use these types when writing a paper, depending on the discipline and type of source.

  • Notes and Bibliography System
  • Note and bibliography style system is mainly used by people who work in humanities, history, social sciences, literature, and arts.

    It is a flexible style that includes commentary on these cited sources. A superscript number is written at the end of the sentence or shortened citation to show where the source comes from.

    The bottom of the page has more information. This information includes how to put in both notes and bibliographies. The full information is at the end of your paper, and it is organized alphabetically.

  • Author-Date System
  • There are different types of Chicago manual of style. This one is used in natural, social, and physical sciences. It helps organize information using citations and bibliographies.

    The information is in parentheses. It includes the author's name, publication date, page numbers, and full bibliographic information.

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How to do Chicago Style Citation?

“How to format your paper in Chicago style?”

Chicago style is one of the most popular formats for papers. There are some rules that are different from other formats, like APA and MLA.

For example, you need to use footnotes and endnotes. Some students find it hard to understand these rules, but with a little help from their teachers, they can do it!

There are several sections that are included in a paper when it is written using Chicago-style formatting. These sections are discussed in detail below.

Chicago Style Title Page

There is no need for a title page in a Chicago-style paper. However, if your teacher asks you to include one, then you can follow the Chicago or Turabian format guidelines.

Write the title of your essay in the same font as the rest of your paper. Align the text in the center and add double spaces between them.

If your essay has a subtitle, end the main title, then end the main title with a colon and add the subtitle below it. Bold both the title and subtitle and keep font size consistent.

To add the title and subtitle, move down the page to about 1/3 of the way. And add other information below that, such as your name, class roll number, the course title, submission date. The title page does not include a page number, the numbering will start from the second page.

Chicago Style Heading

Use capital letters for the main headings in your paper. If you have different levels of headings like chapters and sections, make it clear for the reader which level of heading they are reading.

However, use the same style and font for all the same level headings. For instance, all the main headings should have the same style. And the sections and subheadings must have the same style and size.

Use a one or two-point larger font style for the chapter headings. The section headings should be bold, and italics for subsection headings.

Chicago Style Quotes

Blockquotes are included in the Chicago style paper. Prose quotations of five or more lines are set off from the text with block indents that are one inch wide. Poetry quotations of two or more lines are presented in block quotes form, with each line double-spaced.

Blank lines are added to distinguish quotations from the other text of a paper. Quotations in Chicago style are indented and single-spaced, unlike the rest of the text.

Chicago Style Citation Bibliography and References

Chicago bibliography and references lists should not be double-spaced like the other text. Leave a blank line between the bibliography entries. If any entry continues to the next line, then the next line will be indented ½ inch.

If you are adding an annotated bibliography, you will follow the same formatting style as for the bibliography. However, the annotation under each source will be indented and have two spaces between each line.

The following list provides a complete description of the types of references used in Chicago style:

Citing a Book

First name, Last name, Title of Book (Publication Place: Publisher, Year), page range.

E.g., Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code (New York: Scholastic, 2004), 17-19.

Journal Article

First Name Last Name of Author, “Article Title,” Journal Name Volume Number, no. of the issue (Date published): Page-Range, DOI address

E.g. Smith, John. “Studies in Pop Rocks and Coke.” Weird Science 12, no. 3 (Spring 2009): 78-93.


First Name Last Name of Author, “Title of Page,” Title of Website, Month Day, date published or accessed, web address.

E.g., John Smith, “Obama Inaugurated as President,” CNN, accessed February 1, 2009,


First Name Last Name of Author, “Article Title,” Newspaper Name, Publication Date, web address, or name of the database.

E.g., John Smith, “Steelers Win Super Bowl XLIII,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 2, 2009,


First Name Last Name of Author, “Article Title,” Magazine Title, Month Date, Year of Publication, web address.

E.g., Dan Chan, “The Art of Pandas,” Panda Magazine, November 10, 1985,


Film Title, directed by First Name Last Name (Distributor City, St: Distributor, Year of Release), Medium.

E.g., BibMe: The Movie, directed by Jane Doe (Los Angeles: Columbia, 2001), DVD.

Interview Last Name, First Name. Interview with First Name Last Name. Publication Title. Publication Information

Chicago Style In-Text Citation

There are two ways to cite sources in Chicago style- author and date or bibliography.

In the author and date format, the name of the author and year of publication are placed in parentheses at the end of a quote.

You can also add it at the beginning of the quote. In the bibliography format, all sources are listed alphabetically by the author in a separate section at the end of your work.

Chicago Style Numbers and Acronyms

In accordance with Chicago style guidelines, you should not use numerals or acronyms at the beginning of a sentence. Additionally, for numbers that are less than 100, spell out the number in words. For example, for 60 or 65, use "sixty" and "sixty-five."

Likewise, use the full form of an acronym the first time you mention it in your paper. Afterward, you can use the acronym. For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO).

Chicago Style Footnote Citation

Footnotes are notes that are placed at the bottom of a page. They have the same font size as the text on the page. The footnote is created by using a specific word, name, or phrase. When you click on the superscript number, it takes you to the bottom of the page.

To add a footnote in Microsoft Word, make use of the automatic footnotes function.

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Chicago Style Citation Example

Chicago format paper is a type of paper where you format and write in a specific way. To do this successfully, you'll need to be familiar with the guidelines and follow them closely. Here is a Chicago citation style sample that will help you understand it completely.

Chicago Style Sample

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Common Errors to Avoid in Chicago Style

There are some things to watch out for when writing your notes and creating your bibliography.

  • Make sure you use the first name last name in your notes, and last name, first name in the bibliography.
  • Be sure to use different numbers for each citation, and pay attention to the indents - notes use a first-line indent, while a bibliography uses a hanging indent.
  • The bibliography should be alphabetized by the author (or title if there is no author). Notes are numbered and listed in the order they are used.
  • Don't forget to put Works Cited at the top of your bibliography - that's how you know it's finished!
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