Caleb S.
Caleb S.

An Easy Guide to Chicago Style Citation

7 min read

Published on: Mar 20, 2024

Last updated on: Mar 28, 2024

Chicago Style

As a student of disciplines such as history, business, or the social sciences, you've likely encountered the Chicago format. The Chicago style of citation is a popular standard format for academic writing in these disciplines.

Developed by the University of Chicago, the Chicago format guides research writers and editors to enhance uniformity and clarity in scholarly work. It is also known as Turabian (named after Kate L. Turabian). The latest edition of the Chicago manual of style, the 17th, provides standardized but flexible ways to ensure consistency in formatting and citations. 

So, what does Chicago style involve, and how can you structure your paper accordingly?

In this blog, we dive into the fundamentals of the Chicago format and understand why it's different from other citation styles. From the rules of page formatting to citations and bibliography, this guide helps beginners format their papers in Chicago accurately. 

Ready to learn the Chicago style? Let's dive in!

How to Format Pages in Chicago Style?

Chicago style offers a degree of flexibility in page formatting, so institutions and journals may provide specific instructions tailored to their preferences. 

However, adhering to some general guidelines ensures a uniform and professional appearance for your academic papers. 

Follow the below page settings:

  • Margins: Maintain one-inch margins on all sides of the page – top, bottom, left, and right.
  • Font: Opt for Times New Roman with a 12-point font size. 
  • Spacing: Double-space the entire text of your paper. 
  • Text Alignment: Use left-justified text. Avoid fully justified text.
  • Paragraph Indentation: Apply a half-inch (1/2") first-line indent at the beginning of paragraphs,
  • Page Numbers: Number the pages in the top right corner, starting with the first page of text.

Chicago Title Page

A typical Chicago cover page includes the following elements:

  • Title: Place the title of your paper one-third of the way down the page. Use title case style capitalization and center alignment.
  • Author's Name: After a few lines beneath the title, include your name. Use your first name, middle initial (if applicable), and last name. It should be center-aligned.
  • Course Information: On the next line, add details about the course for which you're submitting the paper. Include the course name and number.
  • Date: Specify the date of submission, which is usually placed at the bottom of the title page. Follow the format Month Day, Year (e.g., January 5, 2024).
  • Additional Information: Include any other information your instructor requires, such as the name of your educational institution. This information is often placed at the bottom of the title page. 

Chicago Style Title Page -

Chicago In-Text Citations

The Chicago style offers two methods of in-text citations, the note-bibliography system and the author-date system. This flexibility allows writers and editors to choose a more suitable citation system according to their discipline and topic. 

Let's delve into the two primary citation systems used in the Chicago style.

Chicago Note-Bibliography Format

The notes and bibliography style relies on footnotes or endnotes for in-text citations. Here's how you navigate this citation system within the text:

  • Footnotes: When citing a source, include a superscript number at the end of the sentence, followed by a corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page.


The concept of justice is multifaceted, with various philosophical perspectives shaping its interpretation.3


3 Reference in the footnote

Here are the rules for formatting the source information within the footnote:

  • For citing books: Author's First Name, Last Name, Title of Book (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Page number.


1 Jane Doe, The Art of Writing (New York: ABC Publications, 2020), 45.

  • For citing articles: Author's First Name, Last Name, "Title of Article," Title of Journal volume number (year): page number.


2 John Smith, "Exploring Linguistics," Language Studies 15 (2018): 78.

  • For citing online sources: Author's First Name, Last Name, "Title of Webpage," Name of Website or Organization, URL (accessed Month Day, Year).


3 Sarah Johnson, "Digital Literacy in the Modern Age," Digital Trends, (accessed January 5, 2024).

  • For citing the same source: If you’re citing a source for the second time, the footnote written in a shortened form, utilizing the author's last name, a shortened title, and the page number.


4 Doe, The Art of Writing, 56.

Chicago Author-Date Format

The Chicago Author-Date style is an easy citation system suitable for disciplines like the natural and social sciences. Here's a breakdown of the Author-Date format:

  • Single Author:

When citing a source with a single author, include the author's last name and the publication year in parentheses, 

Like this: (Smith 2015).

  • Two Authors:

If there are two authors, mention both authors' last names followed by the publication year, separated by "and." 

For instance: (Johnson and Lee, 2018).

  • Three or More Authors:

When there are three or more authors, list the first author followed by "et al." and the publication year. 

For example: (Miller et al. 2020).

  • Corporate Author:

For sources with a corporate author, use the full name of the organization or its acronym, if well-known, followed by the publication year in parentheses. 

For example: (World Health Organization 2017).

  • No Author:

In cases where there is no individual author, use the title (or a shortened version of it) and the publication year. 

Like this: (The Art of Writing 2016).

  • Direct Quotations:

When including a direct quote, provide the author's last name, the publication year, and the specific page number(s) within parentheses. 

As shown here: (Brown 2019, 45).

Creating the Bibliography

In Chicago style, the bibliography provides a comprehensive list of all the sources cited in your paper. It provides full citation and bibliographic information 

Here's a guide to creating an effective bibliography:

  • Start the bibliography on a new page. Write the title “Bibliography” at the top center.
  • Alphabetize your bibliography by the last names of the authors or, in the case of no author, by the first significant word in the title. This standardizes the presentation and facilitates easy navigation.

Here’s how to format the most common types of bibliography entries.

  • Book Entries:

For books, provide the full title in italics, the place of publication, the name of the publisher, and the publication year, following this format:

Format: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.

Example: Doe, Jane. The Art of Writing. New York: ABC Publications, 2021.

  • Article Entries:

When citing articles, include the author's name, the title of the article in quotation marks, the title of the journal in italics, volume and issue numbers (if applicable), the publication year, and page range:

Format: Last Name, First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal volume number (issue number): page range (Year).

Example: Smith, John. "Exploring Linguistics." Language Studies 15 (2018): 78-92.

  • Online Sources:

For online sources, include the author's name, the title of the webpage in quotation marks, the name of the website or organization, the URL, and the access date (if applicable):

Format: Last Name, First Name. "Title of Webpage." Name of Website or Organization. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

Example: Brown, Sarah. "Digital Literacy in the Modern Age." Digital Trends. (accessed January 5, 2024).

To Conclude,

Citing sources correctly in Chicago is essential to avoid plagiarism. Fortunately, you don't have to learn and memorize all the rules and standards to do it correctly. Instead, you can use online tools to assist you with in-text citations and creating a bibliography. This can save you time and ensure accuracy.

Try out, a top AI tool that can help you find and cite sources accurately in the Chicago style.

Our citation machine is updated with the most recent Chicago-style rules. Whether you need to find relevant sources for your subject or cite sources in a specific style, our citation tool can make it simpler and more precise. Try it out today!

Caleb S.


Caleb S. (Mass Literature and Linguistics, Masters)

Caleb S. is an accomplished author with over five years of experience and a Master's degree from Oxford University. He excels in various writing forms, including articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As a valued author at, Caleb assists students and professionals by providing practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style enhancement.

Caleb S. is an accomplished author with over five years of experience and a Master's degree from Oxford University. He excels in various writing forms, including articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As a valued author at, Caleb assists students and professionals by providing practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style enhancement.

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