Chicago Style Formatting - Use It Wisely!

When your supervisor asks you to write a Chicago-style paper, you must be sure that the paper was properly formatted and cited before you submit it for grading. Therefore, it is much easier to do everything right from the start than to waste your time on lengthy corrections. 

Creating a Standard Page

  • The paper must have 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Font must be 12 Times New Roman
  • The body of the paper must be double-spaced
  • The text must be left-justified but with the right ragged edge. Avoid complete left justification for the body of your paper.
  • Use indentation at the beginning of each paragraph.
  • All pages must be numbered. Page numbers must be included in the right upper corner of each page. The title page also needs a number. Chicago style also allows you to use your name as a running head next to the page number. The bibliography page also must be numbered. Appendices do not need to include page numbers. Consult your teacher to see what should be there in your paper.
  • Your teacher may be ok with you printing the paper on both sides of the paper. Just ask!

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Cover Page

  • The title of the paper must be centered. No bold or italics are allowed.
  • Your name must be put right under the title.
  • Then include your teacher’s name, course number and title, and date, each written on a new line.
  • Use Times New Roman 12 pt throughout your paper. Don’t use any bold text. Don’t use creative fonts. Avoid underlining your text.
  • The cover page should not include a page number. Pages should be counted starting with the title page or the first page of the body.

This is how your paper should be organized:

  • Cover page and/or title page
  • Main body of the work
  • Appendices (if any) and notes
  • Bibliography

Proper Names and Numbers 

  • When you mention the name of a person, a title of law, or any other proper name for the first time, make sure that you use it in its full form. Afterwards, you can use abbreviations. For example, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.
  • Now you can use the same acronym throughout the body of your paper.
  • All numbers less than 100 should be written in words.

Footnotes and/or Endnotes

  • When you use footnotes, they appear at the bottom of each page. In contrast, endnotes appear on a separate page after the end of the paper. They should be formatted in the same way.
  • When you reference the body of your paper, you use a number at the end of the sentence and choose between a footnote and an endnote.
  • The number of the reference must be included after the sentence punctuation.
  • Avoid using Roman numbers. Rely on Arabic numerals only.
  • Do not use the word Endnotes. Use it as Notes and put it at the center top of the page where the list of endnotes begins. All endnotes and the word Notes should be in 10 pt. Times New Roman.
  • Endnotes and footnotes should be single-spaced. However, they should be double-spaced in between.
  • The first line of each endnote or footnote should be indented.
  • Each reference must come with a new number. You cannot have to references with the same number in your text!
  • Use examples to create a perfect list of endnotes.
  • If you want to cite more than one source in the same note, then use semicolon to separate them.


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  • Your bibliography should start on a new page. You will need to center the word Bibliography at the very top of the page. Use 12 pt. Times New Roman. Do not use any creative fonts.
  • Proper formatting is critical for your bibliography page. Do not miss anything!
  • Do not forget about the hanging indent in every line. This is a sort of margin that must be presented in every source you include on the list of references.
  • If you use any source that does not have an author, you will have to use the title as the first word in the citation.
  • Your primary and secondary sources must come together on the same bibliography list.

Avoid the Most Typical Errors:

  • In footnotes and endnotes first name comes before last name; in bibliography last name comes before first name
  • Use a unique number for each note
  • Indentation is critical. Do not forget to use a hanging indent for each citation.
  • Alphabetize all sources by author or title (if no author was noted).
  • Do not write “Works Cited”. Use the word “Bibliography”.