Chicago Format

1. What is the Chicago format?

There are two citation systems in the Chicago format. The NB (notes-bibliography) system is used by humanities students, and it gives writers the opportunity to use footnotes and endnotes for comments both in the paper itself and in the bibliography. Social science and STEM papers are formatted with the help of the AD (author-date) system.

2. General Chicago style guidelines

Both the NB and AD systems recommend using double spacing throughout all the work: in table titles, in the title page, in the main body, in block quotations, in notes, and in bibliographical entries.

If a prose quote consists of more than 100 words or a verse quote occupies more than 2 lines, the quote should be enclosed in an indented block. A large quotation should start with a new line, and there is no need for quotation marks. For block quotes, a different or smaller font can be used.

There are no strict guidelines concerning the format of the paper in both styles, though there are some recommendations:

  • The margins should be set to no less than 1” from all sides.
  • A readable font style should be used of no less than 10-point size.

In all the titles throughout the main body, notes, and references, the main words should be capitalized.

Titles of books, periodicals (larger containers), plays, and large poems are italicized, while the “titles of chapters of books and articles of magazines (smaller containers), as well as most poems, are enclosed in quotation marks.”

3. Structure of the paper

3.1 Title page

According to the Chicago style book, academic papers can include a separate page as a title page, or give information on the paper and the student on the first page of the main body. In both cases, the title of the paper should include the student’s name, information about the class, and the date. Lines on the title page should be centered and double spaced.

3.2 Footnotes Chicago style

The Chicago Turabian format permits the use of footnotes. In the main body, the numbers of notes are superscribed. They are put at the end of a clause or sentence after all punctuation marks. In the footnotes themselves, numbers are given with a period after them. The lines in the footnotes are flushed left.

3.3 The Chicago Turabian citation style

In the NB Chicago citation style, the works cited section is called “Bibliography,” and in the AD style, the word “References” is used. The list of works cited is given on a separate page. There should be two blank lines between the first source and the “Bibliography” or “References,” and one blank line between the rest of the entries.

As there is a broad use of notes in the Chicago format citation, the list of cited works can be omitted if full credit was given in the notes. Most institutions recommend having a separate page with a list of cited works, though.

  • The sources are given in alphabetical order by the inverted name of the first author.
  • If there are 2-3 authors, all of them should be mentioned.
  • If there are 4-10 authors, bibliography/references should contain all their names, while in in-text citations and in notes, only the first author should be mentioned, accompanied by “et al.”
  • If the author is unknown, the entry should be listed alphabetically by its title, editor, or a descriptive phrase if there is no other data.
  • The publisher’s name should be given in full.
  • If there is no date of publication, “n.d.” for “no date” should be put instead.
  • A DOI is preferable to a URL in references to electronic sources.
  • All entries in references should include the name of the author, the work’s title, and data about the publication.
  • The name of the author is inverted and given in full, with a comma between the last name and the first name.
  • After the publisher or journal title, there should be the year of publication.

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