How to Format a Chicago Style Paper: Step-by-Step Guide

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When dealing with academic writing, you may be asked to adhere to a particular style depending on the work type or subject you cover. Average students often feel confused when meeting an unknown point in their requirements checklist, ‘Formatting style.’ However, there is nothing to worry about since it is only a set of demands chiefly related to paper formatting, citation, and bibliography.

Today, we will shed light on the Chicago style format and point out chief requirements and peculiarities for students willing to succeed in their assignments and not lag behind skilled writers.

Chicago or Turabian: Is There a Difference?

To start speaking about Chicago, it is worth paying attention to the Turabian style, which may often be used interchangeably. Naturally, the question arises about these two formats’ differences and similarities.

In fact, Turabian is not a separate format; it is a version of Chicago that is simpler and often applied for papers that will not be published in future. In other words, it is a streamlined variant designed for students who make their first steps into academic writing and have minimum formatting skills.

At the same time, Chicago is applied for materials written for publications and often used by publishers, academicians, and scholars. It has more requirements and may be challenging for beginners.

You may buy an essay cheap in any style on our site or follow our recommendations to handle your paper in Chicago, which is considered an official version.

What Is Chicago Style Format: Basic Information

Chicago is one of the formatting styles often assigned to follow in some students’ papers and publications. Depending on the paper’s purpose, covered discipline, other requirements, or just with an educational aim, tutors may ask you to follow a particular style in your writing.

You may be asked to adhere to the Chicago style when dealing with such disciplines as religion, philosophy, history, and art and intend to publish your creation. When you work in this style, special attention should be paid to whether you stick to the latest version of the Chicago style writing format guidelines. Today, you should follow the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) issued in 2017 by the University of Chicago Press.

Remember, you should be attentive to requirements when dealing with general text formatting, title page, citation, and bibliography. So, let us look at each section precisely and figure out essential needs and challenges.

Chicago Style Format Requirements

When considering the general text formatting requirements of the Chicago style, it is worth paying attention to the basic rules that define the outlook and position of the text and are inherent in the given style. We recommend following these requirements from the beginning to avoid spending time on corrections after the paper completion. So, what should you know about the Chicago formatting style application?

  • Font ― Time New Roman
  • Font size ― 12 pt.
  • Spacing ― Double
  • Margins ― 1 inch
  • New paragraph indent ― Β½ inch
  • Page number location ― top right corner or bottom center (no page number on the title page).

You may change your document setting before launching the writing process to save time after completion. Note that your tutor may provide specific instructions or recommendations to follow.

Chicago Title Page Requirements

The cover page of your writing is the face of your paper that cannot be compiled in a chaotic way or without correspondence to the academic norms. Can you imagine students presenting data about their creations as they wish? It will complicate finding crucial information in the title and lead to unacceptable data gaps when dealing with academic papers.

So, what should you know about cover page Chicago style writing format recommendations?

  • Put a title in the middle of the page halfway or β…“ of the way down.
  • The title and subtitle (if present) should be capitalized and in bold.
  • The size of the font may be slightly larger than the body text.
  • Do not put a page number on the cover page.
  • Put the author’s name under the title.
  • At the bottom of the page, indicate the tutor’s name, course name, and date ( each issue in a separate line).
  • Double spacing and 1-inch margins are also applied here.

As you may see, nothing is challenging in title organization, but remember that this page is not included in the total page count, so start paging from the body part.

Chicago Style Format Examples When Citing

If you strive to add significance and credibility to provide the text information, it is essential to follow citing rules. If you refer to a prose quotation that exceeds 5 lines (over 100 words), it is known as a block quote; it must be presented in a specific way in your paper.

There is no quotation mark to separate block quotes. Instead, you should start with a colon at the end of the sentence that leads to cited materials. Start the text from the new line and leave a blank line before and after the block. In addition, do not forget to set Β½ inch indent at the beginning of each cited line.

E.g. … as Dan Brown once said:

History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books. Books which glorify their cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, “What is history, but a fable agreed upon?

Pay attention Chicago style citation format does not require double spacing of block quotes, unlike the rest of the text. You should adhere to the author-date format in the in-text citation of short messages and phrases.

E.g. …text (Nichols 1996)

You may require some practice to cite resources in your text, but it is essential to demonstrate your awareness of the formatting style requirements and showcase your interest in the described topic.

Bibliography List in Chicago Style

When you use some resources in your academic writing, you must present the complete list of applied literature according to your style standards. It is the final page of your creation, and its length may vary depending on the work type, number of referred sources, and academic level or paper. Follow the subsequent requirements in your Chicago style writing format writing:

  • Start the page with the heading Bibliography or References in bold. It must be the same size as the rest of the headings in your text.
  • Skip two lines separating the heading and first entry.
  • One blank line is necessary to separate each entry from the previous and next.
  • Apply alphabetic order to list entries (it may be the author’s name or title if there is no author)
  • If there are two or three authors, you should also indicate their names, as in the example:

Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, The War: An Intimate History, 1941–1945 (New York: Knopf, 2007), 52.

  • You should start the entry with a title if no author’s name exists.
  • Indicate the full name of the publisher and the date.
  • If you refer to internet resources, indicate a URL.

It is also important to note that you should not double-space an entry, but it must be presented using a hanging indent. It means that the first line starts at the margin, and the following have 0.5 indent.


It is essential not to give up facing challenges with formatting styles since there are numerous samples and guidelines online to consult. But suppose you feel that you can not 100% rely on yourself or have insufficient skills. In that case, you may turn to our coursework writing service for expert formatting assistance with a ready-made paper or ask us to perform your assignment on a turnkey basis.


What are the requirements for headings when dealing with the Chicago format?

Headings are an integral part of the body of every work type. You should bold and capitalize main words in headings and do not forget to skip the line in between. Remember all the headings within the text should be in the same font.

How to write numbers in Chicago style writing format?

All the numbers under 100 should be written in words (e.g. fifty-fife, not 55), but it does not concern measures like 15 inches, etc.

What are the common mistakes often made by immature students dealing with Chicago style?

There may be different mistakes related to unawareness or inattentiveness. But very often, students make separate bibliography lists for resources without authors, but they must be included in the general list referring to the title. Often, we may make mistakes connected with spacing and margins.

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