Using Chicago Formatting Style in Academic Writing

As a student, you know that your teachers want you to be perfect in both research and writing. This is why you should be ready to use the benefits of Chicago style formatting correctly. Follow the recommendations below to improve the quality of your writing. Do not waste your time on mistakes.

Formatting Your Page

  • Make sure you have one-inch margins on all sides
  • Use only 12-point font such as Times New Roman
  • If you need to know what is Chicago style writing, remember that it requires double-spacing throughout your work
  • You text should be left justified.
  • All paragraphs and block quotations must be indented
  • The Chicago writing format requires that place page numbers in the top right corner of your paper sheet. You can also include your last name as a header. All pages must be numbered, from the first to the last.
  • Whether or not you can submit a two-sided printed paper depends on your teacher.

Cover Page

  • When using Chicago writing style, center the title of your paper
  • Your name should be placed immediately under the title
  • Now make some space and put the following three lines at the bottom of the title page – your course, teacher's name, and date.
  • The title page should have the same font as the rest of your paper, for example, Times New Roman. You do not need to be creative designing your title page.
  • The cover page should not have a page number, if you are following the Chicago writing style in your work.

Include the Following Elements in Your Paper

  • Title page
  • Essay
  • Notes
  • Appendices
  • Bibliography

Using Names and Numbers in Chicago Writing

  • When use any name for the first time, make sure it is full. With Chicago writing style, you may also use acronyms, but only after the full name was included.
  • As for people, once you use their full name, you can mention only their last name.
  • All numbers below 100 should be written out.

Footnotes and Endnotes

  • With Chicago style of writing, you must include footnotes. These are presented on the same page where you reference a source. As for endnotes, they come after the body of your work. Footnotes and endnotes should be formatted in the same way.
  • With both footnotes and endnotes, you should include a number after the sentence. This number should be further correlated with the number of the endnote or footnote used to reference the source.
  • In Chicago writing, this number always follows the full stop or other punctuation mark.
  • Do not use Roman numerals for footnotes and endnotes.
  • If you use endnotes, make sure you have a separate page titled "Endnotes" at the end of your paper. For every footnote or endnote, use Times New Roman 10-pt.
  • All footnotes and endnotes should be single-spaced.
  • The first line of each footnote and endnote should be indented.
  • Each number can be used only once.
  • If you still have any difficulties, use a Chicago writing style template to make the task easier.
  • If you want to reference more than one source in a single footnote, use a semicolon to separate them.


  • With Chicago writing style, start your bibliography on a separate page. Do not forget to include the word "bibliography" at its top. Again, use the same font as for the rest of your paper. Do not be creative.
  • Do not use the same formatting for the bibliography and your footnotes. These are different things.
  • Make sure each entry is formatted as a "hanging indent".
  • For sources that have no definite author, include a title of the work. You do not need to separate sources with and without authors.

Make Sure You Do not Make the Following Errors:

  • Using the same formatting for endnotes and bibliography entries.
  • Reusing numbers for footnotes and endnotes.
  • Using first-line indentation for bibliography entries.
  • Using an alphabetical rather than numerical order for footnotes and endnotes. Do not forget that it is bibliography entries that need to be alphabetized. As for the footnotes and endnotes included in your work, these should be arranged in order by number. Do not confuse these meanings, as they will have a heavy toll on your final grade.
  • Your bibliography should have the title "Bibliography" and no other. This is how Chicago writing style differs from other citation models.