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Chicago 17 Resource Center: Formatting


Formatting the Paper


One of the most important things to remember for Chicago style formatting is consistency! The CMS has not released guidelines on every single type of resource because the possibilities are endless. Just remember to follow the general formats when imputing information about a resource, include as much information as necessary, and be consistent! If you have questions about how to cite a particular resource, feel free to contact the library. Our contact information can be found on the "Get More Help" tab of this guide.

Formatting Your Paper

Formatting Your Paper

For Chicago Style publication, pay close attention to the formatting guidelines.

  • Double-space the main text
  • Single-space figure captions and table titles
  • Single-space the table of contents, footnotes/endnotes, and bibliography, but add a blank line before and after each item listed in them
  • Choose a single font that is readable and widely available, such as Times New Roman (12-point) or Arial (10 point)
  • Margins of one inch on both sides and at the top and bottom of every page
  • Number all pages except title page, including pages of notes and bibliography pages
  • Page numbers should be placed at the top of the page either in the center or justified to the right margin
  • One space between sentences (not two spaces)
  • Indent new paragraphs one-half inch (Use a tab indent rather than hitting the Space bar)

Block Quotations

  • Use block quotations (also called extracts) if quoting: 
    • five or more lines of text and/or more than 100 words
    • two or more lines of poetry
    • two or more paragraphs
    • quoted correspondence (if including salutations and signatures)
  • Formatting block quotations:
    • Single-spaced
    • Set off from the regular text by starting on a new line
    • Indent the entire block one-half inch on the left hand side (Use the indent/tab feature of your word processing software)
    • Do not enclose blocked quotation in quotation marks, but keep any quotation marks that appear in the original text
    • Leave a blank line before and after the block
    • Single-spaced  

Adding Footnotes Using Word

Understanding Footnotes


  • Notes may be listed at the bottom of the page on which the source is referenced (footnotes) OR at the end of the paper (endnotes). Please be consistent and choose to use either footnotes or endnotes, but not both
  • Include a note (either endnote or footnote) every time that you use a source, whether through a direct quote or through a paraphrase or summary
  • Begin the note with the author's first and last name; then list the title; and then give the publishing information and page numbers
  • Titles of books and periodicals (i.e., journals) should be italicized; quotation marks should be used for chapters, essays, poems, or articles, and the publisher information should not be abbreviated
  • Commas are used to separate the different "sections" or "elements":

e.g., Peter Holman, The History of the Raj: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New York: Dorset Press, 1996), 18.

  • For both footnotes and endnotes, use a superscript number (small numbers raised to the top of the line) that corresponds to a note with the bibliographic information for that source should be placed in the text following the end of the sentence or clause in which the source is referenced. The foot/endnote itself begins with the appropriate full-sized number, followed by a period and then a space 

Tip: Use the footnote feature of your word processing software to help format your notes.

  • The first note referring to a work must use the full note style.  Any following citations for that work can be shortened using the "subsequent note" format.  The shortened form should include information for readers to find the full title or direct them to the bibliography. Each example in this guide shows the formatting for full notes and subsequent notes

e.g.,  1. Barton Glick, The Dirt of Babylon (New York: Prudence, 2010), 15.

  2. Glick, The Dirt, 15.

NOTE: The 17th edition of Chicago Style no longer supports the use of "ibid." for repeating citations. Please use the subsequent note form.

Understanding the Bilbliography


  • The bibliography page should be entitled "Bibliography"
  • Start each bibliographic entry flush with the left margin, and indent all the other lines in the entry. This is called a "hanging indent" 
  • Single spaced, but with an extra space between each bibliographic entry
  • All entries should include the author, title, and publication information
  • Titles of books and periodicals (i.e., journals) should be italicized, and quotation marks should be used for articles, chapters, and poems
  • The publisher information should not be abbreviated
  • Format the authors by inverting the first author listed and separate surname and first name with a comma (i.e., Surname, First name). Additional authors are listed in "First name Surname" format
  • All major sections or "elements" are separated by a period
  • ‚ÄčList entries alphabetically by the surname of the first author or, if there is no author, by title
  • If you use more two or more entries by the same author(s) in the bibliography, list them alphabetically by title. A  3-em dash (—.) replaces the author's name after the first entry


Squire, Larry R. “Hippocampus.” In Neurobiology, 491-511. New York: The Press, 1983.

———. Memory and Brain. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.


Source in addition to the CMOS 17th edition: "How Do I Format My Class Paper in Chicago Style." CMOS Shop Talk (blog). Chicago Manual of Style, July 18, 2017.  

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