How do I format a paper in Chicago style?

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Jane Student

SNHU 107: Course Title

June 13, 2018





Chicago style often uses a title page.  The title of your paper is centered, one-third of the way down the page.  This is followed, a little more than halfway down the page, by a single-spaced block of text, relaying your name, course number and title, and the date.  The body of your paper starts on the next page.  It should be written using 12-point Times New Roman font, and double-spaced.  Page numbers appear at the top right-hand corner, and are numbered from the first page of body text (no page numbers on the title page!).  Finally, the paper should have one-inch margins all around; no additional space is needed between paragraphs. To ensure that no additional spaces appear between your paragraphs, click the Home tab, select the Paragraph option, and then check the box labeled “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.”

When you quote and/or paraphrase text from a source, you will need to provide a footnote at the end of the sentence. The first time you use a source, the Chicago style note includes all of the source information you would typically put in a bibliography, but with slightly different order and punctuation.  It will also include the page number on which the quote or paraphrase is found, if a page number is available. Adding footnotes to your paper is easy in Microsoft Word.  Click the References tab, then click Insert Footnote.  This will create a superscript number at the end of your sentence, and provide a space at the end of the page for you to create your footnote reference.  Footnotes are written in single-spaced 12-point Times New Roman, but there is an additional space between each citation.  The first line is indented like a normal body paragraph.  Footnotes are numbered starting at 1, and continue counting upward with each note citation.  Microsoft Word does this automatically.  There is no need to try to assign sources a number.  So if you have fifty quotes in your paper, but only three sources, your footnotes would number from 1 to 50, and would appear in your paper in numerical order.

Here is an example of a sentence that contains a quote and is, therefore, followed by a footnote: The author claims that despite a lack in advanced healthcare, the ancient Romans were the “healthiest specimen of the human form” for that time.[1] Notice that, in the previous sentence, the quoted material is introduced with the phrase “the author claims.” This sort of phrase also indicates that the information to come is from a source and should be cited.

After you cite a source the first time, subsequent citations can use shortened footnotes.  These footnotes include the following information:  Author’s last name, a shortened version of the title (approximately four words), and the page number of the quoted/paraphrased material.  If you cite the author immediately afterward, the title may be omitted.  Here is an example:  Author Craig Cassius mentions, “They [roman athletes] trained ceaselessly and were very competitive.”[2]  A typical day of training may have included hand-to-hand combat training, footraces, javelin throwing, and chariot racing.[3]

You may have noticed that footnotes one through three point to book sources. Note citation styles vary depending on the type of source you’re citing.  For information about how to create notes for other types of sources, go to Shapiro Library’s Chicago Style Guide, then click Notes & Bibliography.

If the name of the author is not available for the source you wish to cite, then the title of the quoted or paraphrased article should stand in for the author’s name in the footnote.  See this example of a footnote for an online journal article without an author:  The article states, “Medusa was one of the great arch-villians of both Greek and Roman mythology.”[4]  Although this is an online journal article, it is optional to include the URL or DOI in the note citation.  If included, the URL would appear after the page number.  However, it is always required to cite the URL/DOI in the bibliographic citation at the end of the paper.  (Important note: if you cite a webpage, you should include the URL in the first footnote citation.  The URL is only optional for online journals, newspapers, and magazines.)

At the end of your paper, on the next new page after the last sentence of your paper, you will need to list all of the sources you used; this is called a bibliography. The title for this page will be “Bibliography”; there is no need to italicize it, bold it, or place it in quotation marks. Make sure the title is centered. The information for each source in this list will be formatted in Chicago style citations.

Your citations will be listed in alphabetical order, according to the first letter of the authors’ last names. (If a given source/article does not have an author name available, then order it according to the first letter of the title of the article.) Thus, each source will begin with the author’s last name; or, in the absence of that information, the article’s title. Just like note citations, bibliography citations are single-spaced, but with an additional space added between each citation.  Finally, make sure that after you’ve typed out your citations, you apply the hanging indent paragraph setting. This will format your citations so that, for each citation, the first line is aligned with the margin, and all subsequent lines will be indented a half inch. To do this, click the Home tab, select the paragraph option, and locate the “Special” drop-down menu. Be sure your References are highlighted, then select the option “Hanging.”

Bibliography entries, like footnote citations, will differ depending on the sources you have chosen. The way you cite a book is different from the way you cite an article on a website. Refer to resources found in the Shapiro Library Chicago Style Guide for a detailed description of each type of citation. Remember that the note citations in your paper and the bibliographic citations must go hand-in-hand; you cannot have a source listed in one place but not in the other. The purpose of the bibliography is to provide the reader with a clear list of all the sources you included in the paper.







Cassius, Craig.  The Great Olympics of Ancient Rome. Louisville, KY: Heavyweight Press, 1960.


“Great Arch-Villains of Roman Mythology.” Journal of Multiverse Comparisons 12, no. 15 (1978): 19-78.


White, Perry. “Great Scott! What Will the Olympics Do Now?” The Daily Planet. April 13, 1940.

[1]. Craig Cassius, The Great Olympics of Ancient Rome (Louisville, KY: Heavyweight Press, 1960), 7.


[2]. Cassius, The Great Olympics, 85.


[3]. Cassius, 86-90.


[4]. “Great Arch-Villains of Roman Mythology,” Journal of Multiverse Comparisons 12, no. 15 (1978): 22.



The library also provides access to resources like books, ebooks, and websites that can help you format a paper in Chicago style. To find books and eBooks, please search the Multi-Search or the Online Library Catalog.

More information:

  • Chicago Style (Shapiro Library)
  • Chicago/Turabian Manual of Style Training Video Tutorials (Atomic Learning – log in using your SNHU email username and password)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago Manual of Style)
  • Sample Paper (Purdue OWL) that highlights how to format a paper

For further help please contact the Wolak Learning Center at 603.645.9606 (Campus Students) and Online Writing Center at 866.721.1662 (Online Students) for assistance with Chicago Style.

This information is intended to be a guideline, not expert advice. Please refer to the Chicago Manual of Style or speak to your professor about the appropriate way to format your paper in Chicago style.

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