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Chicago (17th ed.) Citation Style Guide: Paper Format/Guidelines

Chicago Style - Useful Links

Sample Chicago Style Papers

Tips for Using Chicago Style

Chicago Style has two referencing style systems – the Notes/Bibliography style system (also known as 'Humanities style') and the Author/Date style system (also known as 'Scientific/Social Sciences style'). The Author-Date method uses in-text parenthetical references and a reference list.  This guide covers the Notes/Bibliography style system, which uses notes (either footnotes or endnotes) and a bibliography at the end of the paper.  

Double space the main body of the essay.  Entries in the bibliography and endnotes are single spaced within entries, but double spaced between entries (unless your instructor prefers double-spacing throughout).

Footnote form and bibliographic form differ slightly.  Each entry provides an example of an entry's bibliographic form and footnote form. In bibliographic entries, the second and all subsequent lines should be indented in a "hanging indent" fashion.  In notes, the first line is indented.

When no date is provided, the abbreviation n.d. takes the place of the year in the publication details (Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., p. 820).


Notes can be either footnotes (placed at the bottom of the same page as the referenced text) or endnotes (listed on a separate sheet at the end of the essay).  Footnotes and endnotes are structured in exactly the same way.

When citing a source, insert a superscript (raised) number within the text.  Use normal full sized font numbers for note reference numbers in the notes themselves.  The notes are numbered consecutively throughout the paper.  Most word processing programs handle footnotes automatically (Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., p. 751).


The bibliography is given on a separate page at the end of the paper.  The entries are organized alphabetically by the author's last name or by the title if the item's author is anonymous (Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., pp. 781-782). 

Major Changes from the 16th Edition

Discourages the use of ibid. in favour of shortened citations (Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., pp. 759-760). 

Includes expanded instructions on how to cite websites, blogs, and social media (Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., pp. 844-849).

Includes instructions on citing personal communications (Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., pp. 850-851).

Expanded coverage on citing audiovisual and multimedia ((Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., p. 869).

Information on citing permalinks and short forms for URLs (Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., p. 747).