Chicago Style Paper: What It Is and How to Write It?

Chicago Style Paper: What It Is and How to Write It?

Whenever you write a piece of academic writing, you are expected to do it according to certain format style guidelines. The most common format styles are APA (American Psychological Association), ASA (American Sociological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Chicago (sometimes also referred to as Turabian – after Kate L. Turabian, the author of one of the recognized style manual). Most often, a particular formatting style is used for a particular field of knowledge. For instance, an example of Chicago style paper will most likely be in history, anthropology, or some social sciences, because this formatting style was developed specifically for these fields of knowledge.

If your task is to produce a Chicago Manual of Style sample paper, be recommended to look up the latest (17th) edition of Chicago Manual of Style, published by University of Chicago Press. However, it may seem a long read, so we have compressed its main points of implementation for your Chicago style paper into this brief article.


Here are the general guidelines for a sample Chicago style paper:

  • Font. Technically, a Chicago style research paper or essay can use any font type or size to use in one’s paper. The only requirement is that the font is clearly readable. So, the choice is up to you. We suggest that you don’t get inventive here and stick to Times New Roman size 12.
  • Spaces. You use double spacing, except in block quotations.
  • You should not divide paragraphs with blank lines.
  • Margins. The margins are set to one inch.
  • Author’s name. You write your name in the upper right-hand corner of every page. The only exception is the title page (if you have one).
  • Page numbering. If you have a title page and “Chicago style paper no title page” is not the case, the numeration begins on the page that follows it, with number two. If it is a Chicago style paper no title page, you begin your numeration from the first page from number one. You put the number next to the author’s name.

Usually, your Chicago style research paper will have three sections: the title or cover page, the main body, and the bibliography. If you write a small five-paragraph essay, your instructor may suggest that you skip the title page. Let us see what each of these sections are about.


If you have it in your Chicago style sample paper, it will still have very little information. The only thing to mind here is how you allocate this information on your title page. The manual suggests the following:

  • You go ¼ of the page down from its top, and this is where you write your title. If it is longer than one line, you set the spacing to double.
  • Then you go another ¼ of the page down and type the author’s name.
  • Finally, you go another ¼ of the page down and write the name of your course, your instructor, and the date of completion. These will make three separate lines with double spacing.


In the main body of your sample Chicago style paper, you should follow the general formatting guidelines that we have already mentioned. However, there are two more critical points to pay attention to here: the Chicago style paper heading and the citations.

Chicago style paper format suggests the following set of guidelines for headings and subheadings:

  • You can capitalize the Chicago style paper heading (s).
  • Subheadings can be put in separate lines, but you don’t end them with a period.
  • To avoid confusion, be recommended not to use over three levels of subheadings.
  • Use bold and italic for different subheading levels.

Chicago style citation example paper allows for both in-text citations and footnotes.

Here is what you do if Chicago style in text citation sample paper is the case:

  • A citation consists of the author’s name, publication date, and page number.
  • If the author is unknown or there is no author, you use the shortened title instead.
  • If you are citing an online source, then the page number is non-applicable, so you avoid it.
  • The abbreviations are only allowed when they are authentic.
  • The only punctuation is the comma between the date of publication and the page number.
  • If you have several quotes of the same pages from the same source, you cite this source after the final quote.

In-text citations make the text look less welcoming to read, so be encouraged to use as few quotations as possible. You should not, however, clear your text of all quotations altogether.

So you understand it all better, here is an example:

Hullmandel made a great contribution to lithographic techniques "throughout the early nineteenth century, patenting the "lithotint" process in 1840 (Twyman 1970, 145-146)."

Be recommended to use Chicago style in-text citation sample paper when you quote a source directly. For indirect quotations, you use Chicago style paper footnotes instead. A footnote begins with a superscript number, then you mention the author, the title, the publication place date, and the page number (unless it is an online source).

Upon repeated use of a source, you can shorten Chicago style paper footnotes to just the author's last name, the title (you can even shorten that if it's over four words), and the page number. If you quote the same source in a row, you reference it in your footnotes under "Ibid," which means "same," but remember to mention the page number.

It should look like this:

Like almost everywhere else in the world, children in Central and Eastern Europe have suffered from malnutrition – namely, iron deficiency. 1
1 Valerie M. Hudson, “Culture and Foreign Policy”. Boulder 1997, 5.
2 Hudson, “Culture and Foreign Policy” 10.
3 Ibid 12

If you want, you can immediately follow your footnote with your own comment on this quote.


This is the closing part of your Chicago Manual of Style paper. Here, you list all the sources that you have used for your paper, including those that you have already cited in the main body of your paper and those that you haven’t cited. Here is how you format your bibliography:

  • You type the word “bibliography” in the center of the opening line, no quotation marks;
  • You list your sources in alphabetical order;
  • Only the first and last names of authors are mentioned;
  • If you reference a whole book, you write the title in italics. If you reference a journal article or a specific chapter of a book, the title is written in quotes;
  • There are full stops between every element of each citation.

Here are the examples for citing various kinds of sources in the bibliography of your example of Chicago style paper:

  • If a book has only one author: Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006.
  • If a book has several authors:
    Ward, Geoffrey, and Ken Burns. The War: An Intimate History, 1941–1945. New York: Knopf, 2007.
  • If you reference only a specific chapter of a book:
    Kelly, John. “Seeing Red: Mao Fetishism, Pax Americana, and the Moral Economy of War” in Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
  • If you are citing a journal article:
    Weinstein, Joshua. 2009. “The Market in Plato’s Republic.” Classical Philology #104 (2009)
  • If you are referencing an eBook:
    Kurland, Philip, and Ralph Lerner. The Founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. Kindle edition.
  • If you refer to any other online resource:
    McDonald’s Corporation. 2008. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts.” Last modified July 19, 2016.