Home / Blog / Chicago Style Format: Ultimate Guide

The Chicago style format is a literary classic with a rich history. It has influenced the writing and publishing industries worldwide. This venerable style guide was established in 1906. It has been important in upholding the highest standards for writing and publishing in a variety of disciplines. Its lasting impact on the fields of academia, journalism, and professional publishing is nothing short of extraordinary.
In this article, our experts, who help with your 'write my essay for me' requests, will explore the important guide called the Chicago Manual of Style format. We'll talk about its history, important rules, and how it still affects how we write today. Whether you're a student trying to do well in school, a writer making stories, or an editor fixing papers, the Chicago Manual of Style is a very helpful tool for making sure your words are clear and well-presented.

What is Chicago style format?

One of the primary writing styles for academic purposes is the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS). It was originally released by the University of Chicago Press in 1906 and is currently in its seventeenth edition.

The Chicago Manual of Style offers instructions for formatting works and citing sources in particular fields, just like other styles like MLA and APA. It is mostly applied to historical subjects, but it is also sometimes used in business and fine arts subjects.
All major style guides aim to ensure writing is credible, clear, and consistent, but they all take a different approach.

Chicago is well-known for its flexibility, making it a popular choice for disciplines such as history and the humanities. It cites sources using a bibliography, endnotes, or footnotes in order to provide thorough historical context and precise referencing.
In contrast, the humanities, arts, and literary disciplines frequently use the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. MLA format is renowned for its simple Works Cited page and in-text citation style.

Is Chicago and Turabian the same?

The term "Turabian style" refers to the style guidelines developed in 1937 by Kate L. Turabian, who was the graduate school dissertation secretary at the University of Chicago. The Turabian style restricts the Chicago style to provide a format for research papers used by college and graduate students. Learning how to write a research paper in either Chicago or Turabian style is crucial for academic success.

Another significant difference is the level of detail. Chicago is perfect for intricate research projects because it is thorough—almost exhaustive. In contrast, Turabian offers precise and succinct guidelines that are appropriate for the majority of academic pursuits. Chicago has a strong sense of academic tradition, but Turabian is thought to be more approachable and realistic. Choosing between these two styles ultimately comes down to your academic path and the expectations of your academic audience; it's like picking the appropriate wine from the same vineyard with different tastes.

There are many similarities between these style guides, which are still published today. The distinction is that the Chicago style is more inclusive and has more rules, whereas the Turabian style is targeted at students.

When to employ citations and the Chicago style

Consult your instructor if you are unsure which style guide to use to write an assignment. Although it can be applied to humanities and social science papers as well, the Chicago format is often used for historical research papers.
It is especially recommended if the author intends to use a lot of endnotes or footnotes. Chicago lays the greatest emphasis on notes for citations and commentary when compared to other styles. Footnotes and endnotes can save your time when citing multiple sources in a sentence or line by reducing the number of lengthy in-text citations.

Chicago and other formats such as MLA and APA

Chicago sets itself apart from other styles with its flexibility, aside from its emphasis on footnotes. For instance, Chicago offers formatting guidelines if you would like to use one, but it doesn't require the inclusion of a title page in your paper. Similar to headings and subheadings, there are no hard-and-fast rules to follow, but the Chicago style offers a few guidelines.
It is more frequently required for graduate than undergraduate education due to its thoroughness. It appears frequently in published works as well.

Basic Guidelines

Chicago style format is famous for its versatility and strict standards. It provides a structural framework for scholars to paint their intellectual canvases. Do you know how to format Chicago style paper? At our expert service, where you can buy essays, we explore the basic rules of this famous writing style. This helps make sure your work is clear and accurate.

Chicago Style Cover Page Format

A title page acts as a gateway to your scholarly journey. It is the secret to leaving a lasting impression. The basic rules for creating an effective Chicago cover page are as follows, though specifics may differ depending on your instructor's preferences:

Placement of title: A Chicago-style paper should have a prominent title that appears one-third of the way down the page.

Thorough Details: Include every relevant detail after the title, including the date, the author's name, and the class information. Make sure to double-space each of these details on separate lines.

Subtitle Synergy: If your work requires a subtitle, properly include it by finishing the title line with a colon, followed by the subtitle on the next line.

It is very important to understand the difference between the Chicago and Turabian format styles. Title pages are standard in this writing style. However, Turabian offers more flexibility.
In Turabian, you can use a title page or simply begin your paper with the title on the first page before your main content. If your professor asks for a Turabian title page, follow the same guidelines as before. Remember that your title page works similarly to an introduction in your academic work, regardless of whether you follow Turabian or Chicago style guidelines. Therefore, it's crucial that you format it correctly and follow the instructions.

Main Body

Whether you're working on a synthesis essay or any other paper in the Chicago style, the main part is where you connect good research with clear writing. It's important to be clear and accurate and follow the rules for citing your sources.

Structured Organization: Arrange your writing into clear sections or headings.
Citation Rules: Follow the specific citation rules from Chicago's guidelines.
Clear and Precise Language: Use clear words, good grammar, and proper sentence structure.
Including Evidence: Add evidence and data smoothly into your writing.
In-Depth Exploration: Dig deep into the topic and think critically about it.
Academic Tone: Keep a balance between sounding smart and being easy to understand.
Adaptability: Be able to adjust to different subjects and topics in academics, ensuring that your literature review is comprehensive and relevant to your essay's argument.


The Chicago Manual of Style's headings are essential for assisting readers in navigating the complexities of academic writing. Hierarchy Is Important: Chicago Style knows multiple heading levels, each with a specific function. Among them are:

Level 1: Capital letter at the start of a title, in the middle, bold or italic.
Level 2: Capitalization at the start of a title, in the middle, normal font, centered.
Level 3: Capital letter at the start of a title, bold or italic, on the left side.
Level 4: Capitalization at the start of a title, on the left side, normal font.
Clarity Is Essential: Headings ought to be informative and clear. Without going into specifics, they should convey to the reader the general idea of the section's content.
Rules of Consistency: Maintain a uniform hierarchy in all of your work. If you begin with a Level 1 heading, format the next sections in the same way. A consistent text is easier to read.
Avoid Excessive Use: Avoid using an excessive number of headings in your text. When using them, make sure to highlight key points or ideas within those sections.
Guidelines for Capitalization: Pay special attention to the capitalization style used within headings. Major words are capitalized in headline capitalization, while minor words are lowercase unless they are the first or last words in the heading.

In Text Citation & Notes

One of the main indicators of academic rigor in Chicago Style format is the prudent use of in-text citations and notes. Here's a handy guide on how to use them efficiently:

Bibliography and Notes versus Author-Date: There are two main citation systems available in Chicago Style: the Author-Date system (which is commonly used in the sciences) and Notes and Bibliography (which is mostly used in the humanities). Make sure you know which system is suitable for the subject matter of your studies.
System of Notes & Bibliography: When using this system, cite sources using endnotes or footnotes. When a citation is required, place a superscript numeral (1, 2, 3, etc.) in the text. The pertinent citation information can be found in the endnotes or footnotes at the bottom of the page.
Author-Date Format: In this system, the last name of the writer and the year of publication are in parentheses inside the text, for example, (Gerber, 2022). A comprehensive list of all the citation information is included in the reference list at the end of the document.
Alternatives: Learn how to use common Chicago Style acronyms, like 'ibid.' for 'the same source' and 'et al.' for 'and others.' These acronyms support clear, uniform note and citation formatting.
List of references or bibliography: Finish your work with a thorough bibliography (using the Notes and Bibliography system) or a list of references (using the Author-Date system). Make sure that this section contains all of the sources that you cited in your text, and format it according to Chicago Style.

Block Quotes

Block quotes are a unique feature of the Chicago Manual of Style format. It's an effective tool for bringing the knowledge of specialists to life and paying tribute to the sources that support your research. Let’s explore how to use them:

Length of block quotes: Use block quotes for lengthy text passages, typically 100 words or more in Notes as well as Bibliography or 50 words or more in Author-Date.
Format for Block Quotes: Block quotes are indented in Chicago Style 0.5 inches from the left margin. There is just a single space before and after instead of quotation marks.
Reference in Block Quotes: Block quotes should always have the author, date, and page number properly cited, either within the quote or right after it.
Regular Use: If you use block quotes in your writing, make sure to use them consistently and according to Chicago Style guidelines.

Contextual Integration: Fit block quotes into your writing so they flow naturally, giving background information before and after. Describe how they support your position.
Continuity in Citation Style: Make sure the block quote citations are placed correctly and adhere to the selected Chicago Style system (Notes and Bibliography or Author-Date).
Cutting Block Quotes Shorter: When it's necessary, shorten block quotes with ellipses (...) while maintaining the original meaning.
Add clarity: Put your own words inside square brackets ([...]) to set them apart from the original text if you want to add clarification to a block quote.
Placement of Punctuation: If the closing punctuation is not included in the original quote, it should go inside the quotation mark (exclamation mark, question mark, and period).

Acronyms & Numbers

In general, it is preferable to express numbers less than 100 in words rather than by numbers when using the Chicago Style Format. For this reason, writing "seventy-five" rather than "75" is preferable. But you should still use numbers when referring to precise measurements, like "15 pounds."
When using acronyms, you should always explain them the first time you use them and include their complete expansion in brackets.

Chicago Style Bibliography: Endnotes & Footnotes

In Chicago style paper format, endnotes and footnotes are the unique features of the Notes & Bibliography system. These notes have two purposes: they cite sources and offer further details or clarifications.


Whenever a reference or clarification is required, footnotes are located at the bottom of the page. Superscript numbers are used in the text to indicate them; these numbers match the note at the bottom of the page.

Positioning: When a footnote or reference is required, put it at the bottom of the page.
Superscript Numbers: A footnote should typically be inserted after punctuation marks in the text, so indicate its location with a superscript number.
Content: Footnotes can contain extra information, clarifications, or references. Give enough information to back up your claims or give context.
References: Use the complete citation format—including the author, title, publication information, and page number—while referencing a source in a footnote. Follow the style citation instructions.


On the other hand, endnotes are positioned at the conclusion of the document, usually prior to the bibliography section. Though they are gathered in one location, they are numbered using the same scheme as footnotes.

Positioning: Endnotes should be placed at the conclusion of the document, usually right before the bibliography.
The Continuity of Numbers: For consistency, number the footnotes in the document using the same scheme.
Content: Endnotes can include citations, further information, and explanations, just like footnotes do. They are gathered in one place and have the same functions as footnotes.
References: Observe Chicago Style guidelines and utilize the complete citation format when referencing a source in an endnote.

☑️Reading suggestion: Effective essay writing tips

Chicago Style Citations

It is important to know how to properly cite sources using the Chicago style. Below you can explore the Chicago Style format examples for various works and authors, using both the Author-Date (AD) and Notes and Bibliography (NB) systems:

Book with a single author 

First name of the author, Last name of the author, Title of book (Publication place: Publisher name, Year), Page number.

For example: John Smith,  The Wonderful World of Writing (Chicago: University Press, 2018), 72.

Author date system

(Last name of author year, page number)

For example: (Smith 2018, 72)

Book with multiple authors

First name of Author 1 Last name and Author 2 First name Last name, Title of book (Publication place: Publisher name, Year), Page number.

For example: Williams Emily, and Michael Davis. Exploring Creativity (New York: Academic Press, 2020), 45.

Author date system 

(Last name of Author 1 and Last name of Author 2 Year, page number)

Example: (Emily and Davis 2020, 45)

Journal Articles

Notes and Bibliography system

Author’s First name, Last name, ‘Title of Article,’ Volume of Journal, no. Issue (Year): Page Range.

For instance: Smith, John, 'The Impact of Climate Change,' Environmental Studies Journal 25, no. 3 (2022): 45-60 

Author date system

(Author’s Last name Year, Page range)

For example: (John 2022, 56-60)


First name Last name, ‘Webpage title,’ Website name, Date of Publication, URL

Example: Johnson Mary, 'Tips for Effective Time Management,' Time Management Tips Blog, May 15, 2022, https://www.timemanagementtipsblog.com/effective-tips.

Author date system

(Last name of author Year)

Example: (Mary 2022)

Concluding remarks

It is important to learn the Chicago style format for doing well in school. Whether you're figuring out how to mention sources, make your text look right, or create powerful quotes, paying close attention to details is super important. It helps you share your thoughts in a really clear and trustworthy way, making your academic work better. So, follow its rules, make your writing better, and do great in your academic journey!

Related Blogs