Chicago Style is different from APA and MLA, and it can be considered simple once a writer has finally adjusted to it. It is mostly used in the academic field of writing and especially History writing. Therefore be sure to grasp Chicago writing style if at all you will be pursuing any career in History.
Articles and books are the most common sources when it comes to 1st year writing, but as years pass and you become a senior, History writing may involve more complicated referencing by use of complex sources such as videos, court documents, etc.
However, this shouldn’t be a cause for alarm since the same format used does not change and if you follow it correctly, then nothing will be an uphill climb for you. Make use of the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, and 7th edition of a Pocket Guide to Writing in History by Mary Lynn Rampolla or online at the Chicago Manual o.f Style.org.
If a writer can get into a difficult situation writing or citing they can opt to use all resources available for example, online manuals or the research assistant in the various campus libraries. Your instructors expect to receive assignments that are correctly formatted and well laid out.
How to Write a Chicago Style Paper
Here are the tips you will need to have an easy way when writing a Chicago Style paper. This is the easiest way to do it I can guarantee you.
1. Overall layout of the page
2. Cover Page.
- Use 1-inch margins on the sides (both on top and bottom)
- Make sure to use Times New Roman (12pt) font.
- Do not forget to double space your paper.
- Make sure to use left-justified text with a ragged right edge. Make sure it’s different from the way a newspaper is justified.
- Indent 0.5” at the start of every paragraph, using blockquotes and hanging indentations.
- Make sure you have numbered the pages in the top right corner of the paper beginning with the first page of your written text. Don’t leave out your name, your last name for that matter on all pages in case your paper gets mixed up with others it can be easily identified.
- Confirm with your instructor if it’s okay to print both sides of the paper.
- Center the title
- Your name is centered directly below the title.
- Your instructor’s name, course title in capital letters, date written in 3 lines and centered at the page bottom section.
- Make sure to use Times New Roman, 12Pt for the title page. Do not complicate your cover page in any way.
- Cover page doesn’t have page number since it’s not usually counted to be part of the other pages which your instructor will grade.
The following order should be used when putting your paper together:
3. Names and numbers
- Title page
- Appendix (for papers with many pages for example dissertations)
4. Footnotes and Endnotes
- Make sure to use full names of people and also agencies. Include acronym in parenthesis after the full name when first used, for example, British Overseas Development Agency (ODA)
- After listing the acronym for the first time, you can refer to people by their last name, or if you are writing about agencies, then you can simply use the acronym alone.
- Make sure to write numbers which are less than 100. For example, “All the seven jury members….”
- Footnotes should be at the bottom of the page just the same location as references while endnotes go to a separate page after the body of the paper.
- Within the text of your essay, ensure that you have put the note number at the end of the sentence where the references usually are positioned. Do this even if the material which has been cited is mentioned at the beginning of the sentence.
- The note number goes after all the other punctuation
- Remember to use Arabic figures (1, 2, 3, etc.)
- Make sure that you write ‘endnotes’ before you actually write them down. Write on top of that specific page using a Times New Roman 10 point font.
- Indent every line
- Do not re-use numbers.
- If you have used a source more than once, find short-forms for the same and use them instead
- Separate two citations using a semi-colon in order to cite more than 2 sources in a single note
- A bibliography should be on a different page with the word correctly placed on top of the page and centered. Avoid using large fonts or underlining this word. Simply use Times New Roman, 12pt.
- Bibliography writing styles are different so make sure you have used the proper formatting
- Use a hanging indent. The first line should begin at the margin, and all the other lines should be indented.
- If your source has no author, do not make a separate list, simply alphabetize the by title within the authors.
- If your instructor has requested the separation of primary and secondary, then separate them but if no instructions were provided regarding the sources “DO NOT separate.”
Pay attention to the formatting since a Chicago style paper always uses Times or Times New Roman 12 pt font.
Just a recap:
- The format uses the first name, last name and bibliography use LAST NAME, FIRST NAME
- Avoid re-using numbers
- Notes use first line indent whereas a bibliography uses a hanging indent.
- A bibliography goes in alphabetical order starting from the author or a title if an author is absent whereas, notes are numbered and are normally listed in the order of the sources used.
- Avoid placing the works cited page at the top of your bibliography which in itself is MLA citation style.
- Chicago Style always uses Times New Roman, 12 Pt Font, ALWAYS.
All the best in your writing!