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Chicago Style (Notes/Bibliography)

Provides basic information and instructions for preparing a paper using Chicago Manual of Style Notes and Bibliography system.

Elements of a Paper

Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) provides detailed information on formatting a manuscript to be sent to a publisher. It does not address formatting of student papers. This page provides basic information about the components of a paper following CMS Notes-Bibliography system. Always find out whether your instructor has specific requirements when you are writing a paper.

Basic elements of a paper using Chicago style are as follows:

  • A title page that contains:
    • the title of your paper
    • your name
    • the class, the professor, and the date.
  • Body of the paper.
  • Footnotes on pages where references occur OR an Endnotes page on a new page after the body of the paper.
  • Bibliography.

Margins, Spacing, Etc.

Margins, Indents

  • Leave uniform margins of at least 1 inch (2.54 cm.) at the top, bottom, left and right of every page.
  • Indent all paragraphs in the body of the paper 1/2".
  • Indent notes (footnotes or endnotes) 1/2".
  • Use a hanging indent of 1/2" for Bibliography entries.
  • Block indent long quotations 1/2".


  • Double-space the body of the paper.
  • Double-space block quotes.
  • Single-space each note (whether using endnotes or footnotes) and bibliography, but double-space between each entry.

Fonts: CMS does not specify a particular font. We suggest you use a readable serif font, like Times New Roman, 12 pt.


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