Creating a Bibliography in Chicago Style

The bibliography lists all of the sources you used in your paper and is placed at the end of the paper on a new numbered page. The sources listed on this page and the ones you cite within the text must align exactly.


Placement. Place the bibliography at the end of the paper on a new numbered page. An easy way to do this is to add a Page Break at the end of the text on the last page of your essay. Place your cursor at the end of your last sentence and click CTRL + Enter.

Title. Label the page Bibliography, centered in plain text.

Spacing. Each individual entry is single spaced, but there should be a double space between entries.

Order. List the sources in alphabetical order by the authors' last names. Ignore "A," "And," and "The" when alphabetizing by title if an author is not listed.

Indentation. Do not indent the first line in the citation; however, you must indent any additional lines 1/2". One way to do this is with a hanging indent. In Word 2007, place your cursor in front of the line to be indented and under the Home menu, click the arrow next to the word Paragraph. Under Special, choose Hanging, and make sure that it is By .5.  A second method is to place your cursor at the end of the first line and press Enter. Then, place your cursor at the beginning of the second line and press Tab.

Click here for a sample Bibliography.

These guidelines will help you write the different elements of bibliography entries correctly. Note that not all of these elements are necessary for all types of sources, and the elements will not necessarily appear in this order in different citations.


If there is one author, write the name last name first, a comma, and then the first name and middle initials, as they appear on the source. Follow with a period.

Thompson, Hunter S.

If there is more than one author, list the first person last name first, add a comma, and then list the second person normally. Any name that appears after the first name is always written first name first.

Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar.

If no author is listed, list the name of the periodical (such as the journal or newspaper) or Web site first. Never use "Anonymous" as the author. 


If you use an edition other than the first, indicate this by abbreviating the number followed by "ed."

6th ed.


Capitalize the first letter of all important words. Do not capitalize a conjunction (such as "and," "but," and "or") or article (such as "the," "a," or "an") unless it is the first word. In the bibliography, add a period to the end of an article or book title if it does not already have end punctuation.

Titles should be formatted in either italics or quotation marks, depending on the type of source. No titles are formatted in both quotation marks and italics. Chicago uses the same rules as MLA, which are described here.


If the editor or editors are listed in addition to an author, write "Edited by" and then list them first name first, followed by a period.

Edited by Ann Charters.

If the editor or editors is to be listed first because there is no author, list the names as you would for authors, followed by the abbreviation "ed." or "eds."

Stanford, Judith A., ed.

Volume and issue numbers

Volume and issue numbers are required for journal articles. List the volume with numerals only, followed by a comma, then the abbreviation "no." followed by the issue number.

53, no.7


Dates are written Month Day, Year.

February 5, 2010.

Page numbers

Page numbers are written with numerals only, no abbreviations.



Database services are referred to by their homepages. Write the address including the http://, but do not allow your word processing program to turn it into a hyperlink, which is blue underlined type. Right-click on the address to remove the link.

http: //www.ebscohost.com


When citing a book, list the first place of publication given on the title page. No state is usually necessary, but if the location of the city is not clear, use a comma and then the two-letter abbreviation for the state.

New York:

Urbana, IL:


Write the name of the publisher given on the title page. You may shorten the publisher, for example, using "Knopf" for Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Web Addresses

Use the full Web address that leads directly to the document you referenced. Include the http:// and add a period at the end. If you need to break the address to divide it between two lines, do so at a punctuation mark such as a period or slash. Do not allow your word processing program to turn the address into a hyperlink (blue underlined type). Right-click on the address to remove the link.

 http: //www.emilydickinson.org/titanic/gilbert_bio.html.

Date of Access

If a Web document may change over time, include an access date in parentheses and place a period outside the parentheses.

(accessed February 4, 2010).