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Chicago Citation Style Guide

General Guidelines for a Bibliography Page

  • Always include a Bibliography/Reference list on a separate page at the end of your paper, project, or presentation. It should have the same one-inch margins and headers or footers as the rest of your paper.

  • If using the Notes/Bibliography format label the page Bibliography (do not italicize, bold, or underline the word Bibliography or put in quotation marks) and center the word Bibliography at the top of the page.  If you are including works that you consulted but did not actually cite in your paper, you should label the page Works Consulted. If using the author/date format, title the pages References.

  • Alphabetize the list of entries. Do not number entries. If one of your entries starts with a numeral, alphabetize the title as if the numeral were spelled out. For example, 1984 Revisited should be alphabetized as if it began with “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

  • Double-space all citations.

  • The year of publication follows the author's name, so a citation on the Reference List would look like this: Bissell, Tom. 2011. Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter. New York: Vintage Books. 

  • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations five spaces so that you create a hanging indent. (In Word, place your cursor in front of the first character of each citation and then click Control to automatically format the citation properly.)

  • Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions--unless it is the first word of the title or subtitle: Gone with the Wind, The Art of War, There Is Nothing Left to Lose.

  • When you are using NoodleTools, make sure you choose the correct type of source you are citing. If you are unsure, check with a teacher or librarian.

  • If you are using a preformatted citation from a database, make sure you check it over carefully; often, citations from databases or EasyBib are not accurate.

  • If you cannot find some particular piece of information, such as the author’s name, just skip that part of the citation.  

  • Always include a URL for online sources. For databases, use the stable URL provided at the bottom of the article.

  • Be picky!  Follow the rules and punctuation exactly.   


If you are unsure whether your Works Cited/ Reference page is formatted correctly, talk to your teacher or a librarian!