How Do I Format a Bibliography in Turabian/Chicago Style?

If you cite your sources in your thesis or dissertation (or class paper) using numbered notes, you will probably also need to include a bibliography. A bibliography is an alphabetical list (by author) of all the sources cited in the notes. Place the bibliography at the end of the paper. If you use endnotes instead of footnotes, the bibliography will follow the endnotes.

Here’s how to format a bibliography for a Chicago-style paper following the guidelines in Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

  • Center the title Bibliography at the top of the first page.
  • Add two blank lines between the title and the first entry.
  • Entries appear flush left; leave the right margin “ragged.”
  • Apply half-inch hanging indents for each entry.
  • Single-space each entry, and add a blank line between entries.
  • For multiple works by the same author(s), replace the name(s) with a 3-em dash in all entries after the first.

To see what this looks like, consult the sample page below. For more details, see chapters 16 and 17 in the Turabian Manual. See also section A.2.3.5 in the Turabian appendix on paper format and submission.

Sample Bibliography Page

IMPORTANT: Your instructor’s requirements may overrule Chicago’s formatting recommendations!

Turabian Manual Ninth EditionThe Turabian tip sheets illustrate everything you need to know for formatting a student paper in Chicago style. They are fully compatible with The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). You can print them and download them.

  1. Margins and Page Numbers
  2. Title Page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. List of Tables and Figures
  5. Introduction or Conclusion
  6. Main Text
  7. Sections and Subheads
  8. Chapter Opening Page
  9. Figure and Figure Caption
  10. Bibliography
  11. Endnotes
  12. Footnotes
  13. Parenthetical Citations
  14. Reference List

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Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, written specifically for students, covers every aspect of research paper writing, from thinking up a topic to submitting the paper in official Chicago format. Turabian’s guidelines are compatible with The Chicago Manual of Style.

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