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Chicago Citation Guide (17th Edition): Sample Paper, Bibliography, & Annotated Bibliography

Sample Paper with Bibliography

This sample paper can be used as a template to set up your assignment. It includes a title page, main body paragraph with footnotes, and a bibliography.

Sample Paper with Appendix

If you are adding an appendix to your paper there are a few rules to follow that comply with Chicago guidelines:

  • The Appendix appears before the Bibliography
  • If you have more than one appendix you would name the first appendix Appendix A, the second Appendix B, etc.
  • The appendices should appear in the order that the information is mentioned in your essay
  • Each appendix begins on a new page

Sample Annotated Bibliography

This sample annotated bibliography shows you the structure you should use to write a Chicago style annotated bibliography and gives examples of evaluative and summary annotations.

It can be used as a template to set up your assignment.


End-of-Paper Checklist

Finished your assignment? Use this checklist to be sure you haven't missed any information needed for Chicago style.

Useful Links for Annotated Bibliographies

General Paper Formatting Guidelines

Page Order

Assemble your paper in the following order:

  • Title page
  • Body of paper
  • Appendix (if needed)
  • Bibliography


Use Times New Roman, Size 12 (unless otherwise instructed).

Margins and Indents

Your margins should be 1 inch on all sides.

Indent new paragraphs by one-half inch.


Double-space the main text of your paper.

Single-space the footnotes and bibliography, but add a blank line between entries.


Start numbering your pages on the second page of your paper (don't include the title page).

Put your page numbers in the header of the first page of text (skip the title page), beginning with page number 1. Continue numbering your pages to the end of the bibliography.


Place the footnote number at the end of the sentence in which you have quoted or paraphrased information from another source. The footnote number should be in superscript, and be placed after any punctuation.

Put your footnotes in the footer section of the page.

Quick Rules for a Chicago Bibliography

Your research paper ends with a list of all the sources cited in the text of the paper. This is called a bibliography.

See an example in the "Sample Paper with Bibliography" box on this page.

Here are nine quick rules for this list:

  1. Start a new page for your bibliography (e.g. If your paper is 4 pages long, start your bibliography on page 5).
  2. Centre the title, Bibliography, at the top of the page and do not bold or underline it. Look for the alignment option in Word. 
  3. Leave two blank lines between the title and the first entry on your list.
  4. Single-space the list, but leave one blank line between entries.
  5. Start the first line of each citation at the left margin; each subsequent line should be indented (also known as a "hanging indent").
  6. Put your list in alphabetical order. Alphabetize the list by the first word in the citation. In most cases, the first word will be the author’s last name. Where the author is unknown, alphabetize by the first word in the title, ignoring the words a, an, the.
  7. For each author, give the last name followed by a comma and the first name followed by a period.
  8. Italicize the titles of full works, such as: books, videos (films and television shows), artwork, images, maps, journals, newspapers, magazines.
  9. Do not italicize titles of parts of works, such as: articles from newspapers, magazines, or journals / essays, poems, short stories or chapter titles from a book / chapters or sections of an Internet document. Instead, use quotation marks.

What Is An Annotated Bibliography?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations for various books, articles, and other sources on a topic. The annotated bibliography looks like a Works Cited page but includes an annotation after each source cited. An annotation is a short summary and/or critical evaluation of a source. Annotated bibliographies can be part of a larger research project, or can be a stand-alone report in itself.

Types of Annotations

 A summary annotation describes the source by answering the following questions: who wrote the document, what the document discusses, when and where was the document written, why was the document produced, and how was it provided to the public. The focus is on description. 

 An evaluative annotation includes a summary as listed above but also critically assesses the work for accuracy, relevance, and quality. Evaluative annotations can help you learn about your topic, develop a thesis statement, decide if a specific source will be useful for your assignment, and determine if there is enough valid information available to complete your project. The focus is on description and evaluation.

Writing an Evaluative Annotation

  1. Cite the source using Chicago style.
  2. Describe the main ideas, arguments, themes, theses, or methodology, and identify the intended audience.
  3. Explain the author’s expertise, point of view, and any bias he/she may have.
  4. Compare to other sources on the same topic that you have also cited to show similarities and differences.
  5. Explain why each source is useful for your research topic and how it relates to your topic.
  6. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each source.
  7. Identify the observations or conclusions of the author. 

Remember: Annotations are original descriptions that you create after reading the document. When researching, you may find journal articles that provide a short summary at the beginning of the text. This article abstract is similar to a summary annotation. You may consult the abstract when creating your evaluative annotation, but never simply copy it as that would be considered plagiarism. 

Tips on Writing & Formatting an Annotated Bibliography

  • Each annotation should be one paragraph, between three to six sentences long (about 150- 200 words).
  • Start with the same format as a regular Bibliography list.
  • All lines should be double-spaced. Do not add an extra line between the citations.
  • If your list of citations is especially long, you can organize it by topic.
  • Try to be objective, and give explanations if you state any opinions.
  • Use the third person (e.g., he, she, the author) instead of the first person (e.g., I, my, me)