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Chicago Style, Author-Date System: Formatting a Reference List


The References page is an alphabetical list of all the sources you used for your paper.

Here are some basic rules to follow when creating your References page:

  • The References page should be placed at the end of your paper on a new page.
  • The page number should be in the top right corner in the header.
  • Center the heading References a few spaces down from the top of the page.
  • Two blank lines should be after the heading, and before the first entry on the list.
  • Use one blank line between each entry.
  • Each entry should be single spaced and the second line of each entry should be a hanging indent. To get this in MS Word:
    • Select all text, and then right-click it.
    • From the pop-up menu, select Paragraph.
    • To double-space the text, under Spacing, Line Spacing, select Single.
    • To add a hanging indent, under Indentation, Special, select Hanging. This indents the lower lines of each entry 0.5” from the left.
  • Alphabetize each entry by author’s last name, or if the author’s name is not given, by the title of the work.
  • When you are citing multiple works by an author, you can include a long dash as a substitute for the author's name.
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. 1988. The Signifying
Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism. New York: Oxford University Press.
-----. 2004. American Behind the Color Line:
Dialogues with African Americans. New York: Warner Books.


Example Reference List



Centers for Disease Control. 2012. "Overweight and
Obesity: A Growing Problem."  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last modified April 27. Accessed June 20, 2012.
Davis, Brennan. 2009. "Proximity of Fast-Food
Restaurants to Schools and Adolescent Obesity." American Journal of Public Health 99, no. 3: 505. Accessed August 29, 2011. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.137638.
Levine, Susan. 2008. School Lunch Politics: the
Surprising History of America's Favorite Welfare Program. Princeton: Princeton University Press.