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MVNU Writing Guide: Chicago Sample Paper

Chicago Sample Paper

*Note on this title page-- this paper uses an older version of the Chicago style. Specifically, this paper includes a page number on the title page where there should be none. Furthermore, the most recent version of the Chicago style puts the Title in Bold. See the Chicago Overview for more details about the title page.


  • Red: Your title must follow the proper capitalization rules (see Chicago Overview) and can take up 1-2 lines. If your title includes a subtitle, make sure it goes on a new line after the colon.
  • Green: Include your name, the number/title of your course, and the due date in that order, centered a few lines beneath the title.
  • Red: The hook is often one of the most difficult parts of a paper to write. This paper considered the history-book version of an event and refutes its simplicity. This engages the reader by letting them know that the information in the paper is not something that could easily be googled.
  • Green: This is the thesis statement. Good thesis statements give a reader a good idea of what to expect from the rest of the paper as well as in what order the information will be presented. Here, the thesis provides the three main reasons why Austria-Hungary entered the war.
  • Blue: This is the first example of a citation in this paper. Chicago citations are called footnotes and they are different than a usual parenthetical citation. The software you are using to write your paper should have an Insert Footnote feature that places the footnotes number and creates a corresponding number at the bottom of the page. For information on how to format footnotes, check out the Chicago Citation Guide!
  • Orange: Notice how this citation is a lot shorter than the previous one. If you are citing the same work multiple times, Chicago style allows you to shorten the subsequent citations. The Chicago Citation guide also goes into detail about the requirements for these as well.
  • Red: Here is an example of a direct quote. If you can, try to incorporate quotations into sentences in ways that flow naturally. (Tip: read the sentence out loud. If it sounds obvious that you are quoting, see if you can smooth out the transition between your words and the words of the quotation.)
  • Green:  If you feel comfortable, try spicing up your sentences with some unconventional punctuation!
  • Red: Consider your audience: does the reader likely know what this term means? Do they need to know what it means? If you ask yourself these questions while you write, your paper will be more appealing and understandable.
  • Green: Check out the Chicago Citation Guide for Bibliography formatting rules!