Formatting A Dissertation Bibliography In The Chicago Writing Style


Making sure that your dissertation bibliography is formatted correctly is an important step in the writing process. Incorrect formatting can not only make it confusing to read and understand, but it can also make your whole project look sloppy and make people think you don’t care about the little details. Here are some great tips that will help you format your bibliography in the correct Chicago style format.

Guidelines & Format

Most bibliographies are going to have a similar structure, format and purpose. Basically, you will need to gather and organize all of the texts, ideas, graphics, interviews, etc., that you have used to put together your project. Here are some things to remember:

  • Organize alphabetically
  • List entry format: Last Name, First Name. Title of the Source. City of Publication, Publishers Name, Year of Publication.
  • Two or more authors format: Last Name, First Name, and First Name Last Name.

Start Early

Some people wait until the end of their project or close to the end to start assembling and organizing their bibliography. This is a huge mistake because it will take much more time than if you had started early and added sources as you used them in your work. A good habit to get into is to insert all of the information you can find on a source as soon as you even consider using it. You can organize and edit the formatting later, but at least you won’t have to search for all that information later on after you have possibly forgotten about it.

Get a Second Opinion

If you are unsure if your bibliography is in the right format or if some of your sources are odd, and you aren’t sure how to correctly add them in, get a second opinion - or even get a few opinions. Make sure these opinions are from professors or people that are experienced in this area, of course. Getting another set of eyes to look over your work will not only help catch things you didn’t notice or were unsure of but also it will reassure you that you have gone the extra mile to make it correct. You can also go to the committee that is reviewing your dissertation since they may have specific opinions or their own set of guidelines to follow for your type of project.

Taking the time to acknowledge correctly the research you used in your project will surely pay off. Since a huge part of a dissertation is the research you use to give it a strong basis and backup your findings, be sure to make sure your bibliography is error free and formatted neatly.