How to Cite a Thesis/ Dissertation in Chicago & Turabian

How to Cite a Thesis/ Dissertation in Chicago & Turabian

Dissertation writing is one of the prerequisites for earning a degree and obtaining an academic diploma. In order to deliver a winning project, you have to spend a lot of time reading guides, researching different thesis topics, and working with the endless list of literature entries. Strict formatting rules create an extra obstacle to producing an A-grade paper. Therefore, many students consider dissertation writing and formatting like something huge and scary. So how to cite a thesis Chicago? Let us get all this straightened out.

If you understand the basic specs and pitfalls of the assignment, it becomes an easy task to do. Do not have time to read all those manuals and guides? You do not have to. In this post, we have gathered all the essential info about citing a thesis or dissertation in Chicago and Turabian style. 

Any Problems with a Dissertation?

Do not know how to format citations in your paper? Have problems with drafting a reference page? Need an expert eye on fixing your dissertation? Get our professional writers on the task. We will polish your work and make it shine.

Importance of Proper Citing in a Theses/ Dissertation

Dissertation writing goes hand in hand with data research, collection, and analysis. In order to prove the relevance of your statement, it is necessary to have it proved and supported by an independent expert. This is where citations serve the purpose. A properly formatted thesis looks professional and will hardly be poorly graded. 

Here are some other reasons to take care of proper citing in your final academic project:

  • Demonstrate that you have done a thorough research work;
  • Give credit to other experts/ writers/ researchers;
  • Automatically solve the issue of text plagiarism;
  • Prove the credibility of your words;
  • Have every important statement from your work proved and supported;
  • Allow a reader to investigate the subject deeper by following your references.

Using citations from reliable sources is a good way to support your own thoughts and claims, without causing doubt in a reader. Prove your key arguments and let the commission clearly see the importance of your investigation and academic work.

Thesis/ Dissertation Citing Specs

There are two systems of reference formatting Turabian and Chicago styles. So how to cite a thesis Chicago? Choose the option that works best for you.

  • Notes and bibliography system - Using such a system in your text, you are to link a citation to a footnote/ endnote. According to the guidelines of the 16th edition, you should then alphabetically list sources in the Works Cited section or Bibliography at the end of your work; 
  • In-text citation system - The system presupposes that you write references (with the author's name, work’s publication year, and the page number) as you cite an external work. At the end of the manuscript, you are to provide a Reference List with all the sources in alphabetical order. 

Regardless of the system you select, make sure to follow all the rules from this Chicago manual throughout your document.

Footnotes & Endnotes 

In order to cite sources and/ or provide relevant commentary in a proper way, you need to use footnotes. Include a footnote each time you make mention of a source, no matter whether you quote the author directly or just paraphrase the formulation. These should be added at the end of every page where you refer to a source, while endnotes are to be listed at the end of the entire document or chapter. Place note numbers at the end of the sentence (or a clause) they refer to.

Note numbers should begin with “1” and follow consecutively throughout your dissertation. In the text, footnote numbers are superscripted, whereas full-sized numbers are used for endnotes. The latter should be followed by a period and include the info about the source entry (specifically - a full name of an author, a shortened form of the title (approx. 4 words), and page numbers).

See the below examples to format footnote, endnote, and bibliography entry properly. You may use them as a template to refer to.


        1Mariah Burton Nelson, The Stronger Female Gets, the Better (New York: Harcourt Grace, 1998), 68.


        1. Mariah Burton Nelson, The Stronger Female Gets, the Better: Sexism in the American Culture (New York: Harcourt Grace, 1998), 68.

Bibliography entry (applicable to both):

Nelson, Mariah Burton. The Stronger Female Gets, the Better: Sexism in the American 

        Culture. New York: Harcourt Grace, 1998.

Pay attention to the following formatting rules as you format footnotes and endnotes in your bachelor thesis or dissertation and decide on how to cite a thesis Chicago:

  • Notes are indented like all other paragraphs;
  • Begin each note with its reference number, write it not as a subscript but as a regular text;
  • Put a period between the note number and the detailed source description;
  • Make footnotes and endnotes single-spaced and put one blank line between notes;
  • If you cite the same source twice, shorten the note - leave just the name of the author and the page of the source.

Reference to Sources

Remember how titles of different sources are to be formatted in order not to confuse the reader. 

Italics Quotation marks
Books Journal publications
Edited collections Articles from any edition
Movies Television series episodes
Documents Song titles

The formatting rule is applicable to sources no matter where they are mentioned - either in the text, in the note, or in the Bibliography. Use title case for all types of source entries, be it a journal article, a book title, or a song.

Bibliography Page

According to the specs from the Chicago manual style 16th edition, every dissertation and thesis should have a reference list at the end of the work. Provide a list of sources cited in the paper at the end of your dissertation and name it “Bibliography.” The page label should be centered and written at the top of the page. You can simply list all the sources right under the label. 

Leave two blank lines between the “Bibliography” label and the first list entry, whereas it is enough to have one blank line between the remaining entries. Arrange all source entries in the alphabetical order (be guided by the author’s surname) and make the first line of every entry flush left.

Want to Make Sure Your Thesis is Perfect?

Once you are done with your final academic project, you can get a professional proofreader and have any issue quickly resolved.

What Does It Take to Deliver an A-Grade Dissertation?

It is easy to get a high grade for your final assignment if the subject is properly researched and the key information is properly cited. Thus, you can avoid the issue of plagiarism and make your paper look professional and evidence-baked.