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Chicago Style Paper Format: Turabian Style Guidelines – 17th Edition

Chicago style paper format represents widely used formatting guidelines mostly for Humanities and History academic papers. It is also known as Chicago/Turabian. Roughly speaking, the Chicago Manual of Style is crafted for professional academic publications. Turabian is its simplified version, but more applicable for high school and college students.

In this blog post, our essay writers have compiled the main points of both Chicago and Turabian formatting guidelines. Let’s start from the very beginning!

Chicago Style Guide

General formatting guidelines in Chicago style paper have less strict rules like in APA style paper, for instance. But it still provides the following regulations:

  • Use regular serif fonts like Times New Roman, 12pt. or Arial, 11pt.
  • Make your text double-spaced.
  • Set margins at least at 1 inch from all four sides.
  • Use 1/2 inch indentation for new paragraphs.
  • Include page numbers placing them either at the top right corner of each page or at the bottom center. This rule doesn’t apply to a title page – this page shouldn’t be numbered.

Look through general formatting guidelines sample:

Sample of Chicago style format

Chicago Style Title Page

Including a Chicago style title or cover page is not necessary in academic papers – putting centered text’s title at your first page’s beginning is enough. But students are sometimes asked to create a title page.

For this purpose, we should turn to Turabian recommendations for formatting title pages:

  • Don’t include the page number (in this case, page number 1) but make it count.
  • Type your title in bold and capitalize it. Place it 1/3 of the way down the page.
  • If you have a subtitle, type it on the following line also bold and capitalized. Use colon at your title’s end in case you have a subtitle.
  • Place other necessary information about 2/3 of the way down the page.
  • Include your name, course name, tutor’s name, and date. All points should start from the new line and be centered. No font formatting like bold or italics is required.
  • Don’t forget to double-space your title page.

Take a look at the title page example:

Sample of Chicago style title page

Chicago Style In-text Citation

As for the in-text citation in Chicago style paper, you have two ways to cite your sources: author-date and footnotes. Mind that you need to choose one of them. All general formatting guidelines apply to both variants. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Chicago Style Author-Date Citation

Author-Date citing implies putting a source directly in needed sentences in parentheses. Your cited source should be similar to that one on the bibliography page. This method gives you more room for making your text unique as you can rephrase cited sources.

It can look like you refer to a source rather than directly cite it. Here’s an example:

Sample of Chicago style author-date Citation

Chicago Style Footnotes

Chicago style paper footnotes guidelines are the following:

Start numbering notes with 1 and save the consecutive order up to your final note.

  • In text:
    • Note’s number should be superscripted.
    • Place this superscripted number at the sentence’s end after all punctuation.

  • In footnotes:
    • Write down note’s number, both full-sized or superscripted. In the first case, put a period after the number.
    • Align notes to the left.

Here’s a sample to finalize your knowledge of footnotes.

Sample of Chicago style footnotes

Also, there’s a complete guide on how to cite a book in Chicago style so you can get acquainted with it. Quick reminder: citation of used sources in academic papers is vital to avoid plagiarism!

Chicago Style Block Quotes

Another aspect of a Chicago style paper worth paying attention to is a block quote. It has way different formatting compared to other citations and implies using a direct quotation of prose or poetry longer than 100 words.

While formatting a block quote, you don’t need to put your text into the quotation marks and use double-spacing. Make a one-line space, start your quote and indent all the piece to 0.5 inch. Make another one-line space after the quote’s end before proceeding to your text.

Take a glance at the example of block quotes:

Sample of Chicago style block quotes

Chicago Style Bibliography / References

A separate page with a list of cited sources in Chicago style paper may vary depending on a type of citation you use throughout your text. Bibliography is used in a footnotes variant when references are applicable for author-date citations.

General formatting for both pages is similar:

  • Type “Bibliography” or “References” at page’s top and align it to the center without additional font formatting like bold or italics.
  • Create a two-line space before listing your sources.
  • List your references or bibliography in alphabetical order.
  • Leave just one line space between entries.
  • Make sure all your text is still double-spaced.

Here are comprehensible samples of bibliography and references pages:

Sample of Chicago style bibliography

Also, students may be asked to create an annotated bibliography. It is pretty similar to a standard bibliography but has a detailed description of cited source and some additional formatting issues. Learn about this section in our guide about Chicago style annotated bibliography.

Chicago Style / Turabian Headings

There are no specific requirements regarding Chicago style paper headings, but there is a sort of recommendation.

  • Don’t create more than 3 levels of headings (heading, subheading, sub-sub heading).
  • Make levels different with font formatting (bold for headings, italics for subheadings, etc.).
  • Make it coherent: use the same formatting for each level throughout your text.
  • Use capitalization for each level.
Chicago style paper headings

Frequently Asked Questions

Who uses the Chicago style?

There’s no strict specification of the style’s area of implementation, but mostly this formatting style is connected to academic papers on Business, History, Social studies, and Humanities written in American English.

However, each institution and even a particular instructor can set their own rules of paper formatting, and Chicago/Turabian style is one of the most popular ones.

What is the difference between Chicago and Turabian?

Turabian includes almost any specifications of Chicago but is mastered for use by high school and college students. The latter style is way more complicated and broadened, so its mission is to serve professional academic writing.

Is it compulsory to include a bibliography or references page in Chicago style?

Yes, Chicago Manual of Style requires highlighting cited sources on a separate page as a list. Depending on what type of citation you use, you need to include a bibliography or references page.

Bibliography page is a list for a footnotes citation, references page is for an author-date one.

Emma Flores knows all about formatting standards. She shares with StudyCrumb readers tips on creating academic papers that will meet high-quality standards.

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