Chicago Writing Style Guide: How to Format a Paper


The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) is a widely used writing style guide that provides guidelines for formatting and referencing research papers and other written works. The CMOS is widely used in the humanities and social sciences and is considered to be one of the most comprehensive and authoritative style guides available. Here is a brief guide on how to format a paper using the Chicago Writing Style:

  1. Page layout: The page layout should be 8.5 x 11 inches, with 1-inch margins on all sides. The font should be a legible 12-point font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, and the line spacing should be double.
  2. Headers and footers: The header should include the author’s last name and the page number, and should be positioned in the top right corner of each page. The footer should be left blank.
  3. Title page: The title page should include the title of the paper, the author’s name, and the date of submission. The title should be centered on the page and written in capital letters.
  4. Abstract: The abstract is a brief summary of the paper, typically not more than 250 words, and should be placed on a separate page after the title page.
  5. Body of the paper: The body of the paper should be divided into sections using headings and subheadings as needed. The headings should be in bold and should be organized using a hierarchical structure.
  6. Footnotes: Footnotes are used to provide additional information or clarification in the text. They should be placed at the bottom of the page and should be numbered consecutively throughout the paper.
  7. Bibliography: The bibliography is a list of sources used in the paper, and should be placed at the end of the paper. The bibliography should be formatted according to the CMOS guidelines, which include the author’s name, the title of the work, the publication date, and publication information.
  8. Quotations: Quotations should be placed in quotation marks, and the source should be cited in the text and in the bibliography.
  9. Tables and figures: Tables and figures should be labeled and numbered consecutively throughout the paper. They should be placed as close to the text that refers to them as possible.

In conclusion, following these guidelines for formatting a paper using the Chicago Writing Style will help you to produce a well-structured, professional-looking document that is easy to read and understand. Remember, the CMOS is a comprehensive style guide, and it is important to consult it whenever you are unsure about a specific aspect of formatting or referencing.

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