How to Format a Paper in Chicago Manual of Style
- By: Brian Scott
The basic guidelines for creating a thesis, dissertation or formal paper using Chicago Manual of Style are straightforward. Most of them use common sense rules and formatting options. Use some of the guidelines listed here to format your thesis or dissertation using Chicago (Turabian) Style.
A) ABBREVIATIONS. Abbreviations appear more regularly in formal papers now versus a few decades ago. If you choose to use abbreviations, stick with common ones. However, do not use abbreviations for expressions of dimensions, such as "miles." When using abbreviations that contain two periods, such as "U.S.", do not add a space after the first period.
B) ALIGNMENT. Chicago Manual of Style requires left justification of all text (minus indentions), but it allows for either ragged right or full justification of text. If you choose full justification, Chicago (Turabian) Style requires you to ensure that the spacing between words is minimal and that hyphens used to break words at the end of a line are used correctly and sparingly. Your word processing software should enable you to follow these two rules for full justification, unless you have numerous extremely large words in your paper.
C) CAPITALIZATION. Beyond typical sentences, Chicago (Turabian) Style allows for two types of capitalization. Headline-style capitalization calls for capitalizing all words, other than articles, certain prepositions, and conjunctions. Sentence-style capitalization calls for capitalizing only the first word, a word after a colon, and proper nouns.
D) CORRECTING FLUID. You may use a white correcting fluid to cover black specks and stray spots on the final paper.
E) DATE. Chicago Style allows for two date formats: 31 March 2008 (day month year) or March 31, 2008 (month day, year). Just be certain that you select one format and stick with it throughout your paper.
F) FONT. If using a word processor, stick with a serif font, such as Times New Roman. Use text in a 10- or 12-point size. A computer-generated font is preferred to a typewriter because the computer can create italicized text more easily than a typewriter.
G) HYPHENATION. With Chicago Manual of Style, you may break words with a hyphen at the end of a line in your main text, but you should not hyphenate words at the end of two consecutive lines.
H) INDENTIONS. Indent paragraphs within the main text of the paper one-half inch or five to eight spaces. This Style does not require a specific indention measurement, but it does require that writers use the same amount of indention throughout the paper.
I) MARGINS. For all four sides of the paper, use a 1-inch margin. However, if the paper will be bound on the left, a wider margin is allowed on the left side.
J) NUMBERS. Spell out and use words for all numbers through 100. For numbers larger than 100, use numerals. Exceptions include: Spell out all numbers that start a sentence, use numerals for all percentages and decimal numbers, and use numerals for all numbers within a series of amounts.
K) PAGE NUMBERING. Number almost every page in the paper with Arabic numerals, other than the pages that lead into the main text, such as the copyright, dedication, and table of contents pages. All of these pages, which Chicago (Turabian) Style calls "display" pages, should be numbered with lowercase roman numerals. Do not number the title page, but count the title page among the display pages. The next page should be blank or the copyright page, and it is not numbered, either. The page following the blank/copyright page should be numbered "iii" in roman numerals, centered at the bottom of the page. At the beginning of the main text, switch from roman numerals to Arabic numbers and place the number "1" in the upper-right corner of the page. If, however, a page contains a chapter heading or another type of main heading, you can center the Arabic numeral at the bottom of the page. Number all blank pages and any other pages; the pagination should run consecutively. Place all page numbers at least three-quarters of an inch from the edge of the paper.
L) PAPER TYPE. Use standard white, 20-pound bond paper that measures 8.5-by-11 inches. If using a computer, use an inkjet or laser printer to print the paper.
M) SPACING. Use double-spacing throughout the paper's main text. However, block quotation, endnotes, footnotes, headings, and captions may be single-spaced, according to Chicago Formatting Style.
N) TITLE. Center all text on the title page, both horizontally and vertically. All text should be uppercase and double-spaced, too.
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Brian Scott is a professional freelance writer with over a decade of experience. He recommends using a Chicago Manual of Style formatting software to correctly format and write papers in Chicago Manual of Style, available at http://www.masterfreelancer.com/chicago-writing-style-software.php