Still have questions? Leave a comment

    Checklist: Dissertation Proposal

    Enter your email id to get the downloadable right in your inbox!

      Examples: Edited Papers

      Enter your email id to get the downloadable right in your inbox!

        Editing and
        Proofreading Services?

        Chicago Title, Cover Page & Body | Paper Format Guidelines

        • calenderDec 12, 2022
        • calender 6 min read

        The Chicago Manual of Style is used widely in academic writing across sciences, social sciences, and humanities. In this article, we will explore the Chicago style format in detail. Read on to learn about how to format a Chicago title page, headings, block quotes, and body text. 

        What is the Chicago style format? 

        The Chicago Manual of Style, also known as CMOS or CMS, is a set of guidelines devised by The University of Chicago Press, originally in 1906. The latest CMS guidelines are currently compiled in the official handbook’s 17th edition, which was released in 2017. 

        Why is CMOS used? 

        The Chicago Manual of Style format is frequently used by editors, publishers, and researchers around the world because of its comprehensive style and versatile applicability. The guide has extensive notes on manuscript preparation and formatting, and two types of citation styles. It is focused on American English writing conventions.

        The Chicago style format is widely used for its applicability across a wide range of documents and academic disciplines, especially the humanities and social sciences. 

        What is CMOS used for? 

        The Chicago style format is used in a variety of documents, ranging from journal articles to books. It is a commonly used style for many technical and academic publications, as well as some trade books. Some social science journals in North America have also adopted the Chicago format as their choice of style guide. 

        The Chicago Manual of Style primarily focuses on manuscript formatting for books and journals. While formatting internal academic submissions like term papers, graduate theses, and dissertations, the Turabian format is followed instead. 

        Page formatting for a Chicago style paper

        The official Chicago style guide does not provide strict guidelines in great detail, but it does stress the importance of consistency in style. In other words, Chicago guidelines cover some basic aspects of formatting and leave the rest to the researcher. So make sure to always check with your professor for the official university guidelines. 

        Follow these basic guidelines to format a Chicago style paper:

        • Maintain a one-inch margin on all sides of the page. 
        • Choose a commonly used font size and style. The recommended font is Times New Roman 12 pt. 
        • Double-space all the text in your document, including lists, extracts, footnotes and endnotes, and bibliographies. 
        • Insert a half-inch indent at the beginning of each paragraph. 
        • Insert a half-inch indent to separate block quotations from paragraphs. 
        • Insert page numbers in the running header on the top right corner of every page, barring the title page (if there is one). 
        • Ensure all text is aligned to the left; do not “justify” the text. 
        • Leave one space after every concluding punctuation mark in a sentence, unless your instructor specifies otherwise. 
        • Begin every chapter on a new page, starting with the chapter title. 
        • Begin subheadings on a new line, flush left. Distinguish levels of headings and subheadings using the font size. 
        • Use headline-style capitalization for headings and subheadings. 
        • Ensure all chapter titles, headings, and subheadings match their corresponding entry in the table of contents. 
        • Add a half-inch hanging indent for each entry in the bibliography. 

        Chicago 17 Paper Format

        1. Chicago title or cover page

        The Chicago style format does not officially mandate that you include a cover page in your paper. However, your university’s formatting guidelines may require you to include one in your dissertation or other academic documents. In this case, we’ll tell you how to create a Chicago title page for your document.

        Follow these guidelines while creating a Chicago style title page: 

        • Add the Chicago title in the middle of the page. 
        • Type out your full name directly under the title. 
        • Add the name(s) of your professor(s), the course title, and the date of submission in three separate lines and place them in the bottom center of the page, as shown below. 
        • Maintain the same font style and size you’ve used throughout your paper (preferably Times New Roman 12 point). 
        • Avoid embellishments like bold typeface, italics, and unconventional fonts. 
        • Do not add a page number to the title page.

        A Chicago title page or cover page with formatting guidelines.

        2. Table of contents 

        A Chicago style paper (or longer documents like dissertations) may require a table of contents. Check your university guidelines for the exact format. If the university hasn’t prescribed you any format, you may create a Chicago style table of contents.

        Here are some guidelines you can follow while creating a Chicago style table of contents: 

        • Start the table of contents on a new page. 
        • Center-align the title “Contents” at the top of the page. 
        • Leave a space of two lines between this title and the first item of the table.  
        • Add chapter titles, headings, and subheadings in the same order as seen in your paper. 
        • Ensure that capitalization and hierarchy of titles/headings match the paper.  
        • Place page numbers flush right, with leader dots linking the number to the title. 

        3. Headings 

        The Chicago format handbook sets some basic guidelines on how to set headings and subheadings in a paper or book. However, these guidelines are more a matter of convention than stringent rules, so you should check with your instructor or publisher to find out the exact Chicago title and heading conventions.

        Follow these guidelines to format your Chicago style headings: 

        • Use headline capitalization rules for chapter titles. 
        • Ensure you match each title to its corresponding numbered entry in the table of contents. 
        • Set a new subheading in a new line, flush left. 
        • Distinguish the hierarchy of subheadings using different font sizes (higher-level headings in a larger size and vice versa). 
        • Use headline-style capitalization for subheadings. 
        • In the case of run-on subheadings, italicize the subheadings and follow with a period before beginning the next sentence. 

        Here are some Chicago style heading examples: 

        Literature review

        Literature Review

        Methodology of research

        Methodology Of Research

        Methodology of Research

        4. Figures, illustrations, and tables

        Using visual aids such as figures, illustrations, tables, graphs, and so forth is a great way to provide additional context for your research.

        Follow these guidelines to format visual or non-textual sources according to the  Chicago format: 

        • Present a figure or table as soon as possible after the first time you have referenced or described it in the text. 
        • Use arabic numerals to number the figures in the text (Example: Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3). 
        • Add a caption below the figure or table, explaining its contents in a phrase or 1-2 lines. . 
        • If your caption is an incomplete sentence, style it in sentence case without punctuation marks. 
        • Present titles of works of art in headline capitalization style. 
        • Separate the illustration number from the rest of the caption. (The demarcation is usually marked by a period, but check with your instructor for the exact guidelines.)
        • Wherever applicable, add a credit line containing the bibliographic information of the illustration. 
        • Place the credit line in parentheses, right after the concluding punctuation mark of the caption. 
        • If you have listed the work in the bibliography, include only its shortened form in the credit line. 
        • When you include graphs, tables, and charts, ensure consistent style in typography and graphic elements. 

        A note regarding the numbering of figures: 

        Check with your instructor about the nomenclature you should use while numbering figures and tables in a Chicago style paper. While the Chicago style format specifies you use arabic numerals, it has distinct guidelines about labeling continuous and separate numbering, as well as double numeration (For example: Figure 12.8). This is particularly useful when you have a series of images or an illustration in parts. 

        5. Numbers, abbreviations, and acronyms 

        The Chicago style format emphasizes consistency while writing numbers, abbreviations, and acronyms. Follow these guidelines to format numbers and names under the Chicago format: 

        • Use the full names of people and organizations when you introduce them for the first time.
        • If you intend to use an abbreviation or acronym thereafter, include it in parentheses next to the first instance of its full form. 
        • Refer to people by their last names after their first introduction.


        The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949. Since its inception, NATO has been instrumental in brokering peaceful relations between countries around the world. 

        Hedy Lamarr first arrived in America in 1938… besides her prolific career in Hollywood in the 1940s, Lamarr’s legacy is far beyond the confines of the industry.

        • Spell out whole numbers from zero to one hundred. 


        The early committee has only 4 members…

        The early committee has only four members…

        Note: While this is a general guideline followed for formatting numbers, you should check with your instructor or publisher for exact guidelines for numbering conventions. 

        6. Block quotations 

        According to the Chicago style format, you can include quoted text in two ways: it can be within the text or can be set off as a block quotation. Block quotations are generally reserved for longer excerpts of prose or poetry. 

        The deciding factor for what you should set off as a block quote is usually the length of the quoted text. The Chicago format guide recommends setting off text of 100 or more words (or 5 or more lines) in a block quotation. Two or more lines of poetry can be set off as a block quote. 

        Here are your guidelines for the Chicago block quotes format: 

        • Set the block quote in a new line, with a half-inch indent.
        • Do not enclose the quote with any quotation marks.
        • While including excerpts from poems, maintain line breaks set in the original verse. 
        • Do not double-space the block quotations. 

        See below for an example of a block quote in the Chicago format:

        An example of a Chicago block quote.


        As your academic editors and proofreaders, we want you to do your best with your Chicago format papers. To learn more about how to arrange your manuscript according to CMS guidelines, head over to our article about citations and references in the Chicago style format.

        Here are some related articles that you might find interesting:

        Frequently Asked Questions

        Found this article helpful?


        Chetna Linkedin

        Chetna is a child of the internet. A writer and aspiring educator, she loves exploring digital media to create resources that are informative and engaging. Away from the writing desk, she enjoys cinema, coffee, and old books.

        2 comments on “Chicago Title, Cover Page & Body | Paper Format Guidelines

        1. Lydia Simmons says:

          This is so well-researched and thorough! Thanks for writing!

        2. Marshall says:

          Wow, I have been looking for informative instructions about using Chicago Style Formatting. I am about to make a history paper and after reading this informative blog, my fingers are now itching to touch my keyboard already. I really want to start writing my paper right now. The substance of your post really gives clear instructions on how to use the Chicago style, which is why I am sure I would not lose track of the formatting. I have one question, though: is Times New Roman the only standard font Chicago Style is using?

        Leave a Comment:

        Your email address will not be published.

        Read More

        How to Copyright Your Book?

        If you’ve thought about copyrighting your book, you’re on the right path.

        Explore more