Experts Tutorial On Completing A Research Paper In The Chicago Style


The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS or CMS) is amongst the most comprehensive formatting styles for writing academic papers. It’s also one of the oldest, first appearing in 1906. It has had sixteen editions since its first publication over 100 years ago, and the sheer size of the complete manual is often seen as intimidating to students. The following expert tutorial shows you the most important things to know about completing a research paper in the Chicago Style:

  • Chicago Style Research Paper Basics
  • Throughout the research paper, your margins should be set at no less than 1-inch and no more than 1.5-inches. It’s also recommended you choose an easily readable typeface – the two most common for CMS are Palatino or Times New Roman set to 12-pt size. Your text should be double-spaced throughout the research paper, with only the following exceptions: block quotes, endnotes, footnotes, bibliographical listings, figure captions, and table titles.

  • Formatting the Research Title Page
  • The title page is often completed last, but sometimes the seemingly simple task of creating a title page is done incorrectly. There are rules to follow: the research paper title should be in all caps, centered, and placed about a third of the way down the page. A subtitle, if any, should be placed on the next line in upper and lower case. Next, your first name and last name should follow several lines below, with the next line being your course information, and finally with the due date written in the line below this.

  • Formatting the Main Text or Body
  • The main text or body paragraphs in CMS are formatted similarly to other writing styles. Indent the first line of each paragraph by using either the TAB – key on your keyboard or hitting the SPACE BAR five times (.5-inch). Don’t add an extra line space between paragraphs and keep the entire text left justified. Quotations – both short and block – follow the same rules as APA and MLA.

  • Formatting the Bibliography Section
  • Finally, each reference entry in the bibliography section must follow strict rules. Each entry is arranged alphabetically by the author or editor’s last name. There is no extra line space within each citation entry (in cases where the text runs on to a second line), but there is always an extra space between each entry. Complete citation information should include the author’s full name, title of the work, and publication information.