Dr Abel Scribe PhD

2.0 Chicago Page Layout

The Turabian manual is vague when it comes to the page format of a research paper. The examples provided are all for a dissertation, with one exception—a skimpy title page. "Class papers should begin with a title page (but some put the title on the first page of the text)" (Turabian 2013, 376). The example shown in CMS Basic places the title on the first text page.

BE CONSISTENT! The manual consistently defers to the requirements of your instructor, department, university, or research journal for your class paper, theses, dissertation, conference or journal papers. When is doubt use whatever makes sense to you but be consistent in that use throughout your paper. CMS Basic covers most of the things that might come to the attention of a knowledgable and alert reader (such as the use of a numeral when a number should be written out).

CMS Basic for Research Papers: Contents

1.0 Text Style Rules
  • 1.1 Abbreviations/Acronyms
  • 1.2 Capitalization (Titles)
  • 1.3 Compound Words
  • 1.4 Emphasis (Italics/Quotes)
  • 1.5 Numbers & Dates
3.0 Endnotes/Footnotes
  • 3.1 Page Layout
  • 3.2 Books & References
  • 3.3 Articles in Periodicals
  • 3.4 Documents & Reports
4.0 Bibliographies
  • 4.1 Page Layout
  • 4.2 Books & References
  • 4.3 Articles in Periodicals
  • 4.4 Documents & Reports

References are to the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition (CMS 2010) and the Turabian manual, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, (Turabian 2013).

2.1 Title/First Text Page (TOP)

symbol A separate title page is redundant, since the title must be repeated on the first text page. If you wish to have a title page the title is centered about a third of the way down the page, the author information is centered about a third of the way up the page from the bottom.

Title & Text Page

Figure 1. Title Page for Chicago Style Research Papers. When there is a level one heading (the title) the page number goes to the bottom center of the page in the margin space; other pages upper right. Note the line spacing and indents. Quotes follow fairly elaborate rules, as do the use of numbers, and words used as terms distinct from the text.

Page Format

Block spacing. Chicago's Turabian style applies block paragraph spacing, single-spacing block quotes and references with a blank space before and after each text block. Tables and figure captions are also single-spaced (Turabian 2013, 373). There are minor exceptions (e.g., lists in appendixes). CMS Basic follows this general rule.

  1. Margins. "Leave a margin of at least one inch on all four edges of the page. For a thesis or dissertation intended to be bound, you may need to leave a larger margin on the left side—usually 1½ inches" (Turabian 2013, 372).
  2. Fonts."Choose a single, readable, and widely available typeface (also called a font), such as Times New Roman [CMS Basic illustrations mostly use this font], Courier, or Helvetica" (Turabian, 2013, 372). "In general use at least ten-point and preferably twelve-point type for the body of the text" (Turabian 2013, 373). A smaller font may be used for footnotes, table titles, and figure captions.
  3. Indents. The standard indent is one-half inch. This applies to all indents: paragraphs, hanging indents in references, and block quotes.
  4. Justification. "Set your word processor to align text flush left (with a 'ragged' right margin), and do not use its automated hyphenation feature" (Turabian 2013, 290). Only regular compound words should be hyphenated. Words hyphenated to wrap lines can be confusing, and are a proscribed by research journals.
  5. Spacing. "Put only one space, not two, following the terminal punctuation of a sentence" (Turabian 2013, 373). This is just plain silly!
  6. Page numbers for each page beginning a major section of a paper (the first text page, bibliography, notes, appendix) are placed at the bottom center of the page. Page numbers on other pages go in the upper right corner double spaced above the text midway from the margin to the top of the page.
  7. Page header. The current Turabian manual no longer features the use of a page header other than the page number. If you wish, a short title may be placed before the page number (above, "Big Two-Hearted" would work).

Footnotes (TOP)

Footnotes must be placed, or at least must begin, on the page where they are referred to [indicated by a superscript numeral in the text]. The text and footnotes are separated by a short rule, or separator. If a footnote runs over to the following page, a separator should be inserted on that page. Each footnote must begin on a new line, indented the same amount as paragraphs in the text. Footnotes are usually single-spaced, with a blank line between notes.1

Seperator. The text and footnotes are separated by a short rule, or separator. If a footnote runs over to the following page, a separator should be inserted on that page.

Note numbers. The use of superscript numbers with footnotes is no longer encouraged. "Begin each note with its reference number, formatted not as a superscript but as regular text. Put a period and a space between the number and the text of the note" (Turabian 2013, 156). If you use superscript numbers with footnotes there in no punctuation or spacing between the superscript and the note text.

spacer1. Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2013), 156-57.

spacer2Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2013), 87-94.

Footnotes can create a bewildering maze for the reader to unravel. The use of cryptic phrases such as ibid., idem, op. cit. and loc. cit. in a footnote refer a reader to a previous citation, anywhere in the text. As a consequence, "avoid all Latin citation terms except one—ibid., from ibidem or "in the same place" (Turabian 2013, 155). Use this only when citing a page immediately after the first full reference and only if it falls on the same page as the first full reference.

spacer 2. Ibid., 156.

Subsequent citations to the same footnote on following pages use a shortened note in this form:

spacer 2. Turabian, A Manual for Writers, 161.

Multiple sources. If several sources are cited in a single sentence, or you wish to add a comment, combine them in a single footnote or endnote. Separate each reference or comment with a semicolon.

Comment (substantive) notes. Footnotes may carry a reference to a source cited in your text or a comment on the text. Rules change when your source notes/references are endnotes. Comment notes go in the footnote space at the bottom of the page but are identified with symbols, not numbers. The available symbols are  *,  †,  ‡,  §, in that order.

Pointer   Clarity is required in research writing. Never confuse your reader. Add a bibliography to the paper when using footnotes. This allows the reader to readily find a source.

2.2 Headings & Lists (TOP)

symbol Five level of headings are provided in the Turabian manual (2013, 393). Only three are typically used, here labeled Level 1 to Level 3. This style is shared by other styles and may be considered conventional.

Figure 2. Chicago Style Headings & Subheadings. The title is a Level 1 heading. It is centered on the page, in headline caps, and bold font, which is larger than the text font. Notes and Bibliography follow the same style.

The style of capitalization varies with the level of the heading. The Level 1 heading may also be in a larger font than the text.

  • Headline/Heading Caps capitalize "the first letter of the first and last words of the title and subtitle and all other words" (Turabian 2013, 312-313). Also capitalize the first character after a colon in a title or heading. Otherwise, do not capitalize: articles, a, an, the; prepositions such as against, between, in, of; conjunctions and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet; or the infinitive to.
  • Sentence caps capitalize the first word of a title or heading, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns.

Pointer  When there is one subheading in a text a second must follow at the same level.

Layout for Lists

Figure 3. Enumerations. A paper may be further organized with the help of enumeration or lists. Two forms are observed. The first lists a series of items in a sentence, a run-in list, each item numbered or marked with a lower case-letter. Longer lists of items may be organized as a series of items set down the page, each numbered or noted with a bullet.

Lists (Enumeration). "Your text may contain lists of items that you choose to enumerate for emphasis" (Turabian 2013, 328). "Lists may be either run in to the text or set vertically (outline style)" (CMS 2010, 344). Lists can alert a reader that you are going to discuss items that may call for fairly abrupt changes in topic in the following text. The use of lists may be preferable to using subheadings, especially if each item on the list can be discussed in a single paragraph or two.

Run-in lists. "When such a list is relatively short incorporate it into a single sentence" (Turabian 2103, 328).

  • "Be sure that all items are grammatically parallel (all noun phrases, all adjectives, or the like" (Turabian 2013, 328).
  • Items in the list are enumerated by a number or lowercase letter set in parentheses.
  • Each item in the list is followed by a comma, or with more complex text followed by a semicolon.
  • "If the list is an appositive, use a colon to introduce it; otherwise do not use punctuation" (Turabian 2013, 328). If the first sentence in the figure above read "The map of upper Michigan shows the following:" the colon introduces the list. (This is an appositive.)

Vertical lists. When the items in a list are fairly long they are better organized as a vertical list, subject to the following rules:

  1. "Introduce the list with a complete sentence followed by a colon" (Turabian 2103, 328)
  2. The items must be grammatically parallel, sharing the same verb tense and adjective forms.
  3. "Begin each one with a bullet or [a number] . . . followed by a period without parentheses" (Turabian 2103, 328).
  4. When "the items are complete sentences, capitalize the first letter and use terminal periods, otherwise use lowercase letters and no periods" (Turabian 2013, 328).
Numbered lists can suggest a chronology or a ranking of importance, especially if some items obviously carry more weight from the tone of your text. In such cases it may be best to use letters in run-in lists, or no enumereation at all separating items with semicolons or commas. Bullets can be used with vertical list to dispel ranking or chronology.

2.3 Quotations (TOP)

symbol A Tale of Two Two's? Quotations may be included in your text as (a) run-in quotes, quotes incorporated directly within sentences or paragraphs, or as (b) block quotes, longer quotes indented, set off from your text. Quotations may be used to (1) complement your text or lend authority, or (2) be the focus of your work as a textual analysis, for example, an analysis of the writing style of Hemingway in the "Big Two-Hearted River" short story. When the latter, more elaborate rules must be followed when editing quotes to fit your text (see, Turabian 2013, " Textual Studies Method for Ellipses", 356).


Figure 4. Quotations. Block quotes and run-in quotations as they might appear in a paper. The figure shows the second paragraph in the block quote preceded by a blank line (double-spaced), and a paragraph indent of the first line. The Turabian manual allows only the indent, the Chicago manual either, with preference to the indent. The example as shown is easier to read, especially when the quote is placed in a smaller font than the text, a common practice.

Run-in or block quotes? Every style has its own rule as to when to use block quotes with length the governing factor. Even the Chicago manual differs (%quot;at least six to eight lines of text") from the Turabian rule of five or more lines of text (CMS 2010, 623; Turabian 2013, 349). The Turabian standard probably works best for class papers. Run-in quotations must be placed in quotation marks.

Block quotes are continuously indented from the left margin the same distance as a paragraph indent; required with longer quotations, five or more lines in your text.

Accuracy. It is unethical to misrepresent the original intent of quoted material. All quotations must include a citation, a note or parenthetical citation, referring the reader to the source document. Quotes in languages that use diacritical marks must replicate those marks exactly as they appear in the original (e.g., école, pietà, tête, leçon, Fähre, año).

For an unusual word choice, concept, term, or spelling it may be appropriate to emphasize the original is being quoted faithfully. This is done by inserting the Latin term sic (thus), in italics inside brackets within the quotation immediately following the term, or in parentheses at the end of a quote.

For example, write: "The ship struck an iceberg and floundered [sic], with the loss of all on board." Or write: "The ship struck an iceberg and floundered" (sic). Note, to flounder is to thrash about wildly. To founder is to fill with water and sink.

The example in figure three above uses this technique to note a spelling error in the original: know should have been written knew. This sort of error can be corrected without making a note, while the example of flounder versus founder may reflect a deliberate word choice. If you are uncomfortable both in making a correction and not making a correction you can always paraphrase the quote, putting it in your own words with appropriate citation.

Minor changes. As a matter of form quotations should flow with your text, and may be edited to match your syntax. Simple changes may be made by following these rules:

  • Quotation marks. Double quotes can be changed to single quotes, and vice versa, for merging the quote with the rest of the text.
  • Initial capital. If a capital letter begins a quote in the original, that letter should be changed to lowercase when run-in to your text, and vice versa (capitalize the first letter if the quote begins a sentence in your text, but is lowercased in the original). If it is essential to alert the reader to this change (e.g., to help them find the original quote), place the altered letter in brackets.
  • Punctuation. The final period in a quote may be changed to a comma (and vice versa) to merge with your text.
  • Citation in original. If you quote material that contains a citation to another work, that citation may be ignored.
  • Typographic errors. Obvious typographical errors should be corrected unless you suspect they were intentional, then add [sic] [thus, or so] after the word to indicate the error is not yours. Archaic spellings in older works should also be preserved unless it is made clear to the reader that the spelling has been updated.
  • Emphasis in original. If there are italics or bold font already in the original text for emphasis, then a note should added to let the reader know the quote is faithful [emphasis in original] to the original.

Major changes may be made to weave the quote into your text:

  • Added words. Brackets are required to indicate material or emphasis added to a quote. For example: "They [the Irish Republican Army] initiated a cease fire."
  • Added emphasis. Italics may be used to add emphasis to words or phrases within a quotation, or to the entire quotation. This is indicated by (1) adding a note immediately after the change in brackets, or (2) by appending a note to the end of the quote in parentheses. For example, write: "He claimed [emphasis added] he was innocent" or write: "He claimed he was innocent" (emphasis added).

Editing quotations. Three ellipsis points (periods with a single space before, between, and after each period) indicate material has been omitted within a sentence. Punctuation may be altered as appropriate.

Text example: "Man's capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedents, so little has been tried" (Thoreau 1979, 11)

  • Original punctuation retained (semicolon) and deleted (comma before so). "Man's capacities have never been measured; . . . so little has been tried" (Thoreau 1979, 11).
  • Original punctuation retained. If punctuation comes at the end of a portion of a quote replaced with an ellipsis that punctuation is retained. "Man's capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he can do . . . , so little has been tried" (Thoreau 1979, 11). The phrase "by any precedents" has been omitted, but the comma after the phrase is retained.
  • End of a sentence deleted. When the quoted material is a complete sentence once edited it is not necessary to add ellipsis points even if the sentence continues in the original. "Man's capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedents" (Thoreau 1993, 11).

Pointer  Ellipsis points are not required when omitting the first or last part of the original material quoted, or before of after a fragment of text quoted.

2.4 Tables & Figures (TOP)

symbol Place tables and figures in your text close to where they are first discussed. "Normally you should place a table or figure immediately after the paragraph in which you first mention it." (Turabian 2013, 359).

Table Layout

Table 1. Doctorate Degrees by Broad Area of Study. Tables work best when they present the idea you wish to convey in the simplest manner. This table merges several areas of study (e.g., computer science with engineering) to reveal broad trends. A sample table in the Turabian manual has 270 numerical data points among 30 categories (397). No one will study this.

Table Manners

The table layout preferred is among the simplest a word processor can produce. There are some basic rules to follow.
  • Number tables consecutively in the table header along with a brief description of what the table contains, the table title.
  • "A table must have at least two columns, each with a head or heading at the top that names the data in the column below" (Turabian 2013, 364).
  • "The leftmost column of a table, called the stub, lists the categories of data in each row" (Turabian 2013, 365).
  • You must credit the source of the data following the form of a footnote. This is placed below the table.
  • Additional notes can be placed, after a blank line, below the source note. These can apply to the entire table, preceded by the word Note: followed by a colon. They may be footnotes to specific items in the table, following the footnote format (indented and numbered), or a probability note marked by an asterisk in the form: *p < .10   **p < .05.
If you need to present data in a table larger than the simple example shown both the Turabian manual and Chicago manual go into exhaustive details. The APA Publication Manual (2009, 125-50) does an even better job.



The term figure is applied to any display that is not a table. These may be a map (above), a photograph, a chart, a graph, a drawing, a musical score, and so on. These are numbered consecutively and placed near where they are first mentioned in your text, ideally on the same page. A source note is required; other notes share the same format as those for tables.