The Chicago Style of writing is often required for history papers, although this style is also called Turabian Style when referring to research papers.
Tips for Writing the Text
Paper margins: Students fall into a trap when trying to adjust margins to adhere to an instructor's requirements. Instructors normally ask for a margin of one inch. That's close to the pre-set margin in your word processor, which is probably 1.25 inches.
The best plan is: don't mess with the pre-set margins in your word processor if you can help it! Once you go outside the default margins, you can get into a nightmare of inconsistency.
Basically, the default setting in most word processors is fine the way it is. Ask your instructor if you have any doubt about this.
Line Spacing and Indenting Paragraphs
Your paper should be double spaced throughout.
You may have noticed that some articles and papers are written with no indentations at the beginning of new paragraphs. Indentation is actually a choice--the only rule is that you must be consistent. Indenting new paragraphs is better. Why? Because of the double-spacing requirement.
You will notice that it is impossible to tell when a new paragraph begins in a double-spaced paper if the first line of a new paragraph is not indented. Your choice, then, is to indent new paragraphs or to quadruple space between paragraphs, for clarity. If you quadruple space, the instructor may suspect you're padding your paper.
More Tips for Your Text
- Use Times New Roman font size 12 unless the instructor has a different preference.
- Put your page numbers in the upper right-hand corner.
- Don't put a page number on the title page.
- Make sure subtitles are in a consistent format. There is not specific standard--just be sure to make them all the same, either flush left or centered. One option is to center subtitles and put them in bold font.
- Start your bibliography on a separate page.
- You may use either footnotes or endnotes.
It is best to place tables and other supporting data sets or examples at the end of the paper. Number your examples as Appendix 1, Appendix 2, and so on.
Insert a footnote as you refer to the appendix item and direct the reader to the proper entry, as in a footnote that reads: See Appendix 1.
The bibliography entry separates items (like author and title) with a period. These differences are displayed in the image above. This image shows a citation for a book. You can see the formatting for an article citation on the next page.