Chicago Style Format Essay: Explore the Latest Guidelines

If you were assigned to write an essay in Chicago style or want to make your writing more professional, this guide is right for you. In this article, we collected the cutting-edge rules for the Chicago style format. Whether you are a student, publisher, or writer, these insights will help you polish your writing and understand all the nuances of the Chicago style. Keep reading, and you will master the art of Chicago style essay writing.

Reasons to Use Chicago Style Format

If you wonder whether to use the Chicago style format in your writing, consider these several compelling reasons:

  • Chicago style is a preferred format among many academic institutions. It’s widely used in history, literature, and art papers.
  • It offers versatility in citation methods, accommodating in-text citations, footnotes, and endnotes.
  • This style is accessible and user-friendly for writers due to a variety of resources and guides.
  • Chicago format is suitable for diverse sources across various disciplines, including essays, journal articles, books, theses, etc.
  • Adhering to Chicago-style standards demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and scholarly integrity.

The Chicago style essay is an excellent citing format to enhance the credibility, structure, and meaningfulness of your work.

What is Chicago Style Essay: General Formatting

Before you explore how to write Chicago style essay, it’s essential to find out what this style is. This concept may be explained in simple terms, like a set of rules for writing and formatting academic papers. Speaking more academically, a Chicago style format essay is a comprehensive system of writing and citation conventions that encompasses guidelines for manuscript preparation, citation practices, and editorial principles.

You should keep in mind that students use a specific version of the Chicago style in their writing, which is the Turabian style. The Turabian guidelines were specifically designed for students, while the Chicago Manual of Style is aimed at publishers.

We hope these definitions will help you shed light on what is Chicago style essay. Now, we can delve into the general formatting guidelines:

  • Chicago recommends using a readable font, such as Times New Roman or Arial.
  • You should keep a consistent font size throughout the essay, typically 12-point.
  • Center and capitalize your title, subtitle, and headings.
  • You should align the text to the left without justifying it.
  • Double-space the text, including between headings and subheadings.
  • You have to maintain one-inch margins on all sides of the paper.
  • Indent the first line of each new paragraph by 0.5 inches.
  • Chicago style requires placing page numbers in the header or footer, starting from the first page of the main text.
  • You can use either footnotes or endnotes for citations, but be consistent.
  • If your essay includes tables or figures, number them consecutively and include captions.

You can find more details and a Chicago style essay outline in the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

How to Create Title Page for Essay Chicago Style

When writing an essay, you may write a centered title at the beginning. However, it’s essential to know how to create a title page for essay Chicago style. You can memorize these tips, but it’d be better to have clear guidelines in front of your eyes. Here we’ll discuss all the elements on the title page and their formatting requirements.

The title of your essay should be centered at the top of the page. Capitalize all letters and ensure you have one font style for the title and the main text. For example:

Understanding the Impact of Technology on Society

You don’t have to underline or italicize the title, but it’s acceptable to type it in bold. The title should be placed 1/3 of the way down the page.

If you have a subtitle, your title should end with a colon. The colon separates the main title and the subtitle visually, enhancing readability and conveying the relationship. For example:

The Impact of Technology on Society:

Understanding Trends and Social Transformations

You should place it on a new line, write it in bold, capitalize the major words, and put a period at the end.

Then, go 2/3 of the way down the page and include essential details, such as your name, course information, the name of the instructor, and the date. All the points should start with the new line at the center of the page. For example,

John Brown

History 101

Jane Wellington

February 12, 2024

The title page in Chicago style essay format requires double-spacing, a readable font, like Times New Roman or Arial, in a 12-point size. Keep in mind that the title page doesn’t have a number, but it’s included in the page count.

Headings in Chicago Style Essay Format

Headings help organize and structure your content, and when using an essay Chicago style, there are several important considerations.

  • Level of headings. The Chicago format has three levels of headings. For example:

Level 1:                         I. The Impact of Technology on Society

Level 2:                 A. Understanding Trends and Social Transformations

Level 3: 1. The Rise of Social Media

  • Formatting of headings. Chicago allows for either bold or italic formatting for different levels. You should be consistent with heading formatting throughout your document.
  • Capitalization. Use headline-style capitalization for each level of heading. You should capitalize the main words, like nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.
  • Placement. The headings in Chicago style essays should be placed on a new line and don’t end with a period. The first two levels are centered, while others are flush left.

You can find more information on heading formatting in the Chicago Manual of Style.

Formatting Block Quotes in Chicago Style

Quotations make your essay more credible, especially if you cite them properly. There are effective tips for essay with Chicago style citation. But first, let’s explore what kinds of quotes you may encounter in your essay. These are short quotations and long quotations, or block quotes. You can also paraphrase quotes and include poetry.

The Chicago Manual of Style suggests that quotations longer than one hundred words or more than five lines are block quotations. When quoting this text, indent it 0.5 inches from the left margin. Add an extra line before and after the block quote to improve readability. For example:

In a crucial document for our generation, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it’s stated that all Parties should strive to:

Promote and cooperate in the development, application and diffusion, including transfer, of technologies, practices and processes that control, reduce or prevent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses not controlled by the Montreal Protocol in all relevant sectors, including the energy, transport, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste management sectors;

Short quotations can be incorporated into the text and punctuated properly. Incorporate the Chicago style essay citation in parentheses after the quote. You should include the author’s last name, publication year, and page number. For example:

As stated by a prominent humanist: “We all live in a world where all people are equal, and this right is not acquired; it’s congenial.” (Smith 2000, 25)

Paraphrasing requires a citation to the original source to avoid plagiarism issues. For example:

In recent times, there has been rapid progress in the field of artificial intelligence, bringing about substantial developments across multiple disciplines (Smith 2019, 45).

When quoting poetry, maintain the original line breaks and add a citation:

In the room, the women come and go,

Talking of Michelangelo.

(Eliot 1920, 1-2)

Numbers and Acronyms in Essay Chicago Style

If you have numbers or acronyms in your essay, explore these useful tips. The Chicago format recommends spelling out numbers from 1 to 100 and any round number that begins a sentence. For example: “Thirty-five people participated in the study.” For larger numbers, from 101 and above, numbers that precede a unit of measurement, a percentage, or a mathematical operation can be enumerated. For example: “The experiment lasted 150 minutes.” Spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence. It’s important to be consistent in your use of numerals throughout the text.

When dealing with acronyms in your Chicago style essay paper, write out the full term followed by the acronym in parentheses: World Health Organization (WHO). After introducing an acronym, you can use the acronym alone in subsequent references: “The WHO provides health guidelines.” Form the plural of an acronym by adding a lowercase “s” (FAQs) and possessive with an apostrophe and an “s” (NASA’s). The acronyms should be used consistently throughout the essay.


As you can see, the Chicago style format is a perfect choice for your essay. This formatting style is suitable for various disciplines and ensures clarity and precision in your writing. If you have any questions about formatting your essay, our PayForEssay experts are always ready to assist. Contact us anytime you need and get professional academic support with minor issues and comprehensive tasks.

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