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How To Write A Great History Research Paper In The Chicago Style

The Chicago style of academic formatting and citation style is the usual style that is used for research papers with in history. So saying that some other fields of study also use the Chicago style but this article is only concerned with writing History research papers.

Many History departments in schools and Universities will produce a full instructions and possibly a crib sheet for Chicago style formatting which can usually be found on their website together with other useful tips and guidelines.

If you feel that you need some really in depth instructions then there are several books that are dedicated to application and use of the style. But if you just need a broad overview and a few useful tips then then this guide may help you.

Title Page: You will need the full title of your research paper. You will also need to include your name, the names of your professor and the date. (If you are writing a short paper then you don't need to follow the format). Do not number the title page.

Setting up

Margins: The standard 1 inch (2.4 cm) margin should be used throughout the paper. Paragraphs should be indented a further 0.5 inch (1.2 cm) from the left.

Fonts: There appears to be no standard font but the best rule is to use a font that is easy to read such as Time New Roman in size 12.

Line Spacing: The main text of the paper should be double spaced throughout. The only exception to this is if you are using a block quotation, in that case you will need to single space the quotation and leave a blank line pre and post quotation.

  • Foot notes and Line Spacing. These need to single spaced.

  • Bibliography and Line Spacing. Single spaced. Leave a blank line between entries.

Quotations: A block quotation is a quotation that is more than 3-4 lines. The whole quote should be indented as per the start of a paragraph; single spaced and without quotation marks. In order to cite the quotation correctly it should be supported by a footnote.

Page number: These should always be in Arabic Numerals and not Roman Numerals.

Capitalization: Titles. All words should be capitalized except for words such as a. an, as, the, and, but, or, nor, for, to etc. The only exception to this is if these words are to be accentuated.

Bibliography: when adding to you bibliography, follow the formatting guide for the Chicago-style even if the source you are taking it from has styled it differently.

  • Use of Italics, for books, journals films or any piece of work that is longer than a short report.

  • Quotation Marks, need to be used for the titles of journals or periodicals, short pieces of work or websites.