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Chicago Manual of Style: General Guidelines

"Find It. Write It. Cite It." The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is primarily used in the areas of history, art and government and social sciences

General Guidelines for the Paper

General Format

  • The margins should be 1 inch on all sides.
  • The recommended font is Times New Roman, Courier or Helvetica. Font size should be 12 point.
  • Page numbers begin in the header of the first page of text with Arabic number 1.
  • Double space the main text 
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph one-half inch.

Spacing and indentation

  • Double-space the main text.
  • Single-space figure captions and table titles.

Single-space the following, but add a blank line before and after each item in them:

  • the table of contents
  • footnotes or endnotes
  • bibliographies or reference lists

What is Block Quotation?

  • A prose quotation of five or more lines, or more than 100 words, should be blocked. 
  • CMOS recommends blocking two or more lines of poetry.
  • A blocked quotation does not get enclosed in quotation marks.  
  • A blocked quotation must always begin a new line.
  • Blocked quotations should be indented with the word processor’s indention tool.

Title Page

Title Page:

  • Class papers should begin with a title page (consult your instructor)
  • Place the title of the paper a third of the way down the page, usually centered
  • If the paper has both main title and subtitle, put the main title on a single line followed by a colon and begin the subtitle on a new line with an intervening line space
  • Write your name along with any other information (Course name & number, date, etc. consult with your instruction) several lines below

Example of Title Page









Rumela Bose

LBRA 1311: Library and Information Literacy

November 7, 2017

Source Citations

Two documentation style in CMOS. Notes or Bibliography and Author-Date Style

Notes and Bibliography:

  • Used mostly in Humanities - including arts, literature, history
  • Sources are cited in numbered footnotes or endnotes and correspond to superscript note reference number in the text
  • Sources are also usually listed in a separate bibliography
  • The footnote or an endnote generally lists the author, title, and facts of publication
  • Authors' names are presented in standard order (first name first) in the "NOTE" section

Author-Date System:

  • This system is more common in Social Science and Sciences
  • Sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and year of publication
  • Each in-text citation matches up with an entry in a reference list, where full bibliographic information is provided​

Searching in Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition

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