Best Way to Format CMS Sample Paper

By: Angelina Grin

7 min



Best Way to Format CMS Sample Paper

Definition of Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style is a style guide meant for published works particularly. There are clear differences in how to write a bibliography and citations. When using titles, the name of the title with important words must begin with a capital word. If you are using a title within the body, then remember to write the quote within quotation marks. Just like this, for a CMS sample paper, everything needs to follow a certain pattern. For instance, when mentioning a reference, the date and title would be mentioned like this: (“Title” Year of Publication).

Basic Guidelines on Writing a CMS Research Paper

You must consider these tips writing a Chicago style research paper. All through the text, keep it double-spaced. There are other factors as well to consider:

  • For writing a bibliographic entry, use space between each entry;
  • Don’t use justified text for your research. Go for left-alignment for your text;
  • Don’t leave any space in the blockquote. You can leave some space before and after a blockquote;
  • When writing a footnote, use single space;
  • There must be an indent in paragraphs and every paragraph break should also have an indent and there should not be extra space between each paragraph;
  • To remove extra spacing, highlight the space before and after each paragraph break;
  • Make sure the cover page is not included in the page numbering and it starts from 0 when including page numbers in the research paper;
  • Footnotes are present below each page;
  • If you are using endnotes, then remember that they are present on a separate page before the bibliography;
  • All notes must be typed in the same format as the rest of the paper i.e. a 12 point size, Times New Roman;
  • When citing multiple sources in a single note, use a semicolon to separate each citation;
  • The bibliography must begin from a new page and must be titled as Bibliography;
  • Entries must be single-spaced;
  • There should be a separate space for each citation;
  • If there are multiple bibliographic entries, then you must use 3 em dash before each citation you present in the paper.

Formatting Guidelines

The Chicago Manual Style doesn’t need a particular font or a typical font size. It can vary. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to use a readable font size and type. Use a margin of an inch on both sides of every page. The body of the paper should be double-spaced. Here is a point-by-point guideline for a CMS sample paper.

  • It doesn’t need a particular font size and type;
  • It should be readable and easy to understand;
  • Go for a 12 point, Times New Roman, which you can easily comprehend;
  • Keep a margin comprising an inch space on both ends of the page;
  • The content of the body must be double-spaced;
  • The text throughout the content should be left-aligned.

Title Page

When writing a title page, make sure it is absolutely necessary to include one. You don’t need a title page always. Instead of being left-aligned, it will be center-aligned but the font size would be the same as the rest of the page. The headline should have capital letters and must be in bold font type.

In order to include a subtitle, then end the headline with a semicolon. The subtitle that is present in the second line should also be bold and the same size as that of the main title. Write your identity a little lower on the page. Your name, student ID, etc. Any new information should be written in a separate line. The title page is also included in the Table of Contents (TOC) as it has a page number and it must be mentioned in the TOC.


A title or heading is the most significant part of the content. It must be highlighted and specified. They must have headline capitalizations. If the beginning of each word does not start with a capital letter, then the heading doesn’t look good. Make sure each heading is presented in the same way. All headings must be bold and start with a capital letter. If there are any prepositions or not so important words in the heading then the beginning of their letter will be small. The headings should be italicized and look different from the rest. You can use a larger font for chapter headings, a bold font type for different sections. Use italics for various sub-headings.

A Quote

There are specific occasions when block quotes are used. When prose is used in paragraph form of five or more lines, then a block quote is used. There are no quotation marks used in a blockquote.

It is used in the form of a block, hence the name. The only differentiation that distinguishes normal text from a block quote is that the block quote is indented half an inch from both sides. To make it even more prominent, a block quote is not double-spaced while the remaining text is double-spaced throughout the research paper.

This makes the blockquote stand out from the rest of the prose writing and paragraphs.

Numbers And Acronyms

For any number lower than 100, words would be used instead of numerals in the Chicago Manual Style. Instead of writing 85, you will write “eighty-five”. But if there is a specific measurement that you have to use like cm and inches, then write numerals. Use 15 inches or 15 cm. You can also use a decimal of 1.5.

The same rule applies to an acronym. When using for the first time, use the full form of the abbreviation and the abbreviated form within the parenthesis. When using the second time or more times within the text, it can be used separately. The numeral and acronym must not appear at the beginning of the sentence.

In-text Citations And Notes

Chicago Manual Style provides specific instructions for two referencing styles: the author-date, notes, and reference list. If you are using author-date style, the references will appear within the parenthesis. You can either keep the name of the author outside the parentheses and mention the date within the parenthesis or keep the author’s name separate and the year within brackets. This way, the author’s name is also mentioned and you have the flexibility to use it either way.

How to Place a Bibliography?

A bibliography is used after endnotes, which is a list of citations is mentioned from where you have taken the content for your research. If you enter a citation onto the second line, then ½ an inch indent must be applied everywhere than the first line of the entry. For a Chicago style bibliography, make sure to use the same format as mentioned above. The difference between other citation styles and the Chicago style is that you will have to use ½ an inch indent on one side and leave a black space after each entry.

Some Common FAQs about Chicago Sample Paper

Here are some common frequently asked questions about the Chicago Manual of Style.

How to Write a Decade or Century in Chicago Format?

You can either write a century in words or in numerals. Both forms are acceptable. However, as a general rule in Chicago format, a number greater than nine is mentioned in numerals. Therefore, instead of writing the nineteenth century, you must mention the “19th century”. Also, writing the 1800s is also fine. Remember, the 1800s refers to the 19th century.

How Can One Cite a Bilingual Title?

When using a bilingual title, use an equal sign or a slashed form between the two forms of the title. Use the different titles before and after an equal or slash sign. If there is no slash mentioned in the title, then you can use an equal sign in the title.

How to Use Names Having Both Lower - And Upper-Case Letters?

Names that have both kinds of upper and lower-case letters like DuBlanc can be written as is or it would be preferred to use an all-caps title.

When Using a Preposition in a Title, Will it be a Lower-case or an Upper-Case?

Using a title, all the important elements would begin with a capital letter. The remaining letters would be smaller. The same rule applies to prepositions such as according to etc. Whenever using a preposition in a title, it will mostly be used in a lower-case format in the Chicago style guide.

How Can You Distinguish Between a Footnote and an Endnote?

A footnote is present at the bottom of each page whenever required, while an endnote appears below the entire content, but above the bibliography. In the same way, Chicago note citations also follow a similar pattern.

What Font Must be Used in a Chicago Format?

There is no particular style guide for typical font size and type in a CMS research paper. A good practice is to go for a Times New Roman, 12 point size, which is not only easily readable but also gives a formal look to the research paper.

So, this was a guide on how to write a Chicago style format for your sample paper. These guidelines will help you format your research paper in the best way possible.

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Angelina Grin

Creative Writer and Blog Editor

Despite my relatively young age, I am a professional writer with more than 14 years of experience. I studied journalism at the university, worked for media and digital agencies, and organized several events for ed-tech companies. Yet for the last 6 years, I've worked mainly in marketing. Here, at Studybay, my objective is to make sure all our texts are clear, informative, and engaging.

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