Article of the Week

Run-On Sentences

Run-on sentences occur when writers try to combine more than one idea into a single sentence. They cause confusion because readers are not sure when one idea ends and the next one begins. Read our entry and test your knowledge with our quiz!

Chicago / Turabian Text Formatting

In 1937, Kate Turabian composed the first edition of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers and Dissertations. She designed the book to be a student-friendly alternative to the weightier Chicago Manual of Style. If your instructors ask you to use Chicago or Turabian style, they are referring to this book. The below guide is not intended to be a replacement for that book; we recommend purchasing A Manual for Writers, 7th Edition. However, we hope that this guide will help you quickly find the answers to your formatting questions. Numbers written in parentheses will refer to sections and pages in A Manual for Writers, so you can read more in the original source. In all cases, defer to your instructor or committee if their preferences disagree with those of Chicago Style.

  1. Paper Format 
    1. Margins
    2. Typeface
    3. Spacing and Indentation
    4. Pagination
    5. Titles
    6. Subheads
    7. Bibliography
  2. Integrating Quotations into your Text
  3. Tables and Figures
  4. Numbers

Paper Format

Margins (A.1.1, 374)

For most papers, use a one-inch margin on each side of the page: top, bottom, left, and right.

Theses and dissertations often require a 1.5 inch margin on the left side, because they are bound.

Typeface (A.1.2., 374)

Use a standard serifed typeface in 12pt font. Times New Roman is a common choice. Turabian recommends 10 pt typeface for footnotes.

Spacing and Indentation (A.1.3., 375)

Most of the main text in the paper should be double spaced, except for block quotations or table and figure information.

The following entries in your paper will be single spaced, but place a double space between each entry and the next item: 

  • table of contents or other lists
  • footnotes or endnotes
  • reference lists or bibliographies.

Use just one space after the end of a sentence. Use tabs to indent to ensure consistency.

Pagination (A.1.4, 375-376)

The pagination rules will differ depending on what types of information you have in your paper. For instance, if you have front matter (such as a table of contents), it will be numbered separately from the rest of the text, in lowercase roman numerals. Do not add a page number to the title page.

The main text and back matter will have arabic numerals. The numbering continues from the end of the main text to the back matter.

Placement of the page number is left up to the student or decided in a discipline or school’s own style guide. The most popular methods are top center, top right, and bottom center. Choose one and be consistent throughout the document.

Titles (A.1.5, 376-377)

The traditional approach to titles is the place them at the center of the page, roman type, in all capital letters. Titles for each level should be different: chapter titles should resemble each other, but be different from section titles.

Title Page

Title is centered, bold, all-caps, one-third from the top of the page.

Several lines below it, the author’s name, class name, and the date appear centered on separate lines.


Use a centered heading for the introduction, and place two spaces between it and the actual text.

Subheads (A.2.2, 397-398)

Turabian provides one model of the five levels of subheads, but suggests that others are fine, as long as there is consistency in application.

  • “First Level: Centered, boldface or italic type, headline-style capitalization
  • “Second Level: centered, regular type, headline-style capitalization
  • “Third Level: flush left, boldface or italic type, headline-style capitalization
  • “Fourth Level: flush left, roman type, sentence-style capitalization
  • “Fifth Level: run in at beginning of paragraph (no blank line after), boldface or italic type, sentence-style capitalization, terminal period” (2007, 398).

Bibliography (A.2.3, 404)

See the entries on Notes-Bibliography Style or Parenthetical Citations-Reference List Style to see how to format individual entries in your Bibliography or Reference list.

Use the heading Bibliography at the top of the first page of this part. Then skip two lines, then begin the entries. Separate each entry with a space. Similarly, if you have a reference list, use the heading “References,” and use the same spacing.

Integrate Quotations into Your Text (7.5, 74-75)

  • Four lines or fewer: in the running text.
  • Five lines or more: block quote.
  • Use ellipses to mark changes or alterations in the original quotation.
  • Sources: on first mention, use the author’s full name (no title). Second time and thereafter, just use the last name.

Tables and Figures  (8.3, 85-97)

Tables and figures should be introduced with a sentence in the main text that focuses the reader’s attention on how the information backs up your argument.

Style for labels:

  • Table label is a title, beginning at the left margin above the table.
  • Figure label is a caption, beginning at the left margin below the figure.

Use the format of the visual information to illustrate how it supports your point. Differences between numbers can be calculated, included, and labeled.

Numbers (23, 318-330)

Use words instead of numerals for numbers one through one hundred if you do not present much numerical data and you work in the humanities or social sciences. Also use words for round numbers. However, if you have a passage that uses a series of numbers both above and below one hundred, use numerals for both in order to keep the paper consistent. By series, we are referring to numbers of the same type: 12 and 142 pigeons, for instance. However, if numbers appear of another series as well, use numerals for one and words for the other, so the reader will not get them mixed up.

On the first day, he ran fourteen miles in 140 minutes; on the next day, he ran ten miles in 80 minutes.

If there is a lot of numerical data in the paper, spell out all numbers below 10.

If you work in the sciences, use numbers all the time, unless it is the first word in the sentence.

Percentages and Decimal Fractions (23.1.3, 321-322)

Write all percentages and decimal fractions as numerals. When they appear at the beginning of a sentence, spell them out. Pair percentages with the word percent, unless use you many percentages in a short amount of space.

For decimals, normally write to the second place to the right of the decimal point. If the quantity is less than 1.00, and can be more than 1.00, add a zero before decimal point.

Money (23.1.4, 322-323)

Follow the main rule unless money is mentioned often; if then, use dollars and cents signs. Do not include cents if the money is in a whole number increment.

Time (23.1.5, 323)

Time is written in words when broken down into the hour, half hour, or quarter hour:



If the exact time is important, however, use numerals.

Indicating a range of numbers (inclusive numbers):

From five to ten

From 140 to 215


Month, Day, and Year (23.3.1, 327-328)

Always use numbers for day and year.

Decades, Centuries, and Eras (23.3.2, 328)

Use the full number for a decade—you can abbreviate them if spelled out (“The sixties”) 

Units of Measure (24.5, 340)

Write the units of measure in full if you are in the humanities or social sciences. Use abbreviations if you are in the sciences.