Chicago Style Term Paper
A Chicago style term paper is one that is written, cited, and documented according to the Chicago Manual of Style, a publication manual that details guidelines for writing, citing, and formatting texts. Chicago style term papers are commonly assigned in history courses. Some humanities professors will also prefer their students to use Chicago style.
Chicago style is different from the other primary academic writing styles—APA and MLA. Therefore, a student should not assume that he or she can write a Chicago style term paper using some elements of Chicago style but also incorporating elements of another writing style. Each style manual is comprehensive in its directions for writing, formatting, and citing. Therefore, a student must use Chicago style for all aspects of his Chicago style report.
The most important element of Chicago style a student will need to know when writing a Chicago style term paper is how to properly cite and reference. Chicago style outlines two ways of documenting sources in the body of a text. The first is by using parenthetical notes at the end of a sentence (like this). The other way of documenting sources is to list sources in footnotes. Footnotes indicate sources at the bottom of a page through the insertion of corresponding superscripted numbers after a sentence. Frequently, instructors will state their preference for either parenthetical notes or footnotes. Most of the time, Chicago style term papers will also be required to include a comprehensive list of the secondary sources used in the document. This list will be titled "bibliography" and will come after the text.
Typically, Chicago style term papers will not require the inclusion of a title page. Some teachers may prefer that a title page be added, but generally, the title of the report can appear on the first page of text. The author of the report, the name of the course and instructor, and the date of submission will also be included on this page, justified along the left-hand margin at the top. Unless otherwise specified, a Chicago style term paper will be double-spaced. Additionally, the pages should be numbered, beginning on the first page of the text.
Chicago style has its own set of dictates regarding grammar and style. Therefore, if a student finds himself questioning his use of punctuation, capitalization, or abbreviation, he should reference the Chicago Manual of Style for an authoritative answer.
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