For Students

Student studying“Writing a 10 page research paper Chicago Manual style? Lord help me plz”

“Literally, learning this on my own makes me wanna die.”

These real posts on Twitter show how you might feel when hit by the Big Orange for the first time. You need help, and you need it fast.

We hear you. We know the latest edition of CMOS runs to a crushing 1,146 pages. But don’t despair! You probably only need to understand a few pages’ worth in order to do a good job on your paper. Below are links to a variety of tip sheets, quick guides, and explanations about how to write in Chicago style.

Frequently asked questions

Below are Shop Talk posts that explain some of the basics of Chicago style.

Need a crash course in citations? Start here.

If you need to write a note or bibliography citation for books, articles, and other common sources, you can find examples to follow here.

Quick guide to Turabian-style citations
Quick guide to Chicago-style citations

Crafting a paper

If you are writing your first paper or trying to improve your skills, these one-page tip sheets are written with you in mind. Read the ones that interest you or download all 26 topics in one PDF.

  1. Why Research?
  2. Choosing a Topic: Research Questions
  3. Core of an Argument = Claim + Reasons + Evidence
  4. Plan Your Research Around the Questions of Argument
  5. How to Plan Your Time
  6. Finding a Research Question
  7. Academic Language of Research—Assignments
  8. Academic Language of Research—How to Position Your Idea
  9. Tell and Retell Your Elevator Story
  10. Finding Relevant and Reliable Sources
  11. Write as You Read
  12. How Arguments Grow from Questions
  13. Academic Language of Research—Acknowledging and Responding
  14. Planning Your Draft
  15. Working Through Writer’s Block: Getting Unstuck
  16. When to Quote, Paraphrase, or Summarize
  17. Academic Language of Research—Verbs for Introducing a Quotation or Paraphrase
  18. Three Principles for Citing Sources
  19. The Dramatic Pattern of Introductions and Fairy Tales
  20. Writing an Introduction
  21. Drafting a Conclusion
  22. Writing Your Title
  23. Revising Your Draft: Shape (Organization), Introduction and Conclusion, Sentence Level
  24. Five Principles for Clear Sentences
  25. Accepting Feedback
  26. Why Cite Sources?

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Send it to While we are unable to answer every question we receive, we may use it in a future blog post or in our monthly Chicago Manual of Style Q&A.

Top photo by Thomas Leuthard