How Do I Format Margins and Page Numbers in Turabian/Chicago Style?

Here’s how to set up Chicago-style margins and page numbers following the guidelines in Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. (See section A.1 in the appendix called “Paper Format and Submission.”)

  • Set margins of at least 1 inch from the edge of the page on all sides (ignore the page numbers, which will fall in the margin).
  • Don’t put a page number on the title page, but do count the title page in the page numbering.
  • In papers that include front matter numbered with roman numerals (such as a dedication or table of contents), the title page counts as page i. Otherwise, it counts as page 1.
  • Insert page numbers at the top right or bottom center, half an inch from the edge of the page.*

Sample Page: Margins and Page Numbers

*In a thesis or a dissertation, page numbers have traditionally been placed (1) in the footer for front matter pages and pages in the text and back matter that have titles (such as a chapter opener) and (2) in the header for all other pages. However, most schools now require a consistent placement of page numbers throughout a paper.

IMPORTANT: Your instructor’s requirements may overrule Chicago’s formatting recommendations! 

The Turabian tip sheets illustrate everything you need to know for formatting a student paper in Chicago style. They are fully compatible with The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). You can print them and download them.

  1. Margins and Page Numbers
  2. Title Page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. List of Tables and Figures
  5. Introduction or Conclusion
  6. Main Text
  7. Sections and Subheads
  8. Chapter Opening Page
  9. Figure and Figure Caption
  10. Bibliography
  11. Endnotes
  12. Footnotes
  13. Parenthetical Citations
  14. Reference List

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Many libraries provide free access to The Chicago Manual of Style Online. If you aren’t sure whether your school subscribes, ask your librarian. In the meantime, click here for a free trial. Order the hardcover here.

Image of book cover of Turabian's Manual for Writers#ChicagoStyle for Students
Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, written specifically for students, covers every aspect of research paper writing, from thinking up a topic to submitting the paper in official Chicago format. Turabian’s guidelines are compatible with The Chicago Manual of Style.

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