How Do I Format a Chapter Opening Page in Turabian/Chicago Style?

Most theses and dissertations (and some longer class papers) are divided into two or more numbered chapters. Most chapters carry descriptive titles in addition to the number.

Here’s how to format the opening page of a chapter for a Chicago-style paper following the guidelines in Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

  • Center the chapter number and chapter title at the top of the first page.
  • Separate the chapter title from the subtitle (if any) by a colon.
  • One blank line follows the chapter number, and two blank lines follow the chapter title.
  • Chapter epigraphs are formatted as a block quotation (see our formatting tips for main text). Following a blank line, the source is placed flush right. Two blank lines precede the main text.
  • Place the page number at the top right or bottom center, half an inch from the edge of the page.

Your chapter doesn’t need to include an epigraph, but we show one just in case it does.

For more details, see the sample page below and sections A.2.2.3 and A.2.1.6 in the Turabian appendix on paper format and submission.

Sample Chapter Opening Page

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

Turabian Manual Ninth EditionThe 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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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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