How to Create Headings and Endnotes in Chicago Manual of Style

Published: 05th January 2010
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Chicago (Turabian) Style provides the writer with a few different options for breaking up the blocks of text in the main text area of the thesis or dissertation. You may use headings or chapters, depending on the type of paper you're creating and on how you need to organize the information.


You may use headings to better organize your Chicago (Turabian) Style paper. The organization of headings is a little bit like an outline, with varying levels of headings and subheadings that aid in organization. You don't number each heading in Chicago (Turabian) Style as you do with an outline, but you can use up to five different levels of headings and subheadings with Chicago (Turabian) Style.

The headings formatting requirements include:

FIRST LEVEL. The first level headings should be centered above their associated text blocks. Use headline-style capitalization, and you may use either bold, italics, or underline characters.

SECOND LEVEL. Type the second level heading centered in headline-style capitalization in standard text. Do not use any italics, bold, or underline characters.

THIRD LEVEL. The third level heading is left-aligned, using headline-style capitalization. You may use bold, italics, or underline characters with the third-level heading.

FOURTH LEVEL. For the fourth level of heading, switch to sentence-style capitalization. Left-align the text, and do not use any bold, italics, or underline characters.

FIFTH LEVEL. With the fifth level of heading, you will indent the heading, using it like a lead-in sentence to a paragraph, complete with a period at the end of the heading. The fifth-level heading should consist of italics, bold, or underline characters. Use sentence-style capitalization with the fifth-level heading.

An example of the formatting for all five levels of headings looks this way.

First Level of Heading (centered)

Main text continues as normal (indented).

Second Level of Heading (centered)

Main text continues as normal (indented).

Third Level of Heading (left-align)

Main text continues as normal (indented).

Fourth level of heading (left-align)

Main text continues as normal (indented).

Fifth level of heading. (indented) Main text follows immediately ...

With the first four levels of headings, you should leave a blank line before and after the heading to give it more emphasis. If you use fewer than five levels of headings, you may select any of the heading levels to use, as long as you remain true to the order of the headings. For example, you may use the first and third heading levels, in that order, when you have a two-heading configuration. You may use the second, third, and fifth heading levels, in that order, when you have a three-heading configuration. However, you may not use the fourth, first, and fifth heading levels, in that order, for a three-heading configuration.

Three final rules regarding headings: First, if you are centering the heading and it is more than 48 characters, then you should split the heading into two or more separate lines. The lines should be single-spaced. List them in an inverted pyramid, as shown below.

Investments in Technology in Africa
Will Spur Economic Growth

Second, the left-aligned headings should be divided into multiple lines, if the heading will occupy a line stretching across more than half the page. Single-space all of these lines, and try to divide them evenly.

Investments in Technology on African Continent
Will Spur Unprecedented Economic Growth

Third, never end a page with a subhead; carry it over to the next page.


If you have a thesis or dissertation that makes use of numerous different ideas and is long enough to need a more complex organizational structure, Chicago (Turabian) Style allows for the use of chapters.

Begin each chapter on a new page. Chapter titles typically are listed in two pieces: The word "CHAPTER" and the number of the chapter as one piece, followed by a more descriptive title of a few words, which gives the reader an idea of the broad topic that will be discussed in the chapter.



When creating chapters, you can omit the "CHAPTER" and simply list the number designation. Always list chapters in numerical order and do not skip numbers. You also may select one of three ways to list the chapter numbers: Spell out the word representing the number, use an Arabic numeral, or use a roman numeral.





Rather than using headings to discuss subtopics within a chapter, you may divide chapters into parts. Each part should only contain the word "PART" and the number of the part. As with chapters, always list parts in numerical order and do not skip numbers. If you used Arabic numerals for numbering each chapter, you should use roman numerals for each part, and vice versa, as shown below.




Brian Scott recommends using a Chicago Manual of Style formatting software to correctly format and write papers in Chicago
, available at


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