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Writing is a process that requires following a set of rules. There are rules set for specific work of writing. For academics, one is required to format a document to fit a particular style. Among the techniques are MLA, APA, HAVARD, CHICAGO, and many more. This article will focus on formatting a document using Chicago formatting style.

Document Formatting

What is Chicago style paper format?

As already mentioned, they are different forms of writing styles. Chicago is a writing style used mostly in history papers. Therefore, if you are looking to pursue a career in history, be sure to grasp everything you need about this style. Unlike using APA and MLA, Chicago might seem complex at first, but once you are used to it, it becomes easy. When learning how to format using this style, the Chicago manual of the style 16th edition is a useful tool. You could also source information on this from pocket guide to writing in history by Mary Lynn Rampolla, 7th edition. Other than these two, you can always get help on the same on the internet. The most reliable way to learn how to use this style is by practicing it even when your professor does not require you to use any formatting style.

Below is our simple but detailed guide on how to format your paper using the Chicago formatting style. The guide has been simplified to ensure that you understand what is needed of you when formatting in Chicago.


β€’    Use 1-inch margins on the sides (both on top and bottom)

β€’    Make sure to use times new roman (12pt) font.

β€’    Do not forget to double space your paper.

β€’    Make sure to use left-justified text with a ragged right edge. Make sure it’s different from the way a newspaper is justified.

β€’    Indent 0.5” at the start of every paragraph, using block quotes and hanging indentations.

β€’    Make sure you have numbered the pages on the top right corner of the paper beginning with the first page of your written text. Don’t leave out your name, your last name for that matter on all pages in case your paper gets mixed up with others; it can be easily identified.

β€’    Confirm with your instructor if it’s okay to print both sides of the paper


β€’    Center the title 

β€’    Your name should also be centered and directly below the title

β€’    The name of your instructor/professor, the course title, and the date should be written in three lines and appropriately centered at the bottom of the cover page. Remember to use sentence case when it comes to capitalization. Dates should be spoken as mm/dd/yyyy (March 4, 2020) but should be written as yyyy/mm/dd (2020/3/4). Starting with the year automatically lets you know the second number is the month, plus it sorts better.

β€’    make sure to use times new roman, 12pt, for the title page. 

β€’    do not number the cover page.

The following order should be used when putting your paper together

1.    Title page

2.    Body.

3.    Appendix (for papers with many pages for example dissertations)

4.    Notes

5.    Bibliography


1.    Make sure to use the full names of people and also agencies. Include acronym in parenthesis after the full name when first applied, for example, British overseas development agency (ODA)

2.    After listing the acronym for the first time, you can refer to people by their last name, or if you are writing about agencies, then you can use the acronym alone.

3.    Make sure to write numbers that are less than 100. For example, β€œall the seven jury members….”


1.    Footnotes ought to be at the bottom of every page, just the same location as references, while endnotes go to a separate page after the body of the paper. 

β€’ If footnotes, diagrams, images, *whatever* is integral to understanding the text, please don't put them at the end of the book!

β€’ I will make an exception for glossy photo pages that are bound into the center of an otherwise inexpensive paperback. And, depending on the type of book, footnotes that exist solely to cite sources can probably go at the end of the book (or chapter)

β€’ Footnotes that add additional information and should be at the bottom of the same page!  Diagrams or other explanatory images should be on the closest possible page to the text that references them!

β€’ I don't care if the formatting takes a little longer; I care about the reading experience.

β€’ Can you imagine how the experience would change if Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams had their footnotes swayed to the end of the book? And yes, this is a hill I will die on.

Do you want to organize your books by color? Turn their spines to the wall? Cut them into pocket-size pieces? You do you; I don't have to understand it.

But if you have control over formatting and you move footnotes and other relevant info far away from the pages that reference them? I will hate you until the heat death of the universe


2.    Within the text of your essay, ensure that you have put the note number at the end of the sentence where the references usually are positioned. Do this even if the material which has been cited is mentioned at the beginning of the sentence.

3.    The note number goes after all the other punctuation.

4.    Remember to use Arabic figures (1, 2, 3, etc.)

5.    Make sure that you write β€˜endnotes’ before you actually write them down. Write on top of that specific page using a times new roman 10 point font.

6.    Make sure to single space each entry and use double spacing between entries.

7.    Indent every line

8.    Do not re-use numbers. 

9.    If you have used a source more than once, find short-forms for the same and use them instead.

10.    Separate two citations using a semi-colon in order to cite more than 2 sources in a single note.


1.    A bibliography should be on a different page with the word correctly placed on top of the page and centered. Avoid using large fonts or underlining this word. Simply use times new roman, 12pt.

2.    Bibliography writing styles are different so make sure you have used the proper formatting

3.    Use a hanging indent. The opening line should begin at the margin, and all the other lines should be indented.

4.    If your source has no author, do not make a separate list. Simply alphabetize the by title within the authors.

5.    If your instructor has requested the separation of primary and secondary, then separate them, but if no instructions were provided regarding the sources, β€œdo not separate.”

Now that you know whatever there is to know about Chicago formatting style, it’s time to put the skills into use. In case you do not have enough time to format your paper, we provide document formatting services in all styles. Make your request today, and we will be ready to help.

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