Writing academic papers is not easy. First, you have to do your search and organize your thoughts before you can start writing. You also need to reference your paper to ensure that your essay is unique and non-plagiarized. Chicago Manual of Style, otherwise known as CMS is one among the different writing styles you can use. The style comes with unique rules that set it apart from other styles like APA and MLA.

Chicago Formatting Rules

There are two methods of documentation with this style. The note and bibliography technique is the most common method. This approach involves the use of endnotes or footnotes when referencing. The less popular author date-system is similar to MLA referencing style. There are also other rules on font, outline, and general paper structure.

Here are 5 little-known rules about Chicago formatting that may take you by surprise:

  1. Do You Use Numerals Or Do You Spell Out Numbers?

Well, according to CMS, you should only use numerals from 101. Starting from zero to one hundred, you have to use numbers, one, ten, thirty, fifty, one hundred. After that, you use numerals, 200, 205, 5000, etc. If you have seen otherwise, it is because most journalists like to use numerals for one-digit numbers (one, seven, nine) and numerals for the rest of the numbers (10, 60, 100).

The exception to this rule comes when you are using multiple numbers in the same paragraph- some below 100 and others above 101. In such a case, you should write down all the numbers as numerals.

  1. Do You Use % Or Percent?

When you are writing percentages, you should write the number out as a numeral, then write ‘’percent’’. Here is an example: 80 percent of students are now failing their exams. The exception of this is when the percentage starts out the in the sentence. Here is an example: twenty percent of students are successful in their exams.

Related: How to Ace your Critical Thinking Essay

  1. Do You Capitalize a Person’s Title?

Most students capitalize the initials of a person’s title, but Chicago formatting requires that you use caps when the title is in front of a person’s name. For instance, you should write General George Green but Mr. George Green. Most students often miss out on this, because they are not familiar with how it should be written in CMS.

  1. Do You Put a Comma in a Compound Sentence?

When writing, students often get confused on how to use commas. As a rule, a comma should only be used when a sentence contains two subjects and two verbs. Students often use commas when they see the conjunctions (and, but, or). If there is only one subject, a comma should not be used. Look at this example for instance: She went to the zoo and read all afternoon. In this sentence, no comma is needed. Look at this other sentence: She went to the zoo and he bought mangoes. Two independent subjects joined in one sentence, a comma is needed.

While the rules sound easy, many people have a hard time knowing when and where to put things such as footnotes. Things may get even more complicated when a paper has to be completed within a short duration, and there are other assignments and class work to handle. In such cases, it is always wise to get in touch with Chicago paper format professionals who can complete the paper for you and follow all the rules to the letter.

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