Chicago Format Running Head – A Clear Guide

Running head for most writing format refers to the short version of the paper’s title or author’s name that is written at the header at the top of each page. Also, these running heads usually include the page number after the paper’s title or author’s name. The writing format determines the location of the running head.

The running head in the Chicago style is called header. The header is expected to appear on every page of your Chicago paper except for the title page. The Chicago style was designed to be simplistic. Therefore, the header in a Chicago paper usually contains only the page number of each page.

However, your instructor or professor might ask you to include your last name as part of the header. Also, the header is usually at the top right corner of the page, although the instruction given to you by your instructor or professor might state otherwise.

The Chicago format has no specific guidelines for formatting headers. However, you should format your headers according to the instruction given with the assignment. In the event where there is no instruction on how to format the header, then the general formatting guidelines for formatting a Chicago style paper should be followed.

pointing hand Guidelines for Writing a Chicago Format Running Head

  • Font: Any readable font most preferably Times New Roman should be used to write the header.
  • Font size: The header should be written in 12 pt font size
  • Margin: The header should be half an inch from the top and 1 inch from the right
  • Line spacing: Double line spacing
  • Alignment: Right-aligned
  • If the running head is expected to include the author’s last name, it should be followed by a space and then followed by the page number.
  • The running head should be written in sentence case
  • Do not use the abbreviation “p.” to signify page before the page number
  • Do not make use of a period or any punctuation mark in the running head
  • There should be no empty line after the running header before the text
  • The title page should not have a running head




James 2

pointing hand Creating a Chicago Format Running Head in Microsoft Word

To format the running head using Microsoft Word you need to follow these simple steps

  • Ensure that the page margin is in line with the margin requirement of the Chicago style.
  • Use double line spacing for the entire Chicago paper.
  • Ensure that the font type is in any readable font, most especially Times New Roman and you are writing a 12-points font size
  • Navigate and click on the insert tab at the top of the page
  • Click the header and footer then click on the page number.
  • Select top of the page in the drop-down menu
  • Select plain header three as the header format
  • After selecting, Microsoft word would have automatically numbered the pages. All you need to do is to type in your last name and leave a space before the page number. Doing this will insert your last name before every page number of each page.
  • Then double click on the area below the dotted line to be able to go back to the main body of the text.

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By Andy Xavier

Andy is an avid content developer and writer. He is experienced in creating engaging articles that are entirely unique and insightful. He has written lots of articles for Scientific Editing since 2019.

2 thoughts on “Chicago Format Running Head – A Clear Guide”

    • Turabian is the student version of The Chicago Manual of Style. Turabian was mainly developed for high school and college students who are writing essays, papers, theses, and dissertations. The Chicago Manual of Style, on the other hand, was developed for professional scholars writing for publication.
      In terms of running head, they are the same.


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