Chicago Headings and Subheadings

Introduction

Typically, a paper or an essay is usually divided into different chapters and sections; each of these sections and chapters should have its unique heading. Headings are essential for providing structure to papers and essays. The Chicago style, unlike some other writing styles, has no comprehensive guidelines on how to format heading and subheading in a paper or an essay (See APA Headings and Subheadings). However, it gives a recommendation on how to format headings and subheadings.

Having said that, a unique heading system has been put in place by the Turabian manual to help separate and identify different sections in a paper. A paper requires headings and subheadings to guide readers through the paper for maximum understanding. Plus, it gives the reader an insight as to what to expect in the section, as well as helps to know what to be added to the table of content.

pointing hand General Guidelines for Formatting Chicago Headings and Subheadings

  • Consistency and parallel structure must be maintained in headings and subheadings.
  • Headline styles must be used for capitalization.
  • Headings and subheadings must begin on a new line.
  • The level of hierarchy in the headings and subheadings must be clear and consistent.
  • Headings and subheadings should not be ended with a period.
  • Avoid using more than three levels of hierarchy.
  • There should be more space before the subheadings than after.
  • There can be two levels of headings without any text between them.
  • Each chapter should have at least two levels of headings.
  • A subheading should never end a page.
  • Font should be any font readable, preferably Times New Roman with a font size of 12 points.
  • Each heading should not be numbered.

pointing hand Turabian Heading Levels

The Turabian manual lets you use different levels of headings to organize your paper more coherently. Also, it affords you use to use up to 5 different levels of headings and subheadings.

pointing hand Levels of Headings

Level                                                                           format

  • Centered, in Bold or Italics, Headline-style Capitalization, could also be underlined
  • Centered, Regular Type (do not use italics, bold or underline), Headline-style Capitalization
  • Flushed Left, in Bold or Italics, Headline-style Capitalization, could also be underlined
  • Flushed left, roman type (do not use italics, bold or underline), sentence-style capitalization
  • Run in at the beginning of paragraph (no blank line after), indented to the right, in bold or italics, sentence-style capitalization, terminal period.

For example:

First Level of Heading

 

Main text continues as normal, the first sentence in the paragraph to be indented to the right

Second Level of Heading

 

Main text continues as normal, the first sentence in the paragraph to be indented to the right

Third Level of Heading

Main text continues as normal, the first sentence in the paragraph to be indented to the right

Fourth level of heading

Main text continues as normal, the first sentence in the paragraph to be indented to the right

Fifth level of heading. The main text should follow immediately.

 

pointing hand When to use the different heading levels

One of the important reason for the use of heading levels is to help the readers to navigate the paper. Plus, it also helps in generating an automatic table of content using Microsoft Word. This is why it is important to use the right heading level for the right heading. Therefore, you are to use:

  • Heading level 1 for headings that is one of the main elements of the paper. For example, literature review discussion etc.
  • Heading level 2 for the headings that come directly under a level 1 heading
  • Heading level 3 for the headings that come directly under a level 2 heading
  • Heading level 4 for the headings that come directly under a level 3 heading
  • Heading level 5 for the headings that come directly under a level 4 heading

It is important to note that the heading levels must be used in this particular order.

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