Looking For A Research Paper Outline Template In The Chicago Style


Basing your research paper outline on the Chicago style template is an excellent idea. Most US academics adopt this style, retaining high standards in writing dissertations.

A note before starting

You may be preparing a literary essay on one classic or modernist author, responding directly to the author’s techniques. Independent approaches will not always require the use of a Chicago style writing guide.

Booksellers, libraries, and the publishers

The Chicago manual can be obtained from reputable booksellers and libraries. It is ideal to have the guide at hand when preparing your writing. If your local retailer does not have the guide, you can approach leading publishers.

Begin with Elements of Style

Strunk’s Elements of Style is the definitive guide on how to write effectively, clearly instructing you on what not to do or leave out of sentence and paragraph compositions. The Chicago style borrows many of Strunk’s elements.

Beginning exercises

  • Create a mind map – Liberally note your earliest thoughts on your chosen topic.
  • Draft notes – Research and writing begin with and are based on these thoughts. Rough notes will be a sketch of how the essay outline will look.

The research paper outline

The Chicago style guide’s outline uses a formulaic and standard approach. Ignore this at your peril. Your outline must start with a clear introduction and summarize your findings in a shorter concluding paragraph.

Advantages of using software

Windows Microsoft and Apple packages provide you with templates to help structure a document with ease. You can then apply your mind purely to writing.

Notes on using templates

Remember that the outline template is a guide and should never simply be copied. Using the Chicago style allows you some leeway for concretizing your own, original thoughts and retaining your voice.

The standard bearer, Chicago style

However, the Chicago style remains a leading light in academic writing. Adapting your writing to this universal approach will be prudent and scholarly.

Three things to remember:

  • Paragraph length – Paragraphs should be short with not more than four or five sentences.
  • Footnotes – When quoting other sources, make use of footnotes as shown in the Chicago style manual.
  • Referencing – The paper must include all references to research work.


While the Chicago style is not cast in stone, it remains one of the best guides to effective research methodologies and academic writing. Hopefully, the above information can guide you in finding and utilizing an outline template for your research paper.