Where Do Page Numbers Go in Chicago Manual of Style Format?

, M.Ed. English Education
Updated July 26, 2019
page number in Chicago Manual of Style format
    page number in Chicago Manual of Style format

Where do page numbers go in Chicago Manual of Style format? The usual place to find them is the upper right-hand corner, along with the last name of the writer, however, manuscript page numbers may be placed in several different locations. Some editors prefer a more unconventional format. We’ve detailed all the valid options below.

Location of Page Numbers

Following the Chicago Manual of Style format, the most conventional location for page numbers is:

  • Upper right-hand corner of the page
  • Approximately one inch from the top of the paper
  • Approximately one inch from the side of the paper

Other possible placements are at the top-left or at the bottom of the page, either centered, flush left, or flush right. Page numbers located at the bottom of a page are also called drop folios.

Unconventional placements are always at the discretion of the editor; when in doubt, place in the upper right. Always check with your editor before considering an unconventional placement for page numbers.


Pages Without Page Numbers

Certain pages have no page numbers but are still included in the page numbering. These pages include:

  • Front matter pages
  • Chapter beginnings
  • Pages carrying only illustrations or tables
  • Part title pages
  • Color illustrations or plates that are inserted after all printed material of the manuscript has been completed

Proper Numerical Format

When examining page numbering according to the Chicago Manual of Style format, it should also be noted that different numbering schemes are used depending on the section of the manuscript involved.

  • Pages in the manuscript front matter, such as the title page, copyright page and others, are numbered using lower case Roman numerals (e.g., i, ii, iii).
  • Pages in the text of the manuscript and the back matter, such as notes, glossary, and index(es), are numbered in Arabic numerals (e.g., 1, 2, and 3).

Margins in Chicago Manual of Style

Your paper’s margins will necessarily affect the location of the page numbers. Remember, Chicago style requires one-inch margins all the way around the paper: top, bottom, left and right. That rule also applies to page numbers. Page numbers should be an inch from the edge of the page, even with the last character of text.

Chicago Style Matters

Getting the little details associated with a given style guide exactly right may seem trivial at first. It isn’t. Style manuals are designed to guarantee readability, which your teacher or editor is sure to appreciate. More importantly, getting style rules exactly right demonstrates care and effort on your part, as well as respect for your readers.

For more help with Chicago style documents, take a look at our article on Chicago style citations. For more detailed assistance, the authoritative text on Chicago style is Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. There’s even an online version for your convenience.

If you need help with other writing styles, YourDictionary still has you covered. Take a look at our collections of MLA examples and APA examples for all the most common writing styles, in and out of academia.