Headings are used in all citation styles to mark the beginning of a new section and lay out the structure of a paper. Similar to an outline, headings allow the audience to see how the paper is organized. Each of the types of headings have a slightly different look to resemble the different parts of an outline. Headings tell you what part of the outline each point or paragraph belongs to. The capitalization, placement on the page, and type of font (bolded, italicized, or underlined) are indicative of the part of the organizational structure of the paper.
In Turabian there are five levels of headings not including chapter titles. The levels of headings will look like this:
Centered; Title Case (Headline Style); Bold, Italics, or Underlined
Centered; Title Case
Flush Left; Title Case; Bold, Italics, or Underlined
Flush left; sentence case
Run-in; bold, italics or underlined; sentence case; period at end. Your text begins on the same line and continues into the paragraph, just like this.
I like to think of each of the headings under level one as sub-headings. Just as in an outline you have your main point and under that you have sub-points, the same concept applies to headings.
Most often you will not need the headings in levels 3-5, and only occasionally will you need level two headings. Usually, just the level one headings will be used in a short academic paper.
Hopefully, looking at the above examples has reduced your uncertainty about headings. Remember that Turabian heading style is different from MLA and APA.
If you are still unsure about how to format headings in Turabian after reading through this information, do not hesitate to come to the writing center to schedule an appointment and talk them over with a coach! We would be happy to help.