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How to write Turabian papers


What are the Turabian papers? How do you tackle this kind of writing? Where did the style originate from? Is Turabian style the same as the Chicago manual of style? These are some of the questions that might linger in your head. In case you were looking for a place to understand this subject more, you are in the right place. This article covers some of the essential details of Turabian papers. Read on for the amazing insights.

Origin of Turabian paper

Turabian paper

What are the Turabian papers? How do you tackle this kind of writing? Where did the style originate from? Is Turabian style the same as the Chicago manual of style? These are some of the questions that might linger in your head. In case you were looking for a place to understand this subject more, you are in the right place. This article covers some of the essential details of Turabian papers. Read on for the amazing insights.

Origin of Turabian paper

Kate Turabian, a dissertation secretary of the University of Chicago, was the one who developed the Turabian format and style guide. Kate wanted to create a style exclusively for students when writing their papers. Hence, she made a few amends on Chicago style, a technique used for formatting scholarly books for publication. Therefore, the difference between Turabian and Chicago is slight.

To achieve her goal, she wrote a manuscript to guide students in writing and referencing. You can find the print manual in all Monash libraries. Her main target was high schools and college students. The style is common in history papers, but you can also use it in other disciplines. Turabian omits some of the information relevant for publication. It includes an extensive section explaining detail about how you should go about your writing. Some of which are:

  • Coming up with research questions
  • Where to find resources and how to use them
  • How to create an argument to support your thesis statement
  • How to Present your results in your tables and figures
  • Revising

Reasons you should use Turabian style

  • Here's why you should opt for this style:
  • You Learn to avoid plagiarism- you give credit where it's due when you cite the sources.
  • You build credibility for your work since you are citing experts to support your arguments
  • Enable others to conduct further research on your topic
  • You give your readers a chance to learn more about your article, by citing and referencing several sources.

Turabian has two main style formats, which are:

1. Notes- bibliography style

Notes- bibliography style allows you to use footnotes or endnotes in the text, and bibliography at the end of the pages. The system is flexible, and you can use it to cite various sources. It's a common format in literature, history, and arts.

Important facts on notes-bibliography style.

  • Superscript number
    To cite your sources, you have to place a superscript number. The number appears at the end of the sentence, or after the full stop from the source, you're citing.
  • Notes
    You need to create notes that the number would refer to. Give full source information (author, the title of work, publication information, and page number). You should mention this information only once in your paper. In case you want to cite the source later, jut abbreviate by writing the author's name, title, and page number separating in between with commas.
  • Using ibid
     'Ibid' is a Latin word meaning 'in the same place.' If you cite the same source in a row without any other sources in between, you don't need to repeat yourself continuously. Instead, write ibid, to indicate you are citing from the same source. In case you are quoting on a different page but the same source, add the page number after ibid, for example :( ibid, 300)
  • Listing of authors
    When citing a source with multiple authors, list the name of all the authors, but when the authors exceed number four, you can mention the first author, and follow it with' et al.' For example: (Terry Johns et al.)
  • Bibliography
    This is a long list of sources you used for your paper. It appears on a separate page or separate pages at the end of your document. The bibliography is arranged alphabetically according to the last name of authors or editors. However, when a source lacks an author or editor's name, mention the title instead. Ignore articles like 'a' and 'the'. Also, ensure you include every source you cited or consulted but didn't cite. You should separate the elements by periods, and don't include the citing information in parentheses. Regardless of the number of authors in a source, you need to list them all. Lastly, remember to list the surname of the first author first, then the last names of the subsequent authors.
  • Indentation
    Indent the first lines of your notes and the rest of your notes, flush left. When it comes to the bibliography, you should flush the first line to the left, and indent the rest of the notes to the left.

2. Author date - style

The general format is usually author, followed by the date. It's common in physical, natural, and social sciences. Also, you should use parenthesis to indicate you've used a source within the body of the text. e.g. (Martins 2014). In this format, you use in-text citations (same as MLA). In case you need to quote a specific section of a source like a page, then use a comma to separate the information, like (Martins 20014, 15). The author-date style also includes a bibliography at the end of the text, but refer to it as ‘reference.

Difference between Turabian style and Chicago 

It's not unusual to confuse between Chicago and Turabian. Turabian style is shorter than the Chicago manual of style. The following are some of their significant differences:

  • The difference in the numbering of notes. Turabian uses superscript for footnote and endnote numbers at the beginning of each text, and at the beginning of each note, while in CMOS, the in-text number is usually in parentheses (1) followed by a period.
  • Turabian has no specific rules for the grammar section, while Chicago has specific guidelines for grammar, probably because they are strictly for publications.
  • In Turabian, the date you accessed a website in Turabian; in CMOS you exclude this detail.

Footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes are part and parcel of Turabian style. Footnotes are superscript numbers, inserted within the body of a text. Turabian papers use them for their citation. Hence, if you want to cite a source, add a superscript number at the end of the sentence, which contains the information from a site you want to source. In the footnote or endnote citation, you can include information about the author, title of work, and also date. Advantageously, you can use footnotes without diverting the reader's attention from the main point. You can also use footnotes to present supplement information to the reader.

How to insert footnote

  • To add a footnote, place your cursor at the exact place you want the number to appear 
  • Click the reference tab and click insert foot to find out footnote options
  • Click either footnotes or endnotes, depending on what you want to use
  • After selecting the superscript number would appear on the page, the cursor would then jump at the bottom of that page. Here, you will get the opportunity to type the citation or any other reference information.
  • After typing scroll back to the top of your text and continue writing your paper

In word processors, formatting and numbering of notes are automatic. Hence you shouldn't worry about formatting and placement. The software will automatically renumber your work, in case you delete a number or decide to insert the number later.

How to format footnote

You shouldn't use the same number twice, even if you are citing from the same source. If you are sourcing information on a new page, you should ensure it follows a chronological order of the numbers on that page. Also, your footnote points shouldn't be in the same font as the one from the main text. In case the main text is font 12, your footnotes should be font 10.

Place the footnote number after the words to which citation notes refer. In case it points to the paragraph, put it at the end of the paragraph, after the final punctuation mark.

Turabian paper formatting

One thing for sure, when writing a Turabian paper, is to follow the guidelines of the style. Which include the following?

  • Use 1- inch margins on both sides of the paper.
  • Double-space your text.
  • Don't include extra lines between paragraphs you should indent the first line of each paragraph (one-half inch).
  • Use italics when needed and don't replace that with underlines. 
  • The recommended font is New Times Roman, size 12.
  • Use serial comma (placing a comma between the next two last item, and the word and, where a list contains there or more item). For example: She bought cabbages, tomatoes, onions, and carrots.
  • Double-space the whole paper except for the footnotes, endnotes, blockquotes, reference lists, table title, figure captions, and bibliography entries, which utilize single-space to separate one element from the other.

Styles for writing

  • Capitalization. You should capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns, all titles of works, subtitles, and journal names. When 'an' or 'the' appears with them, avoid capitalizing these articles, unless they appear as the first words in a sentence. 
  • Always write the paper in the third person, unless your professor instructs you to use first or second person. And strive to use active voice rather than the passive voice.
  • When writing about history, use simple past tense verbs, and present tense when you refer to an author's written work.
  • Be concise and specific; you only need to give the necessary information.
  • Use quotations marks on the title of shorter works like 'poems and articles,' while italics for larger works like books and plays.

How to write the main body of a Turabian paper

Just like any other paper, start with the introduction section. The first word on your document should be 'introduction,' and should be in bold. It should be compelling. In the body, you should incorporate incredible research that is relevant to your thesis, thus with strong argument points. Include summaries, paraphrases, block quotations, and citations, for impressive and concrete work.

Citation and references notes 

Citations styles and formatting differs depending on the source. Which are books, journals, online videos, and personal communications, amongst other topics? For instance, the way you site an online book isn't the same for hard books. Bibliography comes at the end of the main text of your paper on a separate page. You list all the sources you cite in your work altogether. Use periods to separate the elements here. Whether reference or bibliography, bold and place it at the center of a new page after the conclusion page. Capitalize the first word of all your entries. Usually, they are the last name of the first authors. Also, cite all classical work like the bible, or personal communication but don't place them in the reference section. Lastly, include access date of online content, as the information is likely to change when one updates the information on their websites.

Constructing a citation

Print sources. When citing print sources, start with the author's last name, and the middle name if given, follow it by the title of the book (italicized or in quotes), city of publication, and the date of publication.
For example: Martins, John. Pure hearts. New York: literature publishers, 2004

Online sources. Cite the online book, just like the book's print version.
For example: Martin, John. Pure hearts. Lonely hearts, 2010. https// www. Lonelyhearts. Org / files/222/222-h/222-h.html.

Journal articles with multiple authors. Start with the author's information and use 'and' before the last author. The information concerning the title and publications remains the same as that of print sources. Italicize the title of journals, follow the journal-title with volume, the issue number, year of article publication, and finally list the page numbers of the article.
For example: Johnston, Latifa. E and Abdala Sheikh. "The psychology of the human brain." Human understanding journal 6, no 2 (2012): 613-622.
Lastly, Turabian style is just like any other citation with its own rules. The little details matter, hence you should follow them to the latter. Next time you encounter this style, you will have a clue on how to tackle it.

Hence, she made a few amends on Chicago style, a technique used for formatting scholarly books for publication. Therefore, the difference between Turabian and Chicago is slight.
To achieve her goal, she wrote a manuscript to guide students in writing and referencing. You can find the print manual in all Monash libraries. Her main target was high schools and college students. The style is common in history papers, but you can also use it in other disciplines. Turabian omits some of the information relevant for publication. It includes an extensive section explaining detail about how you should go about your writing. Some of which are:

  • Coming up with research questions
  • Where to find resources and how to use them
  • How to create an argument to support your thesis statement
  • How to Present your results in your tables and figures
  • Revising

Reasons you should use Turabian style

  • Here's why you should opt for this style:
  • You Learn to avoid plagiarism- you give credit where it's due when you cite the sources.
  • You build credibility for your work since you are citing experts to support your arguments
  • Enable others to conduct further research on your topic
  • You give your readers a chance to learn more about your article, by citing and referencing several sources.

Turabian has two main style formats, which are:

1. Notes- bibliography style 

Notes- bibliography style allows you to use footnotes or endnotes in the text, and bibliography at the end of the pages. The system is flexible, and you can use it to cite various sources. It's a common format in literature, history, and arts.

Important facts on notes-bibliography style.

  • Superscript number
    To cite your sources, you have to place a superscript number. The number appears at the end of the sentence, or after the full stop from the source, you're citing.
  • Notes
    You need to create notes that the number would refer to. Give full source information (author, the title of work, publication information, and page number). You should mention this information only once in your paper. In case you want to cite the source later, jut abbreviate by writing the author's name, title, and page number separating in between with commas.
  • Using ibid 
    'Ibid' is a Latin word meaning 'in the same place.' If you cite the same source in a row without any other sources in between, you don't need to repeat yourself continuously. Instead, write ibid, to indicate you are citing from the same source. In case you are quoting on a different page but the same source, add the page number after ibid, for example :( ibid, 300)
  • Listing of authors
    When citing a source with multiple authors, list the name of all the authors, but when the authors exceed number four, you can mention the first author, and follow it with' et al.' For example: (Terry Johns et al.)
  • Bibliography
    This is a long list of sources you used for your paper. It appears on a separate page or separate pages at the end of your document. The bibliography is arranged alphabetically according to the last name of authors or editors. However, when a source lacks an author or editor's name, mention the title instead. Ignore articles like 'a' and 'the'. Also, ensure you include every source you cited or consulted but didn't cite. You should separate the elements by periods, and don't include the citing information in parentheses. Regardless of the number of authors in a source, you need to list them all. Lastly, remember to list the surname of the first author first, then the last names of the subsequent authors.
  • Indentation
    Indent the first lines of your notes and the rest of your notes, flush left. When it comes to the bibliography, you should flush the first line to the left, and indent the rest of the notes to the left.

2. Author date - style

The general format is usually author, followed by the date. It's common in physical, natural, and social sciences. Also, you should use parenthesis to indicate you've used a source within the body of the text. e.g. (Martins 2014). In this format, you use in-text citations (same as MLA). In case you need to quote a specific section of a source like a page, then use a comma to separate the information, like (Martins 20014, 15). The author-date style also includes a bibliography at the end of the text, but refer to it as ‘reference.’

Difference between Turabian style and Chicago 

It's not unusual to confuse between Chicago and Turabian. Turabian style is shorter than the Chicago manual of style. The following are some of their significant differences:

  • The difference in the numbering of notes. Turabian uses superscript for footnote and endnote numbers at the beginning of each text, and at the beginning of each note, while in CMOS, the in-text number is usually in parentheses (1) followed by a period.
  • Turabian has no specific rules for the grammar section, while Chicago has specific guidelines for grammar, probably because they are strictly for publications.
  • In Turabian, the date you accessed a website in Turabian; in CMOS you exclude this detail.

Footnotes and endnotes

Footnotes and endnotes are part and parcel of Turabian style. Footnotes are superscript numbers, inserted within the body of a text. Turabian papers use them for their citation. Hence, if you want to cite a source, add a superscript number at the end of the sentence, which contains the information from a site you want to source. In the footnote or endnote citation, you can include information about the author, title of work, and also date. Advantageously, you can use footnotes without diverting the reader's attention from the main point. You can also use footnotes to present supplement information to the reader.

How to insert footnote    

  • To add a footnote, place your cursor at the exact place you want the number to appear 
  • Click the reference tab and click insert foot to find out footnote options
  • Click either footnotes or endnotes, depending on what you want to use
  •  After selecting the superscript number would appear on the page, the cursor would then jump at the bottom of that page. Here, you will get the opportunity to type the citation or any other reference information.
  •  After typing scroll back to the top of your text and continue writing your paper

In word processors, formatting and numbering of notes are automatic. Hence you shouldn't worry about formatting and placement. The software will automatically renumber your work, in case you delete a number or decide to insert the number later.

How to format footnote

You shouldn't use the same number twice, even if you are citing from the same source. If you are sourcing information on a new page, you should ensure it follows a chronological order of the numbers on that page. Also, your footnote points shouldn't be in the same font as the one from the main text. In case the main text is font 12, your footnotes should be font 10.
Place the footnote number after the words to which citation notes refer. In case it points to the paragraph, put it at the end of the paragraph, after the final punctuation mark.

Turabian paper formatting

One thing for sure, when writing a Turabian paper, is to follow the guidelines of the style. Which include the following?

  • Use 1- inch margins on both sides of the paper.
  • Double-space your text.
  • Don't include extra lines between paragraphs you should indent the first line of each paragraph (one-half inch).
  • Use italics when needed and don't replace that with underlines. 
  • The recommended font is New Times Roman, size 12.
  • Use serial comma (placing a comma between the next two last item, and the word and, where a list contains there or more item). For example: She bought cabbages, tomatoes, onions, and carrots.
  • Double-space the whole paper except for the footnotes, endnotes, blockquotes, reference lists, table title, figure captions, and bibliography entries, which utilize single-space to separate one element from the other.

Styles for writing

  • Capitalization. You should capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns, all titles of works, subtitles, and journal names. When 'an' or 'the' appears with them, avoid capitalizing these articles, unless they appear as the first words in a sentence. 
  • Always write the paper in the third person, unless your professor instructs you to use first or second person. And strive to use active voice rather than the passive voice.
  • When writing about history, use simple past tense verbs, and present tense when you refer to an author's written work.
  • Be concise and specific; you only need to give the necessary information.
  • Use quotations marks on the title of shorter works like 'poems and articles,' while italics for larger works like books and plays.

How to write the main body of a Turabian paper

Just like any other paper, start with the introduction section. The first word on your document should be 'introduction,' and should be in bold. It should be compelling. In the body, you should incorporate incredible research that is relevant to your thesis, thus with strong argument points. Include summaries, paraphrases, block quotations, and citations, for impressive and concrete work.

Citation and references notes 

Citations styles and formatting differs depending on the source. Which are books, journals, online videos, and personal communications, amongst other topics? For instance, the way you site an online book isn't the same for hard books. Bibliography comes at the end of the main text of your paper on a separate page. You list all the sources you cite in your work altogether. Use periods to separate the elements here. Whether reference or bibliography, bold and place it at the center of a new page after the conclusion page. Capitalize the first word of all your entries. Usually, they are the last name of the first authors. Also, cite all classical work like the bible, or personal communication but don't place them in the reference section. Lastly, include access date of online content, as the information is likely to change when one updates the information on their websites. 

Constructing a citation

Print sources. When citing print sources, start with the author's last name, and the middle name if given, follow it by the title of the book (italicized or in quotes), city of publication, and the date of publication.
For example: Martins, John. Pure hearts. New York: literature publishers, 2004
Online sources. Cite the online book, just like the book's print version.
For example: Martin, John. Pure hearts. Lonely hearts, 2010. https// www. Lonelyhearts. Org / files/222/222-h/222-h.html.
Journal articles with multiple authors. Start with the author's information and use 'and' before the last author. The information concerning the title and publications remains the same as that of print sources. Italicize the title of journals, follow the journal-title with volume, the issue number, year of article publication, and finally list the page numbers of the article.
For example: Johnston, Latifa. E and Abdala Sheikh. "The psychology of the human brain." Human understanding journal 6, no 2 (2012): 613-622.
Lastly, Turabian style is just like any other citation with its own rules. The little details matter, hence you should follow them to the latter. Next time you encounter this style, you will have a clue on how to tackle it.

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