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Turabian Style Guide

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Introduction to Turabian Style

Turabian Style was developed especially for students by Kate Turabian, the dissertation secretary at the University of Chicago for many years. This style is a sub-style of sorts that is based on the Chicago Style of writing.

Turabian Style is used mainly for history papers, but it is sometimes used in other disciplines.

Why would Kate Turabian take it upon herself to come up with a special system? In short, to help students. The Chicago Style is a standard that is used for formatting scholarly books. Turabian knew that most students are only concerned with writing papers, so she narrowed the topic and refined it for paper writing.

It basically omits some of the information that is relevant for publishing, but Turabian Style does depart in some other ways from Chicago Style.

Turabian Style allows writers to choose from two systems of citing information. You will choose one or the other. Never try to mix these methods!

  • Notes and Bibliography Method: Students can use footnotes or endnotes in the text and a bibliography at the end of the paper.
  • Parenthetical Method: Students can use in-text citations similar to those used in MLA Style papers. Those papers would also include a reference list of works cited at the end.

This tutorial will focus on the notes and bibliography method.

Why? Generally, the feature that sets Turabian Style apart from MLA is the use of endnotes or footnotes, so if a teacher instructs you to use Turabian Style and does not specify which citation system to use, it’s probably best to go with notes and bibliography style.

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