Introduction to Turabian

What is Turabian style?
Turabian is an authoritative writing guide for "Chicago Manual of Style." Chicago style is used for preparing scholarly manuscripts and student research papers in the humanities (especially history) and some social sciences.

In addition to providing standardized rules for formatting a paper (margins, line spacing, etc.), Turabian provides a consistent method for citing ideas, quotations, facts, and paraphrases borrowed from other sources. This standardized format for identifying sources used in a paper makes the paper more credible and ensures that other authors are given credit for their original thoughts and ideas.

Are there other styles?
Just as Turabian or Chicago style is used by teachers in history, teachers in English may ask you to format your paper in MLA style; teachers in psychology may ask you to format your paper in APA style; and a biology professor might want you to submit a paper in yet another format. There are slight differences between the formats and each has a unique set of rules. Note the differences between the Turabian and APA citations given below:

A book citation in APA

Kasson, J. F. (1976). Civilizing the machine: technology and republican values in America 1776-1900. New York: Penguin.

  • Author's last name and first initial only
  • Date of publication appears at beginning of citation
  • Only first word of title is capitalized (and proper nouns)
The same book citation in Turabian

Kasson, John F. Civilizing the Machine: Technology and Republican Values in America 1776-1900. New York: Penguin, 1976.

  • Author's first and last name written out completely
  • Date of publication appears at end of citation
  • All major words in title capitalized

Based on what you know so far, which one of these citations is probably in Turabian format?

Kauffmann, S. (1993, October 18). On films: class consciousness. The New Republic, p.30.

Whitaker, Mark. "Getting Tough at Last." Newsweek 10 May 1993: 22.