Turabian Style Citation: Handy Guide to Correctly Citing Sources!

The Turabian Style – What Is It?

Similar to the Chicago citation style, the Turabian style was developed especially for researchers and students. It adheres to many of the conventions of the Chicago style with added guidance for the formatting of thesis papers, dissertations, and research papers. Created by Kate L. Turabian and described in her Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, the Turabian style offers two basic systems for citing documents i.e. a notes and bibliography system (or just bibliography style) and the author-date system (known previously as parenthetical citations – in the style of reference lists).

 

Should You Use Notes-Bibliography or the Author-Date System?

The notes and bibliography citation style is mostly used in humanities subjects e.g. in the arts, history and literature. Sources in this style are cited using numbered endnotes or footnotes. Every note has a superscript number (raised number) associated with it within the paper’s text. Each source is also displayed in an end-of-paper bibliography, created separately. This is a highly flexible system capable of accommodating a great variety of source types. The author-date system as set out in the Turabian style is used more commonly in the natural, social and physical sciences. Here, each source is accompanied by a brief in-text citation, normally within parentheses, according to the surname of the author and publication year. Every in-text citation has a corresponding entry on the end-of-paper citation page with full bibliography details.

You might also find Chicago Writing Style useful.

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Features of the Notes-Bibliography System

Use of Superscripted Numbers:

You should cite sources within your paper’s text with a superscript number located at the sentence’s ending and following the period or full stop. That source is referenced as .1

Use of Notes Citations:

When a source is first mentioned, provide full information about that source (e.g. author’s name, title, publication details, and page range/numbers). When reusing a note, provide only the surname of the author and page number(s). The abbreviated term “ibid” is now obsolete for referring to previously used sources. Subsequent notes should be presented with shortened information about the source e.g. include only the surname of the author, shortened title (with no subtitle) and page number(s). In the case of sources with several authors, each author should be listed where these do not exceed three. Where there are four authors or more, the name of the first author should be listed and this is followed with “et al” (e.g. Rosemary Jones et. al).

Bibliography:

Every source should be listed in an end-of-paper bibliography. A bibliography should have an entry for each source cited and can include sources you used but have not cited in your paper.

Normally, a bibliography is one list containing all of a paper’s sources displayed in alphabetic order according to the author’s or editor’s surname. List any source that you do not have an author or organization’s name for by its title (omit definite articles e.g. “a” or “the”). Where there are several authors for a single source, include all authors’ names no matter the number of them. Indicate the source by listing the surname of the first author first and then by listing the first names of the remaining authors first.

When and How to Use Indentation:

Indent the first line of a note with the remaining lines aligned to the left-hand side of the page. Bibliographies use hanging indentation i.e align the first text line to the left-hand side of the page and indent all subsequent text lines.

General Features of the Author-Date System (Parenthesized Citations)

How Elements are Ordered and Styled:

The elements of a source in the author-date style are generally displayed in the order of author surname first, followed by the date (e.g. (Jones 2009).

Where sections of a particular source need to be cited, page numbers should be included and separated with a comma (e.g. Jones 2009, 30).

Bibliography:

Every source should be listed in an end-of-paper bibliography. A bibliography should have an entry for each source cited and can include sources you used but have not cited in your paper.

Normally, a bibliography is one list containing all of a paper’s sources displayed in alphabetic order according to the author’s or editor’s surname.

List any source that you do not have an author or organization’s name for by its title (omit definite articles e.g. “a” or “the”).

Where there are several authors for a single source, include all authors’ names no matter the number of them. Indicate the source by listing the surname of the first author first and then by listing the first names of the remaining authors first.

When and How to Use Indentation:

Indent the first line of a note with the remaining lines aligned to the left-hand side of the page. Bibliographies use hanging indentation i.e. align the first text line to the left-hand side of the page and indent all subsequent text lines.

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