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Turabian style paper

What Turabian is

If you hear someone saying that writing research papers, theses, and dissertation is a boring and rational process, don't believe them. Even if you have the most monotonous text mixed with graphs and numbers, the creativity is still present there. It all starts with an idea. The experiments you choose to carry out and the topic of your paper have to do with the creative part of the assignment. However, due to the fact that it is an academic paper, you can't rely on creativity alone. There should be a certain structure and organization of your writing. Thanks to Kate L. Turabian and her “A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations” you've got it.

It is a convenient guide to make sure every scholar writing a paper can easily find the work of others quickly as all the works have standard formatting. In the manual, you will find a list of rules and suggestions on how to format your paper and cite the sources you use. It is for those students who focus on writing in American English (either there is such requirement from a teacher or not). The problem with the long manuals is that it takes a lot of time to get your head around them. To do it faster, you can look through this short guide. It will provide you with specific examples and generalized requirements.

What a perfect Turabian paper should look like

Every academic paper has a detailed specific structure. Although you might think that it is to make the life of students even harder than it already is, it is not the reason. When there is a standardized system of organizing the information, it easy to revise and review, find the section you are interested in, and make your message clear. If your goal is to write a paper that would meet all of the Turabian style requirements (and it should), here are some of the points to pay attention to:

  • Do not use tiny font size to make your paper look massive - it will be difficult to read. The perfect font size is supposed to be 12 pt.
  • If you want to follow the standard rules and play it safe, use Times New Roman as it is the most popular font. Make sure you use double spacing.
  • Use the guidelines to write a perfect title page as it is the first thing your instructor will see: the title should be centered and situated 1/3 down the page; several blank lines should precede your name and date; the page should not have any numbers (unless required differently).
  • Look carefully at the requirement to the headings of your paper as there are specific rules you should follow when using Turabian formatting.
  • Do not forget to number all of the pictures/illustrations/graphs you use. Include the source of every image as it is a significant part of the process.

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When to use it?

There are no specific recommendations on when to use Turabian style. It is designed for the assignments that include conducting a scientific research but no one says that it is its limit. As a rule, your instructor will highlight the main requirements to the paper you will have to submit and formatting style point will be among them. Otherwise, you can ask your teacher to provide you with more details. Either way, make sure you know what is required and how to do it.

Citation formatting

One of the main benefits of this formatting style is that you can use footnotes and endnotes opposed to the direct in-text quotations. Here are some examples of how to format

a book:
Adam Simons, The Biggest Mistakes of the Humanity (New York: Best Publishing Company, 1999), 58.

a publication:
Adam Simons, “The Biggest Mistakes of the Humanity”, Behaviorism Today 46, no. 3 (2008): 21.
Gerry Weinstein, “Superfoods,” Scientific Research 19, no. 7 (2002): 134,

a webpage:
Alex Parks, “Three teams win President’s Innovation Challenge Awards”, Harvard Correspondent, May 3, 2018,

Works cited page

Now, let's focus on the formatting of the bibliography page. Here are examples of how to format

a book:
Simons, Adam. The Biggest Mistakes of the Humanity. New York: Best Publishing Company, 1999.

a publication:
Simons, Adam. “The Biggest Mistakes of the Humanity.” Behaviorism Today 46, no. 3 (2008): 21-27.

Weinstein, Gerry. “Superfoods.” Scientific Research 19, no. 7 (2002): 0-134.

a webpage:
Parks, Alex. “Three teams win President’s Innovation Challenge Awards”. Harvard Correspondent. May 3, 2018.

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