How to write an essay in Turabian Format

Kate Turabian introduced a formatting style based on the Chicago style in 1937. The format is intended for student paper submissions, so it has been updated over the years to include new technologies and sources. Turabian format lists two types of citations/bibliography pairings, one for humanities papers and one for the natural sciences.

As with some of the other styles, science related papers usually use a superscript number in the text, with a matching reference at the page bottom.This is used in Turabian Formated papers. The reference is then listed in a bibliography at the end of the paper. Humanities papers (English, psychology, sociology, etc.) use a note in parentheses in the text instead of a number, and a matching citation in a reference page instead of a bibliography.

So, a science paper citing a web page would look like this:
Then the electron was discovered, and particle physics was born. Through the mathematics of quantum mechanics and experimental observation, it was deduced that all known particles fell into one of two classes: bosons or fermions. Bosons are particles that transmit forces.1
Then, a note appears at the bottom of the page where the citation occurs:
1. The Official String Theory Website, “The Basics.” http://superstringtheory.com/basics/basic2.html (accessed 15 May 2009).
Finally, the same citation appears on the bibliography page in alphabetical order, without the numbers.
Humanities citations look more like MLA format. The inline citation is in parentheses, listing as little information as possible to let the reader know exactly which reference on the Works Cited page to refer to. Note: science pages use bibliographies, humanities papers use works cited pages (Swanwick, 25). The matching citation would be:
Swanwick, Michael. 1987. Vacuum flowers. New York: Arbor House.
An oddity to watch out for: most humanities styles do not capitalize all of the words in a title, just the first, eg. APA format. Also, humanities citations seem to use periods throughout, while bibliographies use commas.
Finally, here is a magazine citation:
Ambjorn, Jan, Jerzy Jurkiewicz, and Renate Loll, “The Self-Organizing Quantum Universe,” Scientific American, July 2008.
As with any style, it might help to know the general rules for the order that authors, titles, publishers, etc. appear in, but to be safe, always compare your citations with a paper that someone else (or you) submitted correctly. If you are confused about the turabian format, and you have access to the internet, a search on the style you have to use will return at least a dozen colleges and universities that have posted their particular style pages, or their versions of popular styles, on their websites.

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