Chicago/Turabian Style Guide

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Need Chicago or Turabian style for a paper you are writing? This guide has everything you need to know about Chicago style according to the latest standards.

This page follows the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and the 9th edition of the Turabian guide (A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations), though this guide is not officially connected with either.

What is Chicago style? What is Turabian?

You may have heard the terms “Chicago” and “Turabian” used interchangeably and wondered what the difference is. Simply put, they are just about the same.

Turabian is a simpler version of Chicago style meant for students who are writing materials that will not be published. Since the CMOS is meant for material that is intended for publication, it’s often used by scholars, publishers, and other professional academics. The Turabian guide is shorter and includes information on formatting rules, the basics of researching and writing academic papers, and citation style. Despite these differences, these two books work in tandem; both are considered to be official Chicago style.


Paper Formatting Guidelines

Since Chicago style is typically used for manuscripts that will be published, The Chicago Manual of Style does not offer many guidelines for paper formatting. This is because publishers each have their own house styles and authors must follow these exactly. There are a few areas where guidance is offered.


Citing Your Sources

Chicago style has two citation styles to let readers know that you used information from somewhere else and to show them where to find it.

  1. notes and bibliography style
  2. author-date style.

Though different, each style allows you to tell your readers how you found your information.


Notes and Bibliography Style

This style uses superscript numbers at the ends of sentences. These numbers alert readers that the sentence contains information from another source. Each superscript number refers to a note.


Author-Date Style

This style uses parenthetical in-text citations and a reference list to guide readers to the sources you cite. The in-text citation generally includes the:

  • Author’s last name
  • Year of publication
  • Page numbers referenced

Formatting Your Bibliography or Reference List

Bibliographies and reference lists are located at the end of your paper. You should include every source you cite in your bibliography or reference list.


Other Chicago Guides

Citation Basics

Books

Periodicals

Online Content

Audio / Video / Photo / Art

Academic Sources

Other Source Types

Reference Materials


Bibliography:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. https://doi.org/10.7208/cmos17.

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018.


Published October 31, 2011. Updated April 9, 2020.

Written by Janice Hansen. Janice has a doctorate in literature and a master’s degree in library science. She spends a lot of time with rare books and citations.

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