Turabian Research Paper Format: Step-by-Step Instructions

The Turabian writing style is mostly used for history research papers. It is a sub-style stemming from the more traditional Chicago style, developed by Kate Turabian. A paper in this format should consist of the following parts:

Please note that an epigraph is optional. You will need to ask your professor whether you should include it or not. The endnotes section is not mandatory either; you can replace it with footnotes.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide that will help you create a high quality paper in Turabian style:

  1. Start with a title page.

    It mustn’t be numbered. The title of the paper must be centered and printed in all capital letters. Add your name, course, and submission date at the bottom of the page (centered).

  2. Find a catchy quote.

    If you know a quote that perfectly summarizes the main idea of your paper or your professor demands that you find one, you should include it in the essay as an epigraph.

    This page mustn’t be numbered as well and you don’t need to cite the source of the quote in a note, as per the customary requirement of the Turabian style. However, you will need to include the source in the bibliography section.

  3. The text section of the paper should be written in clear, formal language. The text must be double-spaced. Every paragraph should be indented by five spaces. Sections must follow one another with no page breaks. Any names of books or foreign words you insert in the text must be italicized.
  4. Choose the type of notes you want to use.

    Turabian style requires the use of notes for every citation. You can choose either footnotes, meaning that you will need to add a note at the bottom of every page that contains a citation, or endnotes. In the latter case, you will need to write a comprehensive list of notes in the same order as they are presented in the paper. The content of notes doesn’t change, so pick the option you like best.

  5. Label every figure/illustration you add.

    Every additional tool you include in your paper must be labeled and numbered. This way, you will only need to mention the correct number in the paper, and the readers will know what to look at.

  6. Write a detailed bibliography.

    This is a necessary part. You need to include every source used during the research, not only the ones that are directly cited. The bibliography should be alphabetized by the author’s last name.

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