A Detailed Manual On Writing A Research Paper In The Turabian Style

The Turabian formatting and style guide is often referred to the Chicago Manual of Style for formatting research papers. It’s used primarily for research papers, theses, and dissertations, not for shorter essays or term papers. This being said there are very specific rules that need to be followed or you risk losing points by submitting work that doesn’t adhere to the requirements. Here’s a detailed manual for writing a research paper in the Turabian style:

  • Basic Formatting
  • The entire research paper should contain 1-inch margins all the way around. The text should be set to Times New Roman at size 12 point font. Double-space all text and include a page number on all pages except for the front matter (e.g., preface, table of contents, acknowledgments, etc.).

  • Writing Style
  • Always use the active third-person voice when writing research papers in the Turabian style. Always shorten a bibliographic note if using footnotes and the source information was listed in a prior footnote by using “ibid.” Also be aware that certain works, like the Bible for instance, should be cited in the footnote and not in the bibliography.

  • Headings and Subheading
  • There are five basic levels of headings and sub-heading you can choose to use in your research paper. They should be formatted as follows:

    • First level – Headline-style capitalization, centered with italic type or bold face.
    • Second level – Headline-style capitalization, centered with regular type.
    • Third level – Headline-style capitalization, flushed with the left margin, italic type or bold face.
    • Fourth level – Sentence-style capitalization, flushed with the left margin, roman type.
    • Fifth level – Sentence-style capitalization, run in a the beginning of a paragraph, italic type or bold face.

  • Bibliography List
  • References should be ordered alphabetically by the author or editor’s last name. In cases, where there are multiple authors or editors list references according to the first person listed on the title page of the work.

    The first line of each reference should be aligned with the left margin, with each subsequent line indented 1/2 – inch. All lines are double spaced with no extra space between citation entries.

Each listing should begin with the author’s last name, followed by the first name. Next, come the title of the book, place of publication, the publisher’s name and the date of publication. For journal entries include the article’s name in quotations, followed by the name of the journal, the volume number and date of publication.