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History: About Chicago and Turabian

What is Chicago style?

The Chicago Manual of Style presents two basic documentation systems:
  (1) notes and bibliography 
  (2) author-date.

Choosing between the two often depends on subject matter and nature of sources cited, as each system is favored by different groups of scholars.

  • The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in the humanities.
  • The author-date system has long been used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences.In this system
  • sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by author’s last name and date of publication
  • short citations are amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided.

Aside from the use of notes versus parenthetical references in the text, the two systems share a similar style

What is Turabian?

Named for Kate Larimore Turabian who was the graduate school dissertation secretary and editor of official publications at the University of Chicago from 1930 to 1958.

In that capacity, she wrote a small pamphlet describing the correct style for writing college dissertations, which eventually became A Manual for Writers. 

The manual begins with the research and writing process, covers source citating, and ends with style standards (spelling, quoting, puncuation, etc.).

"If one issue makes or breaks a student research project, it is the quality of the problem that the writer poses. Students with good questions (chap. 2) find more useful sources (chap. 3–4), read more thoughtfully, and make better decisions in planning and drafting their papers."

  • Research can be a lonely experience
  • Use writing and research as tools for reflection
  • Create a series of stages with deadlines during process