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From the Mind of Kate Turabian

In the entire academic world, few people have had as much influence over the minds of students as University of Chicago’s Kate Turabian. Mrs. Turabian was the dissertation secretary who gave approval to the grammar and research citation requirements for all students at the University of Chicago from 1930 to 1958. The standards she set have come to be known as “Turabian style.”

Although patterned parallel to “Chicago style,” Turabian style has one distinct difference that is immediately noticeable. It has only two citation styles (footnote citation and bibliographic citation) instead of Chicago’s three styles. Beyond this difference, there is little to contrast it with Chicago style.

Turabian Referencing Style

Turabian citation style allows the use of both footnote/endnote referencing and parenthetical referencing to establish the necessary documentation of information derived from outside sources. The decision between the two styles is affected by industry or discipline standards and individual author preferences.


The marker/notation system uses a series of symbolic markers to indicate material or ideas drawn from other sources. Each symbol points to a corresponding footnote or endnote. When the practice first developed, a series of printer’s “daggers” were used. Due to the limited number of such daggers available, the marker/notation system was page specific, forcing the use of footnotes.

As time progressed, the use of printer’s daggers gave way to the use of numeric markers. This broadened the potential use of footnotes and enabled the use of endnotes. This opened the avenues of referencing, allowing flexibility in scope (page, chapter or document based).

Footnotes and endnotes can be used for resource citation or for side information that, though it may be directly relevant to the associated text, fails to integrate well with the main document or may contain a side-thought of the author regarding the matter presented.

The flexibility of endnotes allows this material to be included at the end of the given chapter or section or, as is typically the case, at the end of the document or book. If placed at the end, the flexibility allows them to all be sequential (document-wide scope) or broken into specific chapters for easier reference (chapter-specific scope).

Parenthetical Referencing

Parenthetical referencing, is also known as Harvard-style referencing since it was developed by a professor at Harvard University. It uses abbreviated citation information enclosed in parentheses within the body of the document itself, typically in a “name – date – page” format. The referencing notation points to a bibliographic citation found in the end material of the document.

Students may encounter circumstances where a single author has several bibliographic entries to his or her credit from the same year. Simply citing the year in these cases is insufficient. Adding a suffix letter to the end of the year, based on the sequence in which the articles appear in the bibliography, will address this issue in an acceptable manner.

Citation Building

Turabian-style citations are less challenging than Chicago-style since they only use two format styles instead of Chicago’s three distinct formats whose use is dictated by where in the document they are found and what form of referencing style is used. The order of citation elements in the presentation is not the same in both citation formats, though all elements are included in both formats:

  • Author Name et al. – As with all citation styles, the author’s name comes first. In footnote/endnote citations the name follows common usage (First I. Last), the others use the standard citation format (Last, First I.). Another difference is when using more than three named authors. In the footnote/endnote citations only the first author is listed, followed by “and others” rather than the Chicago style’s “et al.” In both bibliographic citations, all authors are listed.
  • Article Title – Used only in referencing periodical articles, articles in anthologies or entries in encyclopedias. Do not forget to enclose the article title in quotation marks.
  • Book or Periodical Title – Always italicized in Turabian citations
  • Volume and Edition – Volume and edition information is relevant to periodicals and encyclopedias, though edition may also be relevant to textbooks.
  • Editor’s Name – Typically found in anthological or encyclopedic citations. The editor’s name can also be in place of the author’s name if the author’s name is missing.
  • Location and Name of Publisher – Should be used for all citations. The publisher’s name can also be used in place of the author’s name if the author’s name is missing and there is no listed editor.
  • Date – The date should be highly specific when it comes to periodicals, citing month and day if available, otherwise be as specific as the information available.
  • URL (accessed Date) – For materials found online, the URL (or address) of the materials should be noted along with the date accessed. The date accessed is important due to the volatile nature of the Internet.

An additional note should be made regarding citations from a book’s forward, introduction or retrospective. When citing such materials, list the author of the extra material section first and alter the book title to read “Forward to …”, “Introduction to …” or “Retrospective of …” Then note the book author’s name after the book title with the prefix “Written by …”

Final Words

Preparing proper citations for your dissertation (or other academic or professional assignments) can be quite demanding. Even for professional writers like ours, keeping track of sources and the citation information can be difficult without help. Fortunately, with today’s available software, this task has gotten much easier. Utilizing mind-mapping software, such as FreeMind, information and citation details can be gathered and organized quickly and easily. In addition, do not worry if you already have your work ready and just need someone to review or edit your work. Our highly talented and experienced writers can easily accommodate your needs by reviewing your work, recommend improvements, and otherwise assist you in refining your project for the best impression possible.

Contact us today for help with your assignment. Regardless of its size, our writers can assist you with almost any project, dissertation or presentation from initial research to final editing.

Older posts:
Chicago Citation Style - Aug 08, 2011
Oxford Referencing Style - Aug 08, 2011
AMA Citation Style - Aug 08, 2011
MLA Citation Style - Aug 08, 2011
Harvard Referencing Tips - Aug 08, 2011

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