The Writing Center
Start Here: Guide to Turabian/Chicago Style
The Chicago Manual of Style was first published in 1906, establishing two systems of citation, footnotes and parenthetical citation, and one set of style conventions widely used by writers in the sciences and in the humanities including biblical studies, classics, history, literature, music, philosophy, and theology. The late Kate Turabian wrote the first five editions of her shorter version of Chicago style, titled A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, now in its ninth edition. Therefore, Turabian and Chicago style are the same, abbreviated as CMOS or CMS.
A Manual for Writers, 9th edition (2018) was revised by the University of Chicago Press editorial staff and is fully aligned with The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017). Turabian, 9th edition offers more guidance with online sources and is simpler to use, no longer requiring recording an access date in citations of online sources. Turabian’s manual is written with college students and graduate research writers in mind, so for instance, the appendix shows how to format a title page for a class paper (p.391) and a dissertation (p.392).
A Manual for Writers is highly educational because it incorporates major sections of The Craft of Research, 4th edition and Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace, 5th edition, both bestselling guides by the acclaimed editorial team and used extensively at Southeastern. The Society of Biblical Literature has applied Chicago style to the many details of advanced biblical studies in The SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd edition. These manuals add value to Chicago style and expertise for learning the crafts of research, critical thinking, and writing style.
A Manual for Writers is Southeastern’s official style guide, giving writers in all classes the right to be right about research writing (Part 1), source citation (Part 2), style conventions (Part 3), and document design (Appendix). When citing sources in Chicago style, writers need to make two immediate distinctions: which sources require classical (parenthetical) citation and which require footnotes, and further for notes, when to make full footnotes or shortened notes or bibliography entries. Please read on to understand these distinctions and other highlights.
- Turabian.org hosts more resources including its Citation Quick Guide.
- Our YouTube channel introduces Turabian-Chicago Style (1:44) and The SBL Handbook of Style (1:37).