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How Different Are Chicago And Turabian Writing Styles?

You may have come across a thesis, dissertation, term paper or research assignment which contains instructions to use either the Chicago or Turabian style of referencing. Both these styles are typically the same with very minor differences. Together, both Turabian and Chicago writing styles differ mainly from the APA form of writing.

All three of these styles pertain to the bibliographical information that references the sources you’ve used to write your paper, whereas APA goes a bit deeper into the entire paper’s style.

The main differences

  • One of the most notable differences between Chicago and Turabian writing is that with the Chicago style, when referencing a source in your bibliography, you would cite the author, title, publication name, date and page number (in that order) with a “1.” instead of a “1”.

  • Another difference is that the positioning of sources are placed in the text itself rather than only cited and referenced later. Some writers also prefer referencing source information at the bottom of a page, rather than just at the end of the paper (or book). Either way it should be noted that a full bibliography must be added at the end of the writing, regardless of what style is used.

  • Dates and page numbers are sometimes allowed exclusion from the bibliography in favour of a more direct approach when placing the reference.

  • In some instances the title is written with all the main words starting with capital letters. Words like “and”, “the”, “or”, etc. are written without capitals.

Some history

Because of these minor differences, both the names of Chicago and Turabian writing styles have been used to describe the same bibliography style; although in actual fact, the Turabian style is considered to be an updated, modernized version of the Chicago style due to the fact that it was revised by Kate L. Turabian in 1937. This original author’s work is a much used reference guide for thousands of students and has been revised by contemporary writers to keep up with the modernization of the English language.

Check with your professor

In light of these differences, it’s wisest to verify which style is preferred by your tutor or professor. Certain colleges have a standard method which is used, whereas other institutions don’t bother with laying out set criteria and leave it instead to each respective professor to decide for themselves which style they prefer.

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