Key similarities and Differences between the Turabian and Chicago Manual of Style

A citation is defined as a way to give credit to people for their intellectual work that has been used to support your research and college essay. There are different citation styles. This article will discuss the Chicago/ Turabian style. Although the publisher for both Turabian and Chicago style are the same, as presented in the sixth edition of Chicago Manual of Style(CMOS) but there are some differences.

Chicago style

Chicago style is a formatting and citation style that is used in academic writings. Any kind of writing from a one-page assignment to a full-length research paper can use Chicago style. The Chicago format is mostly used by social science and historical journals. If you are writing a research paper in the field of history then your professor can ask you to use Chicago style. The CMOS sixteen edition has specified citation and writing style that is widely used in publishing mainly in the book industry.

Turabian style is also developed by the University of Chicago Press and named after the book author Kate L Turabian. Except for some minor differences, it is the same as the Chicago style. Chicago style mainly focuses on giving publishing guidelines but the Turabian style focuses on giving guidelines for dissertation, theses, and student papers.

Purpose of Turabian/Chicago style

Both these styles give writers a choice of different formats in academic writings. The Chicago Manual of Style most recent edition allows the use of in-text and endnotes.


Both Turabian and Chicago styles are maintained and published by the University of Chicago Press. Both of these styles use two documentation systems. Note Bibliography and Author-Date. The structure of both these styles is also the same.



  • The audience is college or high school students assigned with writing a research paper
  • Table of content is different as that of CMOS
  • Considerably shorter (CMOS: 149 pp and Turabian 448 pp)
  • In addition to the Note-Bibliography and Author-Date documentation style information, this style also includes the detailed section on writing a research paper such as
  • Research question development
  • Organizing the project writing
  • Adding resources and using them effectively
  • Developing the argument that supports a thesis statement
  • Creating the first draft
  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Providing evidence in figures and tables
  • Revising
  • No section on word usage and grammar
  • A shorter section of terms and names
  • Shorter spelling section
  • No section on foreign language source handling
  • It can only be available in print media


  • The audience is academic professionals writing articles, reports, or books that will be published by the scholarly journal or professional publisher.
  • Information is provided in a specific manner (punctuation, grammar word usage, etc.) along with a strong assumption that the guide user is an experienced essay writer.
  • Add instructions for mathematical expression
  • Exclude information on how to set title pages and margin
  • The accessed data is not included in the citation of website
  • Chapters are included related to the book index
  • Covers book manuscript for proofreading
  • Address the preparation, editing, and proofreading of the journal article or book
  • It can be available in both online or print media

Until now we have covered the general similarities and differences between Turabian and Chicago style. Let's look in detail at the general formatting and structure.

Overall Formatting and structure of Chicago/Turabian Paper

The Chicago paper consists of following basic components

  • Title page
  • Body
  • Bibliography (if using bibliography method)
  • References (If using Author-Date style)

General Rules of Formatting


Keep in mind! You should write a paper in a standard font such as Times New Roman and 12pt font size.

Line Spacing

You should use double spaced throughout your text except for image caption and block quotation. Each citation must be single-spaced and on a separate page. You should also add a blank line between every citation.


The margin should be 1 inch from all sides (top, bottom, right, and left). All text should be left-justified except the header


In this style, the first line of each footnote and paragraph must be indented 0.5 inches.

Page Numbers

You must use Arabic numerals (1,2,3) that must be right justified on every page header. Microsoft Word has the option of adding the correct page number automatically so you don’t have to do it manually.


According to the most recent edition, the CMOS permits the use of in-text citations and endnotes. The in-text citation includes the page number and publication year. It also provides variations in endnote style depending on whether your paper has full bibliography at the end

General rules of Grammar

The Oxford Comma

Chicago style includes different grammatical rules such as it uses the Oxford comma. In this style, the Author-Date citations are mainly added inside the punctuation mark. Oxford comma is used in a series of lists. For example, ‘The UK comprises countries of Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland. In this example, the comma that comes immediately after the ‘England’ is known as Oxford Comma. Although the use of the Oxford comma is still a point of debate among different grammarians, it is a Chicago style requirement so always double-check it.

Capitalization After Colons

In Chicago style, the first word after the colon doesn’t need to be capitalized. For example;

Taylor knows exactly what happened on that day: he stole the wallet.


In Chicago style, there are up to five heading levels. Some use sentence case whereas others use title case.

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