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BYU Writing Center


Turabian Format

Downloadable version (Microsoft Word document)

Turabian format has many forms, from reference lists with in-text citations to bibliographies with footnotes or endnotes. Consult your department to find out the preferred citation style. Section numbers in this handout are based on the 6th edition (1996).


General Format

Title Page

For class papers, if a sample sheet is not provided, the title page should include the title of the paper (all caps, centered, about 1/3 of the way down the page). If the paper has a subtitle, place a colon after the main title and enter the subtitle on the next line. Enter the author name several lines below, as well as any other information requested by the instructor (e.g. course number, etc). The title page counts as page ibut the number is not shown (386). For dissertations and professional papers, refer to the specific guidelines given for your paper.


An abstract briefly summarizes the thesis and contents of the paper. Center the title "Abstract" at the top of the page and leave two blank lines between the title and the first line of text. Number the abstract page(s) with roman numberals. Contact your department or instructor for more specifics regarding length, content, and format of the abstract (390).

Page Numbering

If there are no sections before the actal body of the text other than the title gape (e.g. no abstract, table of contents, etc), do not number the title page. Begin pagination on the first page of text. If momre front matter is present, number it with lowercase roman numberals (375).

Block Quotations

Quotations of five or more lines from prose (or two lines from poetry) should be set off in block format. Single space all text in a block quotation and indent the entire passage as far as you would indent the first line of a paragraph. Do not put quotation marks around the block. If ou introduce the block with a complete sentence, end the sentence with a colon. If the sentence leads directly into the quotation, use no punctuation. Otherwise, use a comma.


Unless you are given quidelines for subheads, you may use your own system as long as youare consistent. Higher-level subheads should be more prominent than lower-level subheads. Put an extra blank line before and after subheads, and do not end a subhead with a period. Also, never end a page with a subhead.


Methods Of Citation

Parenthetical references, footnotes, and endnotes are the most commonly used citations. Whereas a reference list cites references, footnotes may contain references and additional explanatory information.

Parenthetical References

Parenthetical citations consist mainly of two elements—the author's name and publishing date. A single author citation would look like this before the period (Richardson 1979, 45). This includes the author's last name, the publishing date, and the page number. Use this type of parenthetical reference when the author's name has not been introduced in the text. If the name of the author, Richardson, has been used, cite this way (1979, 45) (10.2–4).


Footnotes must contain all the information necessary to locate the source in a library: complete author's name, complete title, editor, compiler or translator, series volume number, date of publication, city where published, publisher, page number of particular quotation. Subsequent footnotes on the same source may be shortened to include the author's last name, a shortened title, and the page number of citation. Footnotes should begin with 1 in a chapter or paper and continue consecutively in the text or chapter (1.46, 8.2).

Examples: Moroni Young, Introduction to the New World (Manti, Utah: New Press, 1992), 44.
Hyrum Pratt, Saving the Mayans (London: A&P Press, 1988), 23–30.
Young, Introduction, 47.

Endnotes may have the same content as footnotes. In term papers, they are numbered consecutively throughout the paper. Superscript Arabic numerals are used as indicators in the text, but full-sized, online Arabic numerals (followed by periods) precede the endnotes themselves. All endnotes are grouped in the back matter under the heading Notes. Endnotes are usually used only in published materials (1.46).


If parenthetical references are used, references are compiled on a reference list entitled Works Cited, References, or some other appropriate title (Chap 11). If footnotes are used, references are compiled in a list entitled Selected Bibliography, Works Cited, Sources Consulted, etc. (9.2, 14.42). Chapter 11 compares the format for these two styles.

Reference List (using parenthetical references)—book with a single author:

Corrigan, Timothy. 1999. Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Selected Bibliography (using notes)—book with a single author:

Corrigan, Timothy. Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1999.

Revised by Tara Hill, Fall 2010