A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is a style guide for writing and formatting research papers, theses, and dissertations and is published by the University of Chicago Press.
The work is often referred to as "Turabian" (after the work's original author, Kate L. Turabian) or by the shortened title, A Manual for Writers. The style and formatting of academic works, described within the manual, is commonly referred to as Turabian style or Chicago style.
The eighth edition of the manual, published in 2013, corresponds with the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.
Except for a few minor differences, the style and formatting described in the eighth edition of the manual is the same as the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style. While The Chicago Manual of Style focuses on providing guidelines for publishing, Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is intended for the creation and submission of academic works; that where the two works differ "in small ways," Turabian's manual is designed to "better suit the requirements of academic papers as opposed to published works." As such, the manual describes itself as the "authoritative student resource on 'Chicago style'."
Part 1 of the manual, in the eighth edition, approaches the process of research and writing. This includes providing "practical advice" to formulate "the right questions, read critically, and build arguments" as well as helping student authors draft and revise a paper. This part is adapted from Booth, Colomb, and Williams' The Craft of Research.
Part 2 of the manual explores the two methods of citing/documenting sources used in authoring a work: (1) the notes-bibliography style; and (2) the author-date style. The note-bibliography style, also known as the "Bibliography style", is "used widely in literature, history, and the arts. This style presents bibliographic information in footnotes or endnotes and, usually, a bibliography." The more-concise author-date style (sometimes referred to as the "Reference List style" and "long been used in the physical, natural, and social sciences") involves sources being "briefly cited in parentheses in the text by author's last name and date of publication" with the parenthetical citations "amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided." The manual provides extensive examples of how to cite different types of works (e.g. books, journal articles, websites, etc.) using both citation styles.
Part 3 of the manual "addresses matters of spelling, punctuation, abbreviation, and treatments of numbers, names, special terms, and titles of works." This part also provides guidance on including quotations from different sources as well as the formatting of tables and figures.
The appendix provides specific requirements on the formatting of research papers as well as theses and dissertations. General formatting requirements include recommendations on paper and margin sizes, options as to the choice of typeface, the spacing and indentation of text, pagination, and the use of titles. Formatting requirements for specific elements include the ordering and formatting of content in the front matter, main matter (text), and back matter of a work. The appendix also includes a description on preparing and submitting files, both electronically and as hard copies.
On the formatting and style, however, the manual notes that it is superseded by the "conventions of specific disciplines or the preferences of particular departments." More so, the manual consistently reminds students to "review the requirements of their university, department, or instructor, which takes precedence over the guidelines presented [in the manual]."
A Manual for Writers of DissertationsFirst edition, 1937 (unpublished), 1949
A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and DissertationsSecond edition, 1955
Third edition, 1967
Fourth edition, 1973
Fifth edition, 1987 (revised and expanded by Bonnie Birtwistle Honigsblum)
Sixth edition, 1996 (revised by John Grossman and Alice Bennett)
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and DissertationsSeventh edition, 2007 (revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and the University of Chicago Press editorial staff)
Eighth edition, 2013 (revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and the University of Chicago Press editorial staff)