If you follow information and instructions from publications and Internet resources
devoted to Chicago (Turabian) Style, then writing a formal paper isn't as difficult as it
sounds. Following all the rules can be tricky, but it's not impossible. Follow the tips listed
here, and your Chicago Style thesis or dissertation will be a success.
As you perform the research for your paper, keep the
bibliography in the back of your mind. For every idea or quote you use from one of your
sources, you will have to cite the idea in the paper and list the source in the bibliography.
Even if you choose to use footnotes with your Chicago (Turabian) Style paper, you
probably will want to create a bibliography. When you pull information from sources,
make sure you collect extensive information about each source for the bibliography.
Having a comprehensive list will help if you need to revisit a source to find more
information for your paper.
B) CITATIONS CHECKED AND RE-CHECKED.
Be sure you have properly
listed all of the citations in your paper, whether you chose to use in-text citations,
footnotes, or endnotes. Although formatting every citation correctly can be difficult, it
helps your instructor when he reads your paper. In addition, other readers must be able to
find each citation in the bibliography, so it's important to cite everything correctly. Make
sure you spell all authors' names correctly, too. Citing sources properly will ensure you
don't inadvertently commit plagiarism. If you're unsure whether to use an in-text citation
for a source, you probably should use it. It's better to be safe than sorry when citing
C) EXTERNAL SOURCES.
If you are unsure about the formatting style for a
particular page in your paper or for citing a source, turn to either the Chicago Style Manual
or the Turabian Manual for Writers. Both books have hundreds of examples for formatting
formal papers. Keep in mind, however, that neither book has been updated in recent years.
The latest version of the Chicago Style Manual, the 15th edition, was published in 2003.
The Turabian Manual's sixth edition was published in 1996, meaning it doesn't contain
much information on citing Internet sources, for example.
D) FOLLOW YOUR INSTRUCTOR'S INSTRUCTIONS.
You may have an
instructor who gives you directions for composing the thesis or dissertation that differ
slightly from those in Chicago (Turabian) Style. Follow your instructor's guidelines in those
instances. Chicago (Turabian) Style contains many optional pages and areas where the
writer has some latitude to make changes. If you are unsure how you should handle a
particular aspect of your paper's formatting, check with your instructor.
E) GRAMMAR GUIDELINES.
Papers that follow proper grammar are more likely
to receive favorable marks from an instructor. For example, always write in active voice,
rather than passive voice. The Chicago Style Manual contains quite a few grammar-related
F) PROOFREAD A FEW TIMES.
Proofreading should not be done as a
last-minute item; you should proofread a few times before you finish the paper. In fact, it's
best to set the paper aside for a couple of days between proofreading sessions. If you can
take a break from the paper for a couple of days, you'll be surprised how much better your
proofreading sessions go with a fresh look at the paper. Depending on the importance of
the paper, you may want to hire someone to do some additional proofreading for you.
Keep in mind that word processing software spell checkers (such as Microsoft Word and
Wordperfect) are very handy, but they do not catch every error.
G) TAKE YOUR TIME.
As with most tasks, those who take their time usually
achieve a better result than those who rush through the project. Hurrying unnecessarily
with your Chicago (Turabian) Style paper will lead to mistakes, so take your time to ensure
correct formatting. If you are forced to hurry because of an impending deadline, your
writing will suffer, and you'll make mistakes in formatting. Start early on the paper, set
goals for finishing different aspects of it, such as completing the research or completing the
first draft, and you'll have a much better finished product.
H) THE WRITING MATTERS.
Following the Chicago (Turabian) Style rules
closely are an important part of creating a successful paper. However, such rules should
not overwhelm your work. Instead, focus on the content of your paper and focus on the
writing. If the content of your paper is lacking, it won't matter to your instructor how
closely your paper follows Chicago Style.
You can use a Chicago Style writing software
to correctly write and format papers in Chicago Style
, available at http://www.masterfreelancer.com/chicago-writing-style-software.php