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Turabian Format Quick Guide

Effective in Summer of 2020, all programs of study (including both Divinity and non-Divinity studies) will now use one set of formatting resources.  Separate templates are provided for assignments that do not require subheadings (in most cases, papers with less than ten pages in the body), as well as those that do require subheadings (recommended for most papers with more than ten pages in the body, and required in papers with more than twenty pages in the body).  Students will use and follow the respective template based on their specific assignment’s requirements.


Sample Paper in notes-bibliography for all students

Turabian Template for assignments with NO headings

Turabian Template for assignments WITH headings


Visit the Chicago Manual of Style database in Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Library by logging in and choosing that database (search for database by name, then “C,” and “Chicago Manual of Style).


Helpful Resources

Turabian Chart of Citations

Turabian Bibliography of Reference Examples

Turabian Annotated Bibliography Sample

Sacred Book Reference List

Capitalization Glossary

Choosing Appropriate Resources for Academic Papers


Video Tutorial links (these will be updated but are provided here since some students still find them useful; follow unified pagination rules)

Notes-Bibliography Citation Style

  • Used in all programs of study using Turabian format (except book reviews, which use Author-Date format). 
  • Footnotes are the preferred method to indicate in-text citations throughout this format. Liberty University does not permit endnotes.
  • A bibliography is used to compile sources in one list at the end of the paper.

Author-Date citation style


  • Use one-inch margins on all sides.
  • The preferred font/size is Times New Roman, 12 pt.
  • Indent all paragraphs in the body of the paper ½”.
  • Double-space the entire paper, except block quotes, footnotes, bibliography entries, reference lists, table titles, and figure captions.  Those elements should be single-spaced, with one extra blank line before/after to separate them from other elements.


  • The paper should be written in the 3rd person (he, she, it) with an active voice, rather than passive voice.
  • Unless a professor specifically asks for a paper in 1st person (I, me, we, us, our) or 2nd person (you, your) language, avoid these in a paper.
  • Be specific and concise.
  • In historical writing, use simple past tense verbs.  When referring to an author’s written work, use the present tense.
  •  Note that Turabian requires additional spacing before each heading level, which is already programmed into the templates.
  • Headline case = all significant words, usually those with 4+ letters, must be capitalized. Use headline case for titles of works; names of journals; and first-, second-, and third-level headings.
  • Sentence case = only the first letter of the first word, proper nouns, and the word following a colon, if any, should begin with capital letters. Use sentence case for fourth- and fifth-level headings.
  • Add quotation marks around the titles of shorter works (i.e., articles or poems); use italics for the names of larger works (i.e., books or plays).

Title Page

  • Liberty University now uses one universal title page format for all programs and levels of study
  • See  templates and sample papers


  • The title page is technically page one, but it never has a page number
  • Pagination for the fore matter, if any (including the table of contents), uses lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii), in the center bottom of the page. Begin with ii, to account for the title page position.
  • The body of the paper for all Liberty University classes uses Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3) in the top-right corner. It begins with page 1.
  • See the pagination video tutorial.

Main Body

  • The word Introduction (bolded) should begin the body of your paper. It is a first-level heading.
  •  Incorporating research that is credible and relevant helps to support and validate a paper’s argument.  The page dedicated to incorporating research and avoiding plagiarism includes information on how to integrate summaries and paraphrases, quotations, and block quotes.
  • With plagiarism, it’s better to be safe than sorry: if it’s not yours, cite it!


  • Turabian uses up to five heading and subheading levels. Though Turabian provides significant flexibility in formatting, all departments across Liberty University have universally adopted the following formats (see heading levels and table of contents video tutorial):
    • First level: centered, boldface, in headline case
    • Second level: centered, not bolded, in headline case
    • Third level: left-justified, boldface, in headline case
    • Fourth level: left-justified, not bolded, in sentence case
    • Fifth level: indented ½”, not bolded, italicized, in sentence case with a period, then one space, and begin your content on the same line

Footnotes versus Parenthetical Citations

  • Include a citation whenever another author’s work is directly quoted or paraphrased.
  • There are two formats in Turabian: author-date and notes-bibliography.  Liberty University allows only notes-bibliography format, except for book reviews (which use author-date format).
  • In notes-bibliography, include relevant publishing details along with the author’s name and year of publication as footnotes.
  • All programs of study at Liberty University still require the use of ibid. for consecutive footnotes of the same resource on the same page in notes-bibliography format, and shortened notes for non-consecutive subsequent citations, even though the Turabian 9th edition manual recommends not using ibid.
  • The Bible may be cited parenthetically (see below).
  • See Turabian Bibliography of Reference Examples and Turabian Chart of Citations for visuals of the citations and reference entries in both formats.


  • It is not necessary to write out full quotes of verses from the Bible since your readers can find the references that you cite. When an author needs to make a specific observation, however, he or she will include a direct quote.
  • When your paper cites from only one translation, you can incorporate only a single footnote to identify that Bible version in notes-bibliography format (as demonstrated in the sample paper at footnote #73). All of the subsequent biblical references would then be given parenthetically (as more fully discussed on pages 17-19 of our sample paper). If you use multiple translations or versions of the Bible, then you would have to use one footnote for each new version and include abbreviations in parentheses (NASB, KJV, NIV,) within the text.
  • The abbreviations for the books of the Bible can be used only in parentheses within the text or in footnotes. For example, you may make a reference to Romans 1:16, but if you state that Christians should not be ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16), then you should use the abbreviation within parentheses.
  • Turabian includes a comprehensive list of abbreviations for the books of the Bible in sections 24.6.1-24.6.4 (sections 10.44, 10.45, 10.47, and 10.48 in the Chicago Manual of Style database on Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Library). See the Sacred Book Reference List and Capitalization Glossary.


  • Use the word Bibliography for notes-bibliography format.
  • Center and bold the word “Bibliography” (without quotation marks) on the top line of a new page following your conclusion.
  • Single-space entries, with one blank line separating each.
  • Use hanging indents (left-justify the first line of each entry and indent lines two+ of each entry ½” from the left margin).
  • Alphabetize all entries by the first word in each (usually the first author’s last name for each).
  • Invert the first author’s name (last name, first, middle), but not the remaining authors’ names in each entry.
  • Cite classical works (including the Bible) and personal communications in the body of the paper, but do not include them in the reference or bibliography list.
  • Include periods after both URLs and DOIs.
  • Check Google Scholar or crossref.org for DOIs of all articles published since 2007, if one is not readily denoted on the article itself.
  • Only include the access date for online content that is likely to change (such as wikis).

Material on this page adapted from Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th ed.