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Turabian Format Quick Guide

Non-Divinity Sample Paper in notes-bibliography

Undergraduate Turabian Template

Graduate Turabian Template

Turabian 9th notes-bibliography format snippet

Non-Divinity Sample Paper in author-date format

If you are a Rawlings School of Divinity student, you will need to refer to the School of Divinity Turabian Writing Guide for its unique formatting requirements.

Visit the Chicago Manual of Style database in Liberty University’s Online Library

Video Tutorial links


Notes-Bibliography Citation Style

Used For


Citation Format

  • Footnotes or endnotes are the preferred methods to indicate in-text citations throughout this format.
  • A bibliography is a preferred method for compiling sources in one list at the end of the paper.

Author-Date citation style

Used For

  • The sciences (social, natural, or physical sciences) most often use this style of Turabian. Please check your instructions and grading rubric to ensure you are permitted to use this format, as most LUO courses require notes-bibliography as of Spring 2019.  For this reason, this Quick Guide will focus primarily on the author-date format.
  • We have a sample paper for non-Divinity students in the author-date style.


Citation Format

  • Parenthetical citations are the preferred method to indicate in-text citations throughout this format.
  • A reference list is a preferred method for compiling sources in one list at the end of the paper.



  • 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, endnotes, 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.
  • We have a separate page with visuals dedicated to understanding and formatting headings. Note that Turabian requires additional spacing before each heading level.
  • 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


  • The title page is technically page one, but it never has a page number
  • Pagination for the formatted, 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 non-Divinity 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.  Our page dedicated to incorporating research and avoiding plagiarism includes information on how to integrate summaries and paraphrases, quotations and block quotes, and more.
  • 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, most 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.
  • 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.
  • In author-date format, encapsulate the author, date, and page number in parentheses in the text within the body of the paper.
  • See Turabian Bibliography of Reference Examples and Turabian Chart of Citations for visuals of the citations and reference entries in both formats.
  • Non-Divinity student Sample Paper in notes-bibliography format.
  • Non-Divinity student Sample Paper in author-date format.


  • 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 18-19 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, and10.48in the Chicago Manual of Style database on Liberty University’s Online Library). Some professors, however, prefer that students (even those not enrolled in Divinity courses) consult the Rawlings School of Divinity’s Writing Guide, Appendices A, and B: Sacred Book Reference List and Capitalization Guide. Be sure to clarify what your professor expects.

Bibliography or References

  • Use the word Bibliography for notes-bibliography format; use the word References only in author-date format.
  • Center and bold the word “Bibliography” or “References” (without quotation marks) on the top line of a new page following your conclusion, depending on whether you are using notes-bibliography or author-date format.
  • Single-space entries, with one blank line separating each.
  • Use hanging indents (left-justify the first line of each entry and indent lines two+  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.
  • The format for both reference and bibliography entries is the same.
  • 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.