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on May 11, 2007
The 7th edition of Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers features significant new material, a more user-friendly arrangement, much-needed rules for online resources, and an eye-friendly, two-tone typeset format.

Editors Booth, Colomb, and Williams have adapted material from their The Craft of Research and inserted it as Part I of the 7th edition. Researchers now get both a style guide and a research guide in one book.

The three-part format for the 7th edition also makes it easier to navigate. Part I is the new research guide; Part II is the rules for source citation; Part III is the style guide. In the 6th edition, the first chapter was a guide to the parts of a research paper which then had to be compared to the formats and sample layouts in the last chapter. The new edition combines all this material together in Appendix A along with instructions that are updated to reflect common word processor settings. And the index at the back of the volume now references items by page number rather than chapter and section, a great improvement in my opinion.

The 7th edition brings Turabian up-to-date by including rules and examples for citing online sources. Part II also separates the instructions for notes/bibliography style from the instructions for parenthetical/reference list style. What had been a completely separate chapter for citing public documents is now helpfully included with the rest of the citation rules. Part II of edition 7 now includes over 100 pages of citation examples compared to the 26 pages in chapter 11 of the 6th edition.

One weakness that is not corrected in the new edition is that Turabian's official stance for encyclopedias and other reference works is still that they should only be cited in notes. (17.5.3, p.191) Nothing acknowledges the difficulties of citing scholarly encyclopedia or dictionary references where signed articles are the norm. One can, however, adapt the instructions for edited collections on p.179 to sufficiently cite academic reference works.

Finally, the blue-and-black typesetting makes it much easier to distinguish in-text examples and to move one's eye from section to section.

It is fitting that the 7th edition has been published on the 20th anniversary of Kate Turabian's death. The many improvements in this edition will ensure its place on student bookshelves for years to come.
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on May 29, 2007
I have owned the Sixth Edition of Turabian for about five years and it has been used to the point of disintegration. I was excited about the new edition and when I received it I was elated to find that the Chicago Style Manual was included with the writer's manual. The editors have updated the manual to include citation of electronic sources which, if you have been doing any academic writing recently, has been a matter of preference. The two-color priniting makes section headings easier to find as you are leafing through the pages. The editors have included a bibliography divided into various disciplines that provides some suggestions for further research. Overall, I am enjoying using the new manual. The biggest downside is that I am having to relearn the section headings that I have grown familiar with over the past five years. Small price to pay for the added advantage of having the Chicago Style Manual at my fingertips.

Nerds, do yourselves a favor and update your Turabian manual. You won't be sorry.
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on November 11, 2007
Students and Scholars have struggled with the Sixth edition of Kate Turabian's_Manual for Writers of Term Papers. . ._ for many years. It was out of date within a couple of years of publication and the new A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Seventh Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)brings much needed help in many areas. For example, while the Sixth edition only began to pay attention to online resources which were just coming into play in a serious way, this new edition gives every type of electronic resource the attention it needs.

Users of the Sixth Edition will notice two things immediately about the new Seventh Edtion. For one thing, it is much thicker. The new editors have incorporated important new material, much of if taken from their own earlier work, The Craft of Research, 2nd edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing). There is much more help for struggling students on such matters are writing the first draft, revising, note taking, and even what to do with the paper after the professor returns it. In addition there are new sections on making an oral presentation of one's research and presenting a poster session. These changes make the book much more practical. Those who teach research courses will welcome possibility now to assign a single "does it all" type manual for student use.

The second major change is that much of the material on formatting the paper, as to front matter, headings and subhead, etc. has been moved to the back of the book and expanded. This is a more natural placement, and users will find the expanded discussions helpful.

Those who have struggled with the quirks of various word processors will welcome some of the changes and improvements. For one thing, one no longer needs to leave a space between dot leaders on the Table of Contents page. This edition gives guidance on doing some of the things that computers have made possible, such as inserting tables, graphs and images into a paper. There is even a sample of a title page for a term paper (the sixth edition had only a sample of a title page for a dissertation--and Turabian's guide is used far more often to produce term papers than to produce disserations). Much expanded tables of lists of proper abbreviations is included. Those who cite books of the Bible now have a list of abbreviations in the manual. They no longer need to go to another source for these.

Users of the manual will find specific help on such matters as citing CD-ROM sources, and online journal articles. This is welcome because the types of electronic sources has multiplied greatly in the years since the publication of the sixth edition.

The manual is not perfect however. There are some ambiguities. (There are always ambiguities, in every edition of Turabian's manual. The glory of this one lies in the fact that it clears up so many of the previous ambiguities; the shame is that it creates a few new ones.) For one thing, the old Turabian said that one should triple space above a subheading and simply doublespace below it. The current edition says to "leave an extra space above and below a subhead" (17.1). What does this mean? Triple space both? Single space the paper but double space above and below subheads? It isn't clear. Also, whereas every previous edition made it clear that papers should be written using a 12 point font, the current edition allows for a 10 or 12 point font. Where the previous editions allowed only Times New Roman or Courier New, the new edition allows for any text font "such as Times New Roman or Palatino." This recognizes the fact of today's computers being loaded with numerous fonts, but professors prefer a little more uniformity in students' papers.

Finally, for some unknown reason, all the examples are in medium blue ink in a somewhat unusual font. The parentheses all look somewhat like brackets, which has already begun to confuse some students. One could wish that a more usual font such as Times New Roman had been chosen for the examples.

These problems are minor, given the overall improvement over every previous edition. The new Seventh edition of Turabian's Manual will quickly become very popular with graduate students and researchers alike and will be useful for years to come, perhaps for longer than the sixth edition.
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on September 9, 2008
This new edition of the venerable Turabian manual is no more than a rough draft. It is perhaps a second draft, but a work in process nonetheless. The need for a deft ediorial hand to finish work is soon evident to any knowledgable reader. First, the same material on tables and figures is covered in two separate sections. This material could have been consolidated in one place. Second, essential information on references is overly wordy and convoluted, requiring five chapters to present the same material that needed just one in the previous edition. Third, there is a serious lack of focus. The promise of the first section is not fullfilled in the second. The focus shifts. Were this a thesis or a dissertation, it would not get past the student's advisor to the full committee. Were this an article submitted for publication, the editor would return it for needed revisions. Were this a patchwork body of Dr. Frankenstein's creation, it would still need an energizing spark to bring it to life.

There are two distinct sections to this text. The first is an elementary, but polished, introduction to crafting research papers by eminent and accomplished scholars. The second seeks to present "Chicago style for researchers and students," which is the subtitle of the volume. The transition between the two is not smooth. While the first section is for beginners, the second is for advanced students, presenting numerous graphics to help format a dissertation, but just a single graphic for class papers, a title page. Thus, the neophyte is given the task of inferring from the format of a dissertation how a class paper should look. This seems backwards. Shouldn't the task of translating from one format to another be given to the more advanced student? Better yet, why not present both formats? Students writing a dissertation are well beyond needing the elementary guide to doing research found in the first half of the book. The focus shifts from beginner to near-professional with no closure for the beginner and no preparation for the grad student. Could this be the patchwork creation of a mad (but competent) scientist?

An appendix is the literary equivalent of an afterthought, and that is where the page format graphics have been relegated. Apparently the editors of this venerable "manual of writers of research papers," considers the format of words, sentences, tables, figures, paragraphs, and quotations more important than their presentation on the page. Perhaps, "A Manual for Writers of Research Text" would be a more honest title. The subtitle, not the title, appears to be the ordering principle of the second half of the book--Chicago Style for for Researchers and Students. The emphasis is on the style and not the final product, the research paper. This may be a fine point to some, but both the APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association) place page formats in the body of their style manuals.

The previous edition presented the three Chicago reference formats--footnote/endnote, bibliography, and reference list--side by side in a single chapter. This proved so effective that the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style elected to do the same thing. But this edition of the Turabian manual has expanded this one chapter into five. The question is why, for whom? Shouldn't students be treated to the simpler presentation? William of Occcam is the author of a famous priciple in philosophy know as Occam's Razor. He argued that when given a choice of alternative explanations the simplest will generally prove the most reliable. About 600 years later, William Strunk, Jr., advised his students to "omit needless words," and we might add, needless chapters.

Given these observations, how would you grade a text with these problems? To me, it reads like a rough draft in need of additional work. I would not want to present a text in this condition to a dissertation committee. And by that standard, a revised edition is called for. With both the Turabian manual and Chicago manual on my bookshelf, I invariably go to the Chicago manual when I have a question. Ironically, with the previous editions of both texts it was the other way around. The new Turabian manual does manage to cover the essential features of Chicago style, and though it is a great buy at amazon prices, it is no bargain. It is a disjointed patchwork offensive to a disciplined mind. Dr. Frankenstein, would you care to hazard a second opinion?
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on April 24, 2007
Finally, Turabian has been brought into the digital age. Designed for the era of Microsoft Word and WordPerfect, the new Turabian declares revolutionary new things like consistent pagination, website citation, and Times New Roman examples! The new edition also borrows from "The Craft of Research," going beyond mere form and style to discuss the nature of writing research papers. I'm glad the blessed St. Kate speaks beyond the grave.
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on May 1, 2012
Bought the Kindle version last night after tearing my room apart looking for my hard copy and finally accepting it was gone forever. I was a little hesitant to buy the kindle version but I need it for things that are due today and tomorrow.
I suggest using this on the computer app over phone/Kindle. Its a bit easier to navigate and if you are typing a paper its already on the screen for you!

A con I immediately noticed is something most Kindle books have: spacing/formatting issues. Paragraphs get a little wonky (visually) with Kindle. While this isn't an issue for books you are simply reading, it is a problem for books like these style manuals where we rely on spacing rules and formatting. Basically the biggest reason you are a student using a Turabian book is to cite your sources correctly. If you are unfamiliar with indentions, hanging paragraphs, etc. in bibliography/footnotes etc. then I suggest the hardcopy.

If you are using this to make sure you use a comma and not a period when writing a footnote or the correct way to cite a legal document or something, this is perfectly fine. Especially on such short notice.

A lot of people assume you can google Turabian just as well but I've found most sites are not consistent, use an old edition of Turabian, or only have basic citation examples like Books, Magazines, Two authors. In order to get the most accurate and complete citation information the book/kindle is the way to go. Graduate level or upper level undergrads would probably do ok with the Kindle version. Those who are a bit rusty or are Freshman/Sophomore should buy the hard copy
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on December 30, 2012
I switched programs from psychology to history and so our citation requirements from APA to Chicago style and learning an entire new style after getting my bachelors and part of my masters... after memorizing APA this book was immensely useful at learning Chicago..
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on August 23, 2007
This edition of Turabian follows in a long line of excellent editions of the manual. It is very well put together and some improvements have been made including some much needed updating to abbreviations and some other matters. An excellent tool that is an absolutely essential addition to any busy student's library.
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on May 26, 2012
I read this entire book and found it to be very dry reading. I was more familiar with the APA style. This style seems a bit less formal in some ways, but in others it (just like APA) is ridiculously overbearing. Nevertheless, the academic world adores it, so it is what it is. The first few chapters are reasonably engaging. They cover how to initiate and tackle a research project. The next few chapters dig into the realm of starting to write a first draft and then revising it. The second half of the book, which is the driest, is about citation style. The rules are spelled out for almost every imaginable citation scenario that one can concieve in his or her mind. The chapters on spelling rules regarding possessives, punctuaction rules, and capitalization rules are probably the most useful for the general population. At the end of the book is an appendix with examples of paper formats for various things such as a cover page, table of contents, chapter page, page with footnotes, etc...
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on January 4, 2013
If you are currently in a university or seminary (as I am), this book is indispensable. Make sure you get the 7th edition. It's clearly written and will save you hours of aggravation in meeting the insane formatting criteria required by most higher level educational institutions. Good luck.
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