Writing An Outline For A Research Paper Turabian Style

SUMMARY:

  • Construct an argument that answers the writing prompt by arranging your notes linearly.
  • Unless your teacher wants a 5 paragraph essay (an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph), don’t feel constrained by that model.

LINKS:

Now that you’ve grouped your notes, thought about your transitions, and developed a high-powered thesis, its time to build the scaffold upon which you’ll structure your paper: the outline.

Some teachers prefer a standard 3 body paragraph format. Three is a nice number aesthetically, but there is nothing particularly magical about having three body paragraphs. Unless your teacher states that you must have a certain number of body paragraphs, don’t feel constrained by this 3 paragraph format. The number of body paragraphs you have should be determined by your research and how you grouped your notes, not by an arbitrary number. Have one main claim expressed in each paragraph.

Tip: Keep in mind that the outline needs to be flexible. Don’t feel constrained by your outline once it’s created. If you get a surge of inspiration part way through writing your paper and decide to take your paper in a new direction, go ahead and change your outline.

There are several different ways to format an outline, but the MLA method (below) is a solid way to do it. Note how easily all the previous work you’ve done (grouping your notes and thinking about transitions) slides into the outline format:

Links to sample outlines:

 

On this page

Formatting the Basics | Writing the Main Body | Formatting Citations and Bibliographies

If you are a School of Divinity student, you will need to refer to the School of Divinity Turabian Guide.


Formatting the Basics

Always check the requirements and preferences of your professor, department, and institution. They may have particular preferences for how a paper should be formatted.

Margins

  • Usually, margins are 1 inch on all sides, but the rule of thumb is no less than 1 inch and no more than 1.5 inches.
  • Our sample paper uses 1-inch margins.

Font and Typeface

  • The preferred font is Times New Roman.
  • The preferred size is 12 pt. font.
  • The Turabian manual requires that font be readable and no smaller than 10 pt. font.

Spacing

The entire paper should be double-spaced, apart from the following exceptions:

Page Numbers

You can use our Pagination Tutorial for Turabian to help format your paper.

  • Page numbers should begin on the first page of the paper's text, not on the title page.
  • Page numbers are most often placed on the top right of the page header or the bottom center of the footer.

Our sample paper puts the page numbers at the top right.

Note: The table of contents (if a paper has one) should have its own page numbers in Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, ix, etc.).

Title Page

Because the title page requirements may vary, we have a separate page, with visuals, for formatting a title page as either the typical title page for an undergrad paper or the typical title page for a dissertation/thesis.

Table of Contents

The table of contents should be structured around the main headings and subheadings of the paper. If it is long enough, a paper may require chapters with subdivisions.

Note: A table of contents usually has what’s called “Dot-Leader Tabs,” or a series of periods between the content title and its page number (Content Title………………...1).

Back to top


Writing the Main Body

This will present some basics about writing the body of your paper.

Voice and Writing Style

  • The paper should be written in the 3rd (he, she, it) person with an active voice. 
  • Unless a professor specifically asks for a paper in 1st (I, we) or 2nd (you) person language, avoid these in a paper.

Headings and Subheadings

  • It can be helpful to divide the paper into logical pieces, almost like “mini-papers” within the larger paper.
  • We have a separate page with visuals dedicated to understanding and formatting headings.

Incorporating Research and Quotations

Incorporating research that is credible and relevant helps to support and validate a paper's argument. 

With plagiarism, it’s better to be safe than sorry: if it’s not yours, cite it! Our page dedicated to incorporating research and avoiding plagiarism includes information on how to integrate summaries and paraphrases, quotations and block quotes, and more.

Back to top


Formatting Citations and a Bibliography

This will introduce the two styles used for citing sources and research within your paper.

Notes-Bibliography Citation Style

Used For

Citation Format

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

We can help create footnotes or endnotes or create a bibliography.

Search for Citations

Author-Date citation style

Used For

Citation Format

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

We can help create parenthetical citations or create a reference list.

Search for Citations

Back to top


Material on this page adapted from Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed. In manual, see 7.4, 7.6, 7.9, 11.1-11.5, 15.1-15.4, 16.1, 18.1, A.1, A.2.

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Writing An Outline For A Research Paper Turabian Style”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrĂ  pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *