A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations:

Chicago style for students and researchers

by Kate L Turabian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 7th ed. 2007): 466pp, £35.49, ISBN 0 226 82337 7.

Buy this book

Reviewed by John G Taylor

This American book is excellent in its coverage. While Part I, 'Research and Writing: From planning to production' concerns the researcher, the bulk of the book is equally important to copy-editors. Part II 'Source Citation' and Part III 'Style' are comprehensive and readable, with examples appearing clearly in blue typeface.

Appropriateness

Given the choice, I would select this rather than The Chicago Manual of Stylefrom the same publishers, which is more for the technically minded. Here is all the usual stuff – dates, words/numerals, punctuation, equations, etc., plus a superb chapter on designing tables and figures, instruction encountered only occasionally in writer's manuals. As a statistician, I am used to giving advice to clients about this, but after reading this chapter, you shouldn't have any problem advising the appropriateness of a bar chart rather than a pie diagram! I also liked the section on 'Notes' (pp. 151–9) where parenthetical and foot/endnotes are compared.

As this is the Chicago style, the methods of referencing – in the text (parenthetical citations) and footnotes or endnotes, as well as bibliographic references and reference list entries – are given for most types of publications. These include reprints, foreign titles, abstracts, reviews, theses and so forth. Reference styles for US and UK government publications and public documents are clearly described. Layout is comprehensively illustrated: title page, table of contents, list of tables, glossary and so forth. Citations and quotations are also exemplified.

Invaluable

The bibliography, presented by subject field, is no less than 26 pages and includes dozens of websites. The equally long three-level index will help you locate anything in this comprehensive manual.

Never judge a book by its price. This one is invaluable, especially if you have to work with Chicago style occasionally.

Reviews of other editorial guides All book reviews