Student's guide to writing college papers, Fourth edition - Kate L. Turabian 2010

Student's guide to writing college papers, Fourth edition - Kate L. Turabian 2010

Preface for teachers


Introduction: Why research?

Writing your paper

What researchers do and how they think about it

How experienced researchers think about their questions

Two kinds of research questions

How researchers think about their answers/arguments

How you can best think about your project

How to plan your time (no one-draft wonders allowed)

Finding a research question

Questions and topics

How to choose a topic

Question your topic

How to find a topic and question in a source

Evaluate your questions

Planning for an answer

Propose some working answers

Build a storyboard to plan and guide your work

Finding useful sources

Knowing what kinds of sources you need

Record citation information fully and accurately

Search for sources systematically

Evaluate sources for relevance and reliability

Engaging sources

Read generously to understand, then critically to evaluate

Use templates to take notes systematically

Take useful notes

Write as you read

Review your progress

How and when to start over

Manage moments of normal panic

Planning your argument

What a research argument is and is not

Build your argument around answers to readers' questions

Assemble the core of your argument

Acknowledge and respond to readers' points of view

Use warrants if readers question the relevance of your reasons

An argument assembled

Planning a first draft

Unhelpful plans to avoid

Create a plan that meets your readers' needs

Drafting your paper

Draft in a way that feels comfortable

Picture your readers asking friendly questions

Be open to surprises and changes

Develop productive drafting habits

Work through writer's block

Preparing an oral report

Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing sources

When to quote, paraphrase, or summarize

Creating a fair summary

Creating a fair paraphrase

Adding quotations to your text

Introducing quotations and paraphrases

Mixing quotation with summary and paraphrase

Interpret complex quotations before you offer them

Preventing plagiarism

Guard against inadvertent plagiarism

Take good notes

Signal every quotation, even when you cite its source

Don't paraphrase too closely

(Almost always) Cite a source for ideas not your own

Don't plead ignorance, misunderstanding, or innocent intentions

Guard against inappropriate assistance

Presenting evidence in tables and figures

Choosing verbal or visual representations

Choosing the graphical form that best achieves your intention

Designing tables and figures

Revising your draft

Check your introduction, conclusion, and claim

Make sure the body of your report is coherent

Check your paragraphs

Let your draft cool, then paraphrase it

Writing your final introduction and conclusion

Draft your final introduction

Draft your final conclusion

Write your title last

Preparing an oral report

Revising sentences

Focus on the first seven or eight words of a sentence

Diagnose what you read

Choose the right word

Polish it off

Learning from your returned paper

Find general principles in specific comments

Visit your instructor

On the spirit of research

Citing sources


Why cite sources?

When you must cite a source

Three citation styles

What to include in a citation

Collect bibliographical data as you research and draft

Chicago style



MLA style

When and how to cite sources in your text

Works cited

APA style

When and how to cite sources in your text

Reference list


Spelling: plurals, possessives, and hyphenation

Spelling basics



Hyphenated words


Complete sentences

Independent clauses

Introductory elements

Trailing elements

Elements internal to clauses

Series and lists


Punctuation don'ts

Titles, names, and numbers


Proper names


Appendix A: Formatting your paper

Appendix B: Glossary of grammatical terms

Appendix C: Resources for research and writing