Kate Larimore Turabian (1893–1987) was the graduate school dissertation secretary at the University of Chicago for nearly three decades, from 1930 to 1958. She was also the editor of official publications for the university.
She was born Laura Kate Larimore on Chicago’s South Side, where she was also raised, graduating from Hyde Park High School. A serious illness prevented Kate from attending college. Instead she took a job as a typist at an advertising agency, where she worked alongside a young Sherwood Anderson.
She met her husband, Stephen Turabian, in 1919, and began working at the university as a departmental secretary a few years later. In 1930 she became the university’s dissertation secretary, a newly created position in which every accepted doctoral thesis had to cross her desk. It was there that she wrote a small pamphlet describing the correct style for writing college dissertations. That pamphlet eventually became A Manual for Writers and has gone on to sell more than nine million copies in eight editions. She also authored The Student’s Guide for Writing College Papers.
Her husband died in 1967, while they were on a vacation in Paris. Kate passed away twenty years later, at the age of ninety-four.
University of Chicago. "Who was Kate Turabian?" Accessed September 19, 2013. http://press.uchicago.edu/books/turabian/turabian_who.html
Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations presents two basic documentation systems: notes-bibliography style (or simply bibliography style) and author-date style (sometimes called reference list style). These styles are essentially the same as those presented in The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition, with slight modifications for the needs of student writers. This "Quick Guide" is from the University of Chicago.
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