SKIP navigation
news & events.
news.

Relevant unomaha.edu links:

feature
Books

Technology and Term Papers – A Photo Essay

by Oliver B. Pollak

A new school year starts. Desktops, laptops, and netbooks challenge pencils and ballpoints (a late 1940s innovation). One writing helpmate has repeatedly adjusted to technological change.

Kate L. Turabian, progressed from a department secretary at the University of Chicago in 1925, to secretary in the Registrar's office, and in 1930 to dissertation secretary, the gatekeeper of thesis and dissertation protocol. In 1937 she published A Manual for Writers, modeled on the larger, more expensive, Chicago Manual of Style, dating from the turn of the last century.[1]

Turabian's 1937 62 page typed pamphlet "distributed by the University of Chicago Bookstore" was purchased by the University of Nebraska library for 30 cents. Turabian competed with Modern Language Association (MLA) and other disciplinary style manuals. For workers in the humanities "Turabian" became a household word much as Kodak, Polaroid, Xerox and Google. Turabian retired in 1958.

Pictures demonstrated how millions of people wrote. From 1955 to 1987, the covers of the 1955 3rd (which I used as an undergraduate, $1), 1973 4th ($3.95), and 1987 5th ($8.95) displayed a cavalcade of writers' tools. For over four decades the illustrated cover revealed changes in writing instruments.

The index also noted changes. The 5th edition "Computerized word processing" became "computer software, using" in the 2003 7th.

The 1996 6th ($13) and 2007 7th ($17) editions appeared when the computer dominated typewriters and manuscripts, and regrettably returned to generic covers.

In August 1987 Turabian's sales were listed at more than 5 million copies.[2] Two months later the same publication described it as "The bane of every graduate student's existence—all ye know and all ye need to know about ibid., id. and op. cit.," with sales of 6 million.[3]

Turabian died the following month at the age of 94. Her obituary stated her compendium sold over 5 million copies in five editions.[4]

The back of the 2007 7th edition proclaimed "More than 8 million copies sold." Turabian is more than a burger, bun, ketchup, onions, lettuce and tomato.

Book sale statistics do not tell reveal Turabian's sway. At the end of the semester students sell their books. The used book market evades book sale statistics as do books loaned or handed down to friends, relatives, Greeks. And that does not touch the multiplier effect, the same owner using the book several times over the years. Imagine how much wealthier Turabian, her heirs and the University of Chicago Press would be if the United States observed public lending rights where use of library books generates royalties.

Six scholars grew the 5th, 6th and 7th editions to 466 pages.

The struggle against plagiarism generates a market for student handbooks. In 2009 Turabian: The Easy Way! by Peggy and Timothy Houghton tackled the "considerable confusion" and apprehension evoked by Turabian by simplification, condensing and reducing it to 108 pages.

[1] See Oliver B. Pollak, "The Decline and Fall of Bottom Notes, loc. cit., op. cit. and a Century of the Chicago Manual of Style," Journal of Scholarly Publishing 38 (November 2006):14-30.

[2] Edwin McDowell, "Why College Classics Stay that Way," New York Times, August 2, 1987, ProQuest.

[3] "25 Years of University Press Best Sellers," New York Times, October 11, 1987, NY Book Review, 58, ProQuest.

[4] "Kate Turabian Dies; Author of Stylebook About Dissertations," New York Times, October 26, 1987, B12, ProQuest.

archive

October 2012 > A Closer Look at IS&T's NUCIA

October 2012 > UNO Engages Students, Community for 2012 Elections

October 2012 > National Cyber Security Month Highlights UNO Programs, Research

May 2012 > Dan McDermott Named Employee of the Year at UNO

December 2011 > Conference Tags

September 2011 > Roskens Hall: An Educator's Dream

July 2011 > Arts and Sciences Hall: UNO's Cornerstone

June 2011 > The ABCs of the Alumni House: From Adolf Storz and Mary Shirley to William H. Thompson

June 2011 > The Strauss Performing Arts Center: Making Music for Decades

May 2011 > The Durham Science Center: Theory Put Into Practice

May 2011 > The Gene Eppley Administration Building: Philanthropy at Work

April 2011 > Milo Bail Student Center: From Snack Shack to Student Center

April 2011 > UNOCCC: Twenty-Five Years of Caring

March 2011 > UNO's Libraries: A History

March 2011 > The Henningson Memorial Campanile

February 2011 > Mammel Hall

February 2011 > The Sapp Fieldhouse

January 2011 > Heydays of the Hayden House

December 2010 > UNO Faculty/Staff Earn WELCOM Light of Wellness Team Award

October 2010 > New children's financial literacy book supported by UNO alumni

August 2010 > Anna S. Forman Commencement Remarks

May 2010 > John Treinen Commencement Remarks

March 2010 > My Ties and Cliff Hillegass

January 2010 > Megan Schuster Commencement Remarks

December 2009 > Man Killed by Pheasant

November 2009 > New Molecular Modeling Lab Key to Chemistry Research Work

September 2009 > Midlands Voices: Goals of liberal arts college remain vastly important

September 2009 > Technology and Term Papers – A Photo Essay

May 2009 > USSTRATCOM Commander Hears UNO Intern Ideas on Cyber Security, Global Stability

March 2009 > Early Usage of the Kerrey Bridge: Some Empirical Findings and Thoughts on the Future

March 2009 > The End of an Era - UNO's Public Intellectuals and the Omaha World-Herald, 1997-2006

January 2009 > Going Green on Campus: Kathy Hartle Evokes Her Recycling Charge at Work

October 2008 > Zero to 65 in 80 Semesters

October 2008 > Embracing tests UNO should be praised for bucking establishment, scoring well

September 2008 > H.RES.1372: Celebrating the 100th

September 2008 > UNO Researcher Spotlighted

March 2008 > Culture on Campus

February 2008 > In Her Own Words: Technology is crucial to spurring growth

December 2007 > Pacific Street Memories

November 2007 > WISE Women

October 2007 > Vincent Empowers Teachers, Students With Technology

September 2007 > A Model of Success: UNO-Western Hills Partnership Thrives at Six Years

August 2007 > Orientation Leader Represents UNO with Exuberance

August 2007 > In His Own Words: On Summer School

July 2007 > Changing Faces

June 2007 > MVHC @ 50

May 2007 > In His Own Words: My Fulbright Year in Leipzig

February 2007 > At Your Service

December 2006 > A Job Well Done

September 2006 > Australian Finches Aid UNO Professor's Research

July 2006 > Finding His Way

May 2006 > Calming the Anxious

April 2006 > The Kid's Doing All Right

March 2006 > Shot of a Lifetime

March 2006 > Going for Four

February 2006 > Standing Tall with Sierra

January 2006 > In-Your-Face Geology

January 2006 > Religion Meets Film

January 2006 > Finding a Home Port

December 2005 > Man of the Cloth

November 2005 > Volunteer Field Work

November 2005 > Charting the Unknown

October 2005 > Developing Business Overseas

October 2005 > After The Storm

September 2005 > Building Better Officers

September 2005 > Saving the Planet

August 2005 > Making the Abstract Tangible

August 2005 > Helping Neighborhoods Help Themselves

July 2005 > Improving Health through Technology

July 2005 > Reading the Signs

June 2005 > Small Steps to a Better Life

April 2005 > Women's Walk Brings the Benefits to UNO Student-Athletes

April 2005 > Honest Art

March 2005 > Sharing The Wealth

March 2005 > Engineering His Own Masterpiece

February 2005 > Native Daughter, Native Dreams

February 2005 > Puck Stops Here

January 2005 > Stressing the Familiar

January 2005 > Connecting the Community

January 2005 > Ticket to Cooperstown

December 2004 > Spirit of the Season

December 2004 > Nicholas Stergiou: Research in Motion

fall 2004 > Alzheimer's: Caring for the Caregiver's

fall 2004 > Part of the Heart & Soul of Our Community: A message from Chancellor Belck

fall 2004 > David Hawk: All In

fall 2004 > Anadelia Lamas: Planting Roots

fall 2004 > Dean Olson: Assessing the Threat

fall 2004 > Student's Wireless Application Earns Him $25,000 Price from Microsoft

fall 2004 > Tom Warren: From the Chiefs to the Chief

fall 2004 > UNO Theatre Graduates Start Companies in Their Community

fall 2004 > Host Families Provide Welcoming Environment for Afghan Guests

fall 2004 > CADRE Project Celebrates 10 Years of Preparing Effective Educators

fall 2004 > Business Owner Raises Awareness, Funding for Real Estate Program

fall 2004 > Media Executive Chooses Omaha as Place to Build a Career and a Life

fall 2004 > UNO Partners with Metro, Takes STEP to Grow Science-Related Degrees

fall 2004 > Art Meets Technology in PKI's Student Multimedia Lab