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Architecture Thesis Research

Guide to helpful research resources for your thesis research.


“Your first duty as a researcher is to get the facts right. Your second duty is to tell readers where the facts came from. To that end, you must cite the sources of the facts, ideas, or words that you use in your paper.”[1]


[1]Kate L. Turabian. A Manual For Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 8thedition. (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2013), 135.

Recognizing an author's copyright, is an important part of your research and scholarship. As you put together your thesis document, you will want to credit your sources, acknowledge other peoples ideas, creative products, and their scholarship. 

You do this by citing your sources in the Turabian format (for architecture program students), or in a preferred format agreed upon with your professor. Understanding copyright helps you understand when you need to cite sources, when you can use other people's scholarship and when you need to ask permission first.

Public Domain

Some works are old enough to be in the public domain, and can be used without the author's permission. See here for a helpful chart:

Information on websites that end in .gov are often in the Public Domain.


Fair Use

Fair Use is another instance where you do not have to secure the author's permission to publish their words, or creative work, but fair use has very strict parameters and is usually decided on a case by case basis. If you are using someone else's work (cited of course!), you should meet these four criteria if you are using fair use:

1. Purpose of the use.

2. Nature of the material being used

3. amount of the material being used

4. Effect on the market

These two websites are helpful for guidance. and

Turabian Manual of Style

The Architecture Program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation requires students to cite their images, written work, and any research materials in the Turabian Citation Style. This link, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations via University of Chicago Press, should be your go-to resource when determining how to cite anything in Turabian Style. 

Footnotes-Bibliography is the expected format in the Architecture Program here at UMD, not Author-Date.

Therefore, anything that is quoted should get a footnote, and at the end of your document you will include a bibliography. A bibliography is your list of sources you consulted, and it is compiled alphabetically by the author's last name.

Turabian Module 1, and Turabian Module 2 are videos that explain the citation process.

Footnotes and Bibliographic Citations

Turabian Style presents citation information by the means of footnotes or endnotes with an accompanying bibliography. For your thesis research, please be sure to use footnotes for citing sources within the text of your document and a bibliography for your complete list of references at the end of your document. 

Here are some examples for citing an online journal -- be sure to pay attention to the differences between the footnote citation and the bibliographic one.

Check out this Citations Guide for details.


Author first name, last name, "Title," Journal Title Volume, number (Month/Year published): page number, date

          accessed, DOI. DOI = Digital Object Identifier

Campbell Brown, "Consequentialize This," Ethics 121, no. 4 (July 2011): 752, accessed December 1, 2012,

Bibliographic Note:

Author last name, first name. "Title.Journal Title Volume, Number (Month/Year published): Article page range. Date accessed.


Brown, Campbell. "Consequentialize This." Ethics 121, no. 4 (July 2011): 749-71. Accessed December 1, 2012.


*For articles that include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), form the URL by appending the DOI to rather than using the URL in your address bar. The DOI for the article in the Brown example (above) is 10.1086/660696. If you consulted the article in a library or commercial database, you may give the name of the database instead (for example, JSTOR).

Figure Citations

Turabian considers photographs, drawings, maps, tables, illustrations, and other images to be figures.

Whatever you call the illustrations you use in your papers and presentations, you need to cite them, just like you would cite a quote, or direct bit of text from a source. Turabian specifies that the various types of illustrations that you use be called Figures. They should be numbered consecutively within your paper or chapter from 1 to x, where x equals the final number of figures that you have. 

After the Figure number, include the caption of the illustration, and then the creator. Then add the source. This source or credit line should follow typical footnote format.

Example: Figure #. Caption, Creator. Source information in footnote format.

Example: Figure 1. The Pieta, by Michelangelo. Photo taken by Cindy Frank, March 30 2015.

Example: Figure 2. Portrait of Ka'iulani (Victoria Cleghorn), c. 1893,by photographer Elmer Chickering. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Source: Laura R.Prieto, "A Delicate Subject," The Journal of the Guilded Age and Progressive Era, 12, No. 2 (April 2013) 215.



Example: Figure 3. Statue of Liberty, by Francisco Diez from New York City. Accessed March 4, 2018., [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. 

The word Figure should be justified to the left edge of the illustration, photo, table, etc.

How to Cite in Chicago/Turabian: A Three Minute Tutorial

This video is a great overview of how to cite in Turabian. However, I want to point out that you should be using footnotes, not endnotes as the video suggests. Using footnotes is generally the same except instead of all your citations being at the end of your paper, they are footnoted at the bottom of each page. This makes it much easier for the reader to see where you got your information. This video also shows you how to insert a footnote using Microsoft Word!