How to format your references using the Computers and Composition citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Computers and Composition. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Kirshner, R. P. (2003). Throwing light on dark energy. Science (New York, N.Y.), 300(5627), 1914–1918.
A journal article with 2 authors
Chapman, A., & Wyndham, J. (2013). Human rights. A human right to science. Science (New York, N.Y.), 340(6138), 1291.
A journal article with 3 authors
Singh, S. K., Yamashita, A., & Gouaux, E. (2007). Antidepressant binding site in a bacterial homologue of neurotransmitter transporters. Nature, 448(7156), 952–956.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Saunders, A., Werner, J., Andrulis, E. D., Nakayama, T., Hirose, S., Reinberg, D., & Lis, J. T. (2003). Tracking FACT and the RNA polymerase II elongation complex through chromatin in vivo. Science (New York, N.Y.), 301(5636), 1094–1096.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Lombard, M. (2009). SolidWorks® Administration Bible. Indianapolis, IN, USA: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
An edited book
Zhao, L. (2014). Cloud Data Management. (S. Sakr, A. Liu, & A. Bouguettaya, Eds.). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Leve, F. A., Hamilton, B. J., & Peck, M. A. (2015). Singularities of Control Moment Gyroscopes. In B. J. Hamilton & M. A. Peck (Eds.), Spacecraft Momentum Control Systems (pp. 95–131). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Computers and Composition.

Blog post
Andrew, D. (2014, October 4). Watch White Blood Cells Attack A Nematode Larva. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. (1992). Motor Vehicle Safety: Key Issues Confronting the National Advanced Driving Simulator (No. RCED-92-195). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Lauper, A. R. (2009). Effects of leadership training and networking opportunities on professional advancement: A quantitative study (Doctoral dissertation). University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Murphy, M. J. O. (2014, November 7). Rudolph Valentino in ‘The Sheik.’ New York Times, p. C37.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (Kirshner, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Chapman & Wyndham, 2013; Kirshner, 2003).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Chapman & Wyndham, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Singh, Yamashita, & Gouaux, 2007)
  • 6 or more authors: (Saunders et al., 2003)

About the journal

Full journal titleComputers and Composition
AbbreviationComput. Compos.
ISSN (print)8755-4615
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
General Computer Science
Linguistics and Language

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