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
Schiermeier, Q. (2003). Deep-sea sub aims to get to the bottom of a muddy issue. Nature, 423(6939), 469.
A journal article with 2 authors
Janak, P. H., & Tye, K. M. (2015). From circuits to behaviour in the amygdala. Nature, 517(7534), 284–292.
A journal article with 3 authors
Chakraborty, S., Yanchulova, P., & Thiemens, M. H. (2013). Mass-independent oxygen isotopic partitioning during gas-phase SiO2 formation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 342(6157), 463–466.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Kucharski, R., Maleszka, J., Foret, S., & Maleszka, R. (2008). Nutritional control of reproductive status in honeybees via DNA methylation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 319(5871), 1827–1830.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Wolf, R. A. (2012). Atmospheric Pressure Plasma for Surface Modification. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Allen, R. B., Hunter, J., & Zeng, M. L. (Eds.). (2015). Digital Libraries: Providing Quality Information: 17th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries, ICADL 2015, Seoul, Korea, December 9-12, 2015. Proceedings (1st ed. 2015, Vol. 9469). Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Nagrale, D. T., Sharma, L., Kumar, S., & Gawande, S. P. (2016). Recent Diagnostics and Detection Tools: Implications for Plant Pathogenic Alternaria and Their Disease Management. In P. Kumar, V. K. Gupta, A. K. Tiwari, & M. Kamle (Eds.), Current Trends in Plant Disease Diagnostics and Management Practices (pp. 111–163). 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
Hale, T. (2016, December 28). Somebody Has Found Another “Giant Spoon” On Mars. IFLScience; IFLScience.


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. (1998). Surface Transportation: Issues Associated With Pipeline Regulation by the Surface Transportation Board (RCED-98-99). 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
Jalali Farahani, B. (2005). Adaptive Digital Calibration Techniques for High Speed, High Resolution Sigma Delta ADCs for Broadband Wireless Applications [Doctoral dissertation]. Ohio State University.

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
Brantley, B. (2017, August 24). Theater; The Last Days To Catch a Comet. New York Times, AR2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Schiermeier, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Janak & Tye, 2015; Schiermeier, 2003).

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

  • Two authors: (Janak & Tye, 2015)
  • Three authors: (Chakraborty et al., 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Kucharski et al., 2008)

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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