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
Jones, C. W. (2003). Materials science. Zeolites go organic. Science (New York, N.Y.), 300(5618), 439–440.
A journal article with 2 authors
Jung, H., & Karato S. (2001). Water-induced fabric transitions in olivine. Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5534), 1460–1463.
A journal article with 3 authors
Jones, D. L., Brewster, R. C., & Phillips, R. (2014). Promoter architecture dictates cell-to-cell variability in gene expression. Science (New York, N.Y.), 346(6216), 1533–1536.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Amrani, A., Verdaguer, J., Serra, P., Tafuro, S., Tan, R., & Santamaria, P. (2000). Progression of autoimmune diabetes driven by avidity maturation of a T-cell population. Nature, 406(6797), 739–742.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Schwedt, G. (2009). Chemie und Literatur - ein ungewöhnlicher Flirt. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Lee, R. (Ed.). (2013). Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing 2012 (Vol. 443). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Ferrari, A. (2010). Perceptive Defects. In G. Cioni (Ed.), The Spastic Forms of Cerebral Palsy: A Guide to the Assessment of Adaptive Functions (pp. 73–98). Springer.

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, E. (2015, March 31). Paris 2015 Climate Summit: Countries’ Targets Beyond 2020. 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. (2013). Transportation Security: TSA Could Strengthen Monitoring of Allegations of Employee Misconduct (GAO-13-624). 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
Platt, J. B. (2008). Feast in the time of terror: Stalinist temporal paradox and the 1937 Pushkin Jubilee [Doctoral dissertation]. Columbia 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
Taylor, K. (2015, March 19). Named Next President of N.Y.U., Oxford’s Leader Inherits Challenges. New York Times, A20.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Jones, 2003).
This sentence cites two references (Jones, 2003; Jung & Karato S, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Jung & Karato S, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Jones et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Amrani et al., 2000)

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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