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
Marx, V. (2015). Tissue engineering: Organs from the lab. Nature, 522(7556), 373–377.
A journal article with 2 authors
Juliano, C., & Wessel, G. (2010). Developmental biology. Versatile germline genes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 329(5992), 640–641.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lyons, T. W., Reinhard, C. T., & Planavsky, N. J. (2014). The rise of oxygen in Earth’s early ocean and atmosphere. Nature, 506(7488), 307–315.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Pais-Vieira, M., Lebedev, M., Kunicki, C., Wang, J., & Nicolelis, M. A. L. (2013). A brain-to-brain interface for real-time sharing of sensorimotor information. Scientific Reports, 3, 1319.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Ruiz, J.-L. (2017). Supra-Gingival Minimally Invasive Dentistry. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Golinska, P., & Hajdul, M. (Eds.). (2012). Sustainable Transport: New Trends and Business Practices. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Abdelgawad, A., & Bayoumi, M. (2012). Kalman Filter. In M. Bayoumi (Ed.), Resource-Aware Data Fusion Algorithms for Wireless Sensor Networks (pp. 59–76). Springer US.

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
Andrews, R. (2017, May 22). Google’s AI Is Now Creating Its Own AI. 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. (1988). National Aero-Space Plane: A Technology Development and Demonstration Program To Build the X-30 (NSIAD-88-122). 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
Banerjee, S. (2013). A mathematical model for the transition in firing patterns across puberty of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuron [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
Nagourney, A., Lovett, I., & Pérez-Peña, R. (2015, December 2). Shooting Rampage Sows Terror in California. New York Times, A1.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Marx, 2015).
This sentence cites two references (Juliano & Wessel, 2010; Marx, 2015).

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

  • Two authors: (Juliano & Wessel, 2010)
  • Three authors: (Lyons et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Pais-Vieira et al., 2013)

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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