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
Jaenike, J. (2007). Comment on “Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 316(5829), 1285; author reply 1285.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ize, B., & Palmer, T. (2006). Microbiology. Mycobacteria’s export strategy. Science (New York, N.Y.), 313(5793), 1583–1584.
A journal article with 3 authors
Shikano, Y., Wada, T., & Horikawa, J. (2014). Discrete-time quantum walk with feed-forward quantum coin. Scientific Reports, 4, 4427.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Frankino, W. A., Zwaan, B. J., Stern, D. L., & Brakefield, P. M. (2005). Natural selection and developmental constraints in the evolution of allometries. Science (New York, N.Y.), 307(5710), 718–720.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Palmquist, S. R. (2015). Comprehensive Commentary on Kant’s Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Vinel, A., Mehmood, R., Berbineau, M., Garcia, C. R., Huang, C.-M., & Chilamkurti, N. (Eds.). (2012). Communication Technologies for Vehicles: 4th International Workshop, Nets4Cars/Nets4Trains 2012, Vilnius, Lithuania, April 25-27, 2012. Proceedings (Vol. 7266). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Du, W., Song, Y., & Li, Y. (2011). Multiple Perspective of Public Administration Development Strategy of NGOs. In Q. Zhou (Ed.), Advances in Applied Economics, Business and Development: International Symposium, ISAEBD 2011, Dalian, China, August 6-7, 2011, Proceedings, Part II (pp. 33–39). 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
Carpineti, A. (2017, March 8). Tiny Satellites Discover Biggest Stellar Heartbeat. 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. (1975). Improved Planning--A Must Before a Department-Wide Automatic Data Processing System Is Acquired for the Department of Agriculture (LCD-75-108). 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
Spindel, S. A. (2014). Evaluation of optical sensor platforms for multiplexed detection of proteins [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Maryland, College Park.

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
Kenigsberg, B. (2016, December 1). Review: ‘Videofilia (and Other Viral Syndromes)’ Is a Digital Hall of Mirrors. New York Times, C11.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Jaenike, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Ize & Palmer, 2006; Jaenike, 2007).

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

  • Two authors: (Ize & Palmer, 2006)
  • Three authors: (Shikano et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Frankino et al., 2005)

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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