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
Graham-Rowe, D. (2011). Overview: Multiple lines of attack. Nature, 480(7377), S34-5.
A journal article with 2 authors
Mondal, N., & Parvin, J. D. (2001). DNA topoisomerase IIalpha is required for RNA polymerase II transcription on chromatin templates. Nature, 413(6854), 435–438.
A journal article with 3 authors
Lee, K., Zhang, Y., & Lee, S. E. (2008). Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATM orthologue suppresses break-induced chromosome translocations. Nature, 454(7203), 543–546.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Schmitz, D., Schmitz-Antoniak, C., Warland, A., Darbandi, M., Haldar, S., Bhandary, S., Eriksson, O., Sanyal, B., & Wende, H. (2014). The dipole moment of the spin density as a local indicator for phase transitions. Scientific Reports, 4, 5760.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Sundararajan, D. (2015). Discretewavelet Transform. John Wiley & Sons, Singapore Pte. Ltd.
An edited book
Korakis, T., Zink, M., & Ott, M. (Eds.). (2012). Testbeds and Research Infrastructure. Development of Networks and Communities: 8th International ICST Conference, TridentCom 2012, Thessanoliki, Greece, June 11-13, 2012, Revised Selected Papers (Vol. 44). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shao, L., Lu, J., & Shi, M. (2012). Reactions of VDCPs with Electrophiles. In J. Lu & M. Shi (Eds.), Chemical Transformations of Vinylidenecyclopropanes (pp. 47–53). 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, January 23). Marine Animals Found Thriving In One Of World’s Most Extreme Environments. 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. (2000). Transit Grants: Need for Improved Predictability, Data, and Monitoring in Application Processing (RCED-00-260). 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
Moore, B. A. (2010). The Writing Machine [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Feeney, K. (2007, April 22). I’m a Lumber Jack (Omelet, That Is). New York Times, NJ6.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Graham-Rowe, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Graham-Rowe, 2011; Mondal & Parvin, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Mondal & Parvin, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Lee et al., 2008)
  • 6 or more authors: (Schmitz et al., 2014)

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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