How to format your references using the Reading and Writing citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Reading and Writing. 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.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
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
Coward, F. (2008). Archaeology. Standing on the shoulders of giants. Science (New York, N.Y.), 319(5869), 1493–1495.
A journal article with 2 authors
Nix, P., & Bastiani, M. (2013). Neuroscience. Heterochronic genes turn back the clock in old neurons. Science (New York, N.Y.), 340(6130), 282–283.
A journal article with 3 authors
Rao, C. V., Wolf, D. M., & Arkin, A. P. (2002). Control, exploitation and tolerance of intracellular noise. Nature, 420(6912), 231–237.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
McNew, J. A., Parlati, F., Fukuda, R., Johnston, R. J., Paz, K., Paumet, F., et al. (2000). Compartmental specificity of cellular membrane fusion encoded in SNARE proteins. Nature, 407(6801), 153–159.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tadros, T. F. (2010). Colloids in Paints. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Alvarez, H. M. (Ed.). (2010). Biology of Rhodococcus (Vol. 16). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Shi, H., He, M., & Qin, Z. (2006). Authenticated and Communication Efficient Group Key Agreement for Clustered Ad Hoc Networks. In D. Pointcheval, Y. Mu, & K. Chen (Eds.), Cryptology and Network Security: 5th International Conference, CANS 2006, Suzhou, China, December 8-10, 2006. Proceedings (pp. 73–89). Berlin, Heidelberg: 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 Reading and Writing.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2015, March 10). Brain-To-Brain Interfaces: The Science Of Telepathy. IFLScience. IFLScience. Accessed 30 October 2018


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). Electronic Government: Government Paperwork Elimination Act Presents Challenges for Agencies (No. AIMD-00-282). Washington, DC: 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
Lynch, S. D. (2008). Distortion of low-frequency acoustic signals by interaction with the moving ocean surface (Doctoral dissertation). University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

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
Blinder, A. (2015, January 21). A Cheeseburger, a Suburban Traffic Stop and a Ticket for Eating While Driving. New York Times, p. A10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Coward 2008).
This sentence cites two references (Coward 2008; Nix and Bastiani 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Nix and Bastiani 2013)
  • Three or more authors: (McNew et al. 2000)

About the journal

Full journal titleReading and Writing
AbbreviationRead. Writ.
ISSN (print)0922-4777
ISSN (online)1573-0905
ScopeNeuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Linguistics and Language
Speech and Hearing

Other styles