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
McKeon, B. J. (2010). Applied physics. Controlling turbulence. Science (New York, N.Y.), 327(5972), 1462–1463.
A journal article with 2 authors
Barkai, N., & Leibler, S. (2000). Circadian clocks limited by noise. Nature, 403(6767), 267–268.
A journal article with 3 authors
Goldreich, P., Lithwick, Y., & Sari, R. (2002). Formation of Kuiper-belt binaries by dynamical friction and three-body encounters. Nature, 420(6916), 643–646.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Li, K., Cong, R., Wu, T., & Wang, L. (2014). Bluffing promotes overconfidence on social networks. Scientific reports, 4, 5491.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Al-Shuhail, A. A., Al-Dossary, S. A., & Mousa, W. A. (2017). Seismic Data Interpretation using Digital Image Processing. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Horváth, L. (2012). Inference for Functional Data with Applications. (P. Kokoszka, Ed.) (Vol. 200). New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Nelson, A. (2012). XML Conversion of the Windows Registry for Forensic Processing and Distribution. In G. Peterson & S. Shenoi (Eds.), Advances in Digital Forensics VIII: 8th IFIP WG 11.9 International Conference on Digital Forensics, Pretoria, South Africa, January 3-5, 2012, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 51–65). 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
Luntz, S. (2014, June 29). This Sri Lankan Newspaper REPELS Mosquitoes. 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. (2003). School Lunch Program: Efforts Needed to Improve Nutrition and Encourage Healthy Eating (No. GAO-03-506). 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
Sharma, V. (2017). Functional Characterization of Na+/Ca2+ Exchangers in Caenorhabditis elegans (Doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, DC.

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
Yablonsky, L. (2010, April 25). World’s Fastest Canvas. New York Times, p. ST3.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (McKeon 2010).
This sentence cites two references (Barkai and Leibler 2000; McKeon 2010).

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

  • Two authors: (Barkai and Leibler 2000)
  • Three or more authors: (Li et al. 2014)

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

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