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
Gulledge, J. (2011). Debt crisis: Crunch time for US science. Nature, 477(7363), 155–156.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dekel, E., & Alon, U. (2005). Optimality and evolutionary tuning of the expression level of a protein. Nature, 436(7050), 588–592.
A journal article with 3 authors
Hopkins, A. L., Witty, M. J., & Nwaka, S. (2007). Mission possible. Nature, 449(7159), 166–169.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Inoue, K., Kohda, T., Lee, J., Ogonuki, N., Mochida, K., Noguchi, Y., et al. (2002). Faithful expression of imprinted genes in cloned mice. Science (New York, N.Y.), 295(5553), 297.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Jensen, R. C. (2012). Risk-Reduction Methods for Occupational Safety and Health. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Dai, Z. (Ed.). (2016). Advances in Nanotheranostics I: Design and Fabrication of Theranosic Nanoparticles (Vol. 6). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Schwarzwald, H., Collins, E. M., Gillespie, S., & Spinks-Franklin, A. I. A. (2015). Future Health Implications. In E. M. Collins, S. Gillespie, & A. I. A. Spinks-Franklin (Eds.), International Adoption and Clinical Practice (pp. 49–54). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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, October 7). Meet The Healthy, Functioning Man Who Survived With Almost No Brain. 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). College Completion: Additional Efforts Could Help Education with Its Completion Goals (No. GAO-03-568). 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
Tucker, T. N. (2014). Virtual K-12 leadership: A postmodern paradigm (Doctoral dissertation). Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

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
Greenhouse, L. (2007, February 27). Justices Take Up Police Use of Lethal Force. New York Times, p. A13.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gulledge 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Dekel and Alon 2005; Gulledge 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Dekel and Alon 2005)
  • Three or more authors: (Inoue et al. 2002)

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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