The following guidelines are based on information found in the Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 7th edition, which is published by the Council of Science Editors. If you need information that is not covered in this handout, please refer to the CSE Handbook or ask an English Coach at the English Center.

Paper Format

  • Margins: one inch on all sides
  • Double-spaced contains a title page
  • 12 points type font size
  • Indent (or five spaces) the first word of each paragraph
  • Header: Each page must have the page number

Always check with your instructor to see if he or she has any different requirements or specifications for your paper.

In-text Citations

CSE guidelines require that the writer give credit for ALL information whether it be a direct quote or a paraphrase. Generally, you are required to give the following information: author, year of publication, and page number for any direct quote. For paraphrases, you are only required to give the author and year of publication, though it is suggested that you also provide the page number. You should use p. (or pp. for multiple pages) before the page numbers in in-text citations.

Direct Quote

Rith-Najarian (1998, p.3) has written, “Apes can gesture, but do not understand the grammatical structure of American Sign Language.”


It has been shown that apes do not actually understand the syntax and structure of ASL (Smith 1994).

Multiple Authors

When a source has two or three authors, you should give both (all) authors’ last names.

Source with two authors

Other researchers (Silsby and Dunkle 1981) have suggested a different method of chemical analysis.

Source with three or more authors

White-lined bark beetles are attracted to the odor of rotting wood (Zora and others 1992).

For a source two or more works by either the same author or different authors, you cite in the following way:

Source with two or more works by the same author

Recent work on reaggregation of sponge cells (Zangrilli 1994, 1995) has shown that…

Two or more works by different authors

Many different models have been proposed to account for this phenomenon (Watson 1977, 1979; Kim 1988; Cox 1992).

Work with No Authors

The CSE does not advise use of the word “Anonymous” if no author (person or organization) is named in a work. Instead, use the first few words of the title in place of the author’s name, and add an ellipsis before the date.

Books with no author listed

This species has been reported in both Madison and Oneida Counties of New York (Common Dragonflies . . . 1999).

Organization as author

Give the name of the organization or group, followed by the year of publication.


Guidelines for evaluating dragonfly habitats as potential conservation areas have recently been published (International Committee for Preservation of Odonata.2004.


Guidelines for evaluating dragonfly habitats as potential conservation areas have recently been published (ICPO 2004).


[ICPO] International Committee for Preservation of Odonata. 2004.

A Specific Part of a Work

If you need to refer to a particular table, figure, or other portion of a source, it is acceptable to include this information within the parentheses, as shown:

A specific part of a work

Wimmons and Grimaldi (1999, Table 4) found that …

A specific part of a work

Similar data were obtained by Linsley (2004, Fig. 2).

Note the use of a comma, followed by a space, after the date.

Personal Interviews

Occasionally you may need to cite a personal conversation with someone, an informal written communication, or the unpublished data of a colleague. Before you use personal conversations including E-mail and personal interviews, you are required to have that person’s permission to include such material in your paper.

Personal conversation through E-mail

D. Craine (e-mail conversation, 2005) has suggested that …

Personal conversation through Interview

“Growing up in poverty really made me the sympathetic person that I am today” (Burgess, 2007).

Personal conversation through Interview with data

This species has also been found along the shores of lakes and ponds (L Arnold, unpublished data, 2000).

CSE Citation Systems

These documentation systems are different versions of the number format. In the citation-sequence system sources are numbered in the order in which you cited them in your paper. For example:

Citation-sequence system

Sap pressures in Douglas fir become more negative as relative humidity rises1.

Citation-sequence system

Recent field studies 12 have suggested that …

If you cite two or more sources at the same point in the text, use commas to separate the numbers. If three or more of your reference numbers are consecutive, use an en dash (or a hyphen) to indicate this:

Citation-sequence system

Plantago major is common in heavily trampled areas, such as the edges of roads and sidewalks 2 , 3.

Citation-sequence system

Cytological studies of development from dormant gemmules 4 , 6-8 have shown that …

If the author or publication date of a particular study is important to your discussion, add this information to the sentence:

Citation-sequence system

Fuller 14, studying three species of caddisflies in Montana, was the first to observe that …

Citation-sequence system

This species was not listed in early floras of New York; however, in 1985 it was reported in a botanical survey of Chenango County 9.

Source: McMillan, V.E. Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences 4th ed. Bedfor/St. Mastias. NY 2006

Contact Us

Citations and References

JSAC 1225



Select what best describes your relationship to Gallaudet University so we can effectively route your email.
By submitting this form, I opt in to receive select information and deaf resources from Gallaudet University via email.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.