Skip to Main Content

CSE Quick Citation Guide

Citing sources in CSE style.

Contact Us

Ask a Librarian: 

La Plata: 301-934-7676

Leonardtown: 240-725-5360

Prince Frederick: 443-550-6060

Citation Guidelines

In-Text Citations

Purpose: briefly identifies the work you are quoting or paraphrasing, with a corresponding full citation in the reference list so readers can find your sources. Include in-text citations whenever you: 

  • Paraphrase (summarize ideas from a source) 

  • Directly quote from a source 

  • Refer to data or adapt a table, figure, or image from the source 

In-Text Citations should: 

  • Include the author’s name and the year of publication

  • Include a page number if using a direct quotation; after the year, place a comma and "p" (no period) before the page number.

  • Appear immediately after the relevant section (not necessarily at the end of a long clause or sentence) 

  • Always come before punctuation marks

Reference List

  • Title (References):
    • Left aligned
    • Bold, underlined,  or uppercase letters
    • Begins on the last page of the document
  • Double space between title and first entry
  • Entries:
    • Single-spaced with hanging indent
    • Font size is one or two points smaller than the document text
    • Arranged alphabetically
  • List up to 10 authors
  • Abbreviate journal titles according to the National Information Standards Organization. Search the journal title in these resources to find the standard abbreviation:

In-Text Citation Formats

(Author Year) 
  • Professors want students to cite their sources when writing research papers (Smith 2020). 

Author (Year) 
  • Smith (2020) argues that students should cite their sources when completing research assignments. 

Other author formats: 
  • No Author:

    • Professors (Title 2020) may not know where to start when teaching students how to cite sources. 

  • Two Authors:

    • A recent study (Lee and Wong 2018) shows that students who write CSE style papers with good reference lists receive better grades.

  • Three or More Authors:

    • One study (Smith et al. 2020) found...

No date:
  • Online sources - use year of access:
    • Government data (Fauci et al. 2022) indicate a general improvement in health every year.
  • Print sources - use [date unknown]:
    • A comprehensive study (Wong [date unknown]) concluded that...

Reference List Entries

Journal Articles: 
  • Last-Name First-Initial. Year Month Day. Title of article. Journal Abbreviation Volume# (Issue): page range.

Magazine Articles: 
  • Last-Name First-Initial. Year Month. Title of article. Magazine Title: page range.

Newspaper Articles: 
  • Last-Name First-Initial. Year Month Day. Title of article. Newspaper Title; Sect #: page#.

Books by authors: 
  • Last-Name First-Initial. Year. Title of book (Edition ed.). Place of Publication: Publisher; Number of Pages p.

Books with editors: 
  • Last-Name First-Initial., Last-Name First-Initial, editors. Year. Title of book. Place of Publication: Publisher; Number of Pages p.

Book chapters: 
  • Last-Name First-Initial. Year. Title of chapter. In: Last-name First-Initial, Last-name First Initial, editors. Title of book. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher. p page-range.

  • Author [such as Last-Name First-Initial. OR Agency/Organization Name]; Title of Webpage [Internet]. Place of Publication: Publisher; Year Month Day; Available from: URL