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Citation Guide: Basic CSE Rules

A guide to create citations for bibliographies and works cited in reference papers.

Basic CSE Rules

Some basic rules for CSE References are:

General Formatting

  • All citations should be single spaced
  • Indent after the first line of each entry (hanging indent)
  • Entries are not numbered; Alphabetize by the first word of the entry
  • If no author is listed, begin with title
  • Do not use Italics, underlining or bold lettering on titles.


  • Retain whatever punctuation appears within the original title; If no punctuation separates the title from a subtitle, use a colon.
  • Books and article titles: capitalized using only the first word and proper nouns.
  • Journal and newspaper titles: capitalize every word.
  • Editions of books are noted after the title in the following format: 2nd ed. First editions are not listed as such. If no edition is listed, omit the edition section.


  • If no year of publication can be determined, use the year of copyright, preceded by "c", as c2000.
  • Months are shortened to the first three letters with no period.
  • Dates are written as year month day

Place of Publication

  • If more than one city of publication is listed, use the first one encountered or the one in the largest or bold type font.
  • If place can't be located on website then use [place unknown] in brackets.