Computing Science information resources: Citing & writing

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The Library's Student Learning Commons offers a wide range of workshops, consultations, and self-guided instructional tools for both undergraduate and graduate students.

For Graduate Student workshops and services, check out the Library's Graduate Research Commons.


There does not seem to be a broad consensus in the CS field that one particular citation style is the correct one to use. If your professor has not instructed you to use a particular style, you are free to choose.

One option is to use the citation style preferred by the ACM. This style places author and year information in the text of the paper in square brackets, as in the following example: [Wong and Jones 2005]. The full citation appears at end of the paper with the authors' names capitalized:

WONG, D.L. AND JONES, A.K. 2005. Self-aware positronic brain achieved. Journal of the ACM, 52, 245-253.

There are a few more examples of the ACM style at the bottom of ACM LaTeX Style Guide. Another style you might choose to use is the IEEE style (see the links on the Engineering Science page) or APA style.


The Library provides access to hundreds of books on scientific and technical writing. One way to locate writing guides is to try a Subject search in the Library Catalogue. Some good subject headings are:

  • Communication in science
  • Communication of technical information
  • Technical writing
  • Technical writing -- Handbooks, manuals, etc
  • Dissertations, academic -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Report writing -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.

See also:  Business communication

Sample titles:

  • Writing for computer science [print]
  • Technical writing: a practical guide for engineers and scientists [print]
  • Scientific writing and communication: papers, proposals and presentations [print]