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CSE (Council of Science Editors) Style Guide

Formatting Your Paper

CSE does not specify a format for the body of a college paper, so ask your instructor for clarification. The following guidelines are suggested:

Cover page

  • Include paper title and your name, and other pertinent information (centered).
  • Omit a header and page number on the cover page. Body of the paper or report:
  • Add a header after the cover page.

The header should contain the title and page number (starting with 2).

  • Double space the entire paper and use 1 inch margins.
  • If you use sections like "Abstract, Introduction, Discussions", center the section title on the page.
  • Start your "References" section on a new page.

CSE Format

Guidelines for citations:

  • Alphabetize by authors’ last names.  

  • All lines are flush with the left margin, no hanging indentations are used.

  • Authors’ last names are listed first, then the first and middle initial (if given).  No commas are used in between the last name and first initial.  No periods are used in between initials.  Example: Brown AC

  • Use all authors’ names for up to ten authors.  

  • For a work with more than ten authors, list the first ten names followed by a comma and “et al.”  Example:  Brown MW, Keats EJ, Willems M, Lowry L, Sachar L, Rylant C, Collins S, London J, Tolkien JR, Bang M, et al.

  • Titles of books and articles are not italicized, “placed within quotation marks”, or underlined. 

  • Only the first word of the title is capitalized. After that only proper names in the title are the only words to be capitalized.

  • Journal titles that consist of more than one word are abbreviated.  All the words in the abbreviated title are capitalized.  For a searchable database of journal abbreviations visit CASSI (, American Chemical Society’s Source Index search tool.  

  • Do not end the citation with a period if you include the URL.