Skip to Main Content
Library Logo WOU Home Library Home
Search the library catalog (Primo)
Search WOU Digital Collections

CSE Style Guide, for 7th Edition

Paper Formatting


CSE doesn't give any specifications of how a paper should be formatted, so check with your instructor to see how he or she prefers it to be formatted. Listed below are some generic, good practice guidelines which will help get you started.


General Formatting

  • Use 8.5x11 white paper.
  • Number your pages on the top-right corner, starting at two (your title page is the first, but should not be labeled as such)
  • Leave at least a 1" margin on all sides of the page
  • double-space your paper and indent each new paragraph 1/2"
  • The body of research papers are typically divided into 5 sections; abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion.
  • Use headings to to help visually organize your paper and separate different sections.

Title Page

  • Center the title of your page 1/3rd of the page down.
  • Center your name directly under the title.
  • Center your course name, instructor's name, and date, in three separate lines, near the bottom of the page.
  • Typeface should be Times New Roman and in 12pt font. Do not bold, underline, or otherwise decorate your title.
  • Do not put a page number on your cover page and do not include it in your page count total.


  • Name your bibliography 'References' or 'Cited References' and center it at the top of the page
  • Use double-spacing throughout
  • List author's last name first and use initials for first and middle names, with no periods or spaces between them.
  • Capitalize only the first word of the title of a book or article. Do not underline, italicize, bold, or place the title in quotation marks.
  • Use the proper abbreviation for journal titles. Consult the National Library of Medicine's NCBI catalog for formal, ISO standardized abbreviations.

If using Citation-Sequence

  • Number the bibliographic entries in the order which they appear in-text and sort them numerically. This way the first reference you cited-in text will appear as number 1, and so on and so forth.

If using Citation-Name

  • First alphabetize all the entries by author's last name (or organizational name), then number the entries. Your in-text reference numbers will in non-numeric order.


If using Name-Year

  • The bibliographic entries are not numbered, but are organized by the author's last name (or organizational name). The year is placed after the author. Writers may choose to keep each citation flush left or indent the 2nd and any additional lines of a reference.