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Citation Station

Help and resources for citation styles

A Short Guide to Writing About Biology Resources

Several print copies of A Short Guide to Writing About Biology, 8th edition, are available in the Mardigian Library.

(Sorry, the publisher does not provide an e-book version of this for libraries at the present time.)

A Short Guide to Writing About Biology


ISBN: 978-0-205-07507-2
Publication Date: 2013

This best-selling writing guide by a prominent biologist teaches students to think as biologists and to express ideas clearly and concisely through their writing.

Providing students with the tools they'll need to be successful writers in college and their profession, A Short Guide to Writing about Biology emphasizes writing as a way of examining, evaluating, and sharing ideas. The text teaches students how to read critically, study, evaluate and report data, and how to communicate information clearly and logically.

Students are also given detailed advice on locating useful sources, interpreting the results of statistical tests, maintaining effective laboratory and field notebooks, writing effective research proposals and poster presentations, writing effective applications, and communicating information to both professional and general audiences.

A Short Guide to Writing About Biology

Some biology professors want you to follow the reference style found in A Short Guide to Writing about Biology. Examples of how to construct some of the most common entries are shown below. The library has a few print copies of the 8th edition (2013), if you need to find out how to cite something that isn't on this list.


One author

Brown, A. 2003. In the Beginning Was the Worm: Finding the Secrets Of Life In A Tiny Hermaphrodite. Columbia University Press, New York, 244 pp.

Lederer, R.J. 2016. Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs: How the Struggle For Survival Has Shaped Birds and Their Behavior. Timber Press, Portland, OR, 280 pp.

Two or more authors

van der Linden, P.J., Farrar, D.R. 2011. Forest and Shade Trees Of Iowa, 3rd ed. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, IA, 432 pp.

Jefferson, T.A., Webber, M.A., Pitman, R.L. 2015. Marine Mammals Of the World: A Comprehensive Guide To Their Identification, 2nd ed. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 608 pp.

Editor, translator, or compiler in addition to author

Sobolev, N.V.. 1977. The mineralogical criteria of the diamond-bearing kimberlites. In: Deep-Seated Inclusions In Kimberlites and the Problem Of the Upper Mantel (D.A. Brown, trans., F.R. Boyd, ed.), American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp. 247-259.

Chapter or other part of a book

Janes, S.W. 1985. Habitat selection in raptorial birds. In: Habitat Selection in Birds (M.L. Cody, ed.), Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp. 159-188.

Savoie, J.-M., Mata, G., Largeteau, M. 2016. New prospects in pathogen control of button mushroom cultures. In: Mushroom Biotechnology: Developments and Applications (M. Petre, ed.), Academic Press, New York, NY, pp. 93-110.

Journal Articles

Print journal

Terleph, T.A., Malaivijitnond, S., Reichard, U.H. 2015. Lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) great call reveals individual caller identity. Am. J. Primatol. 77:811-821.

Online only journal

Anastasiadi, D., Esteve-Codina, A. Piferrer, F.. 2018. Consistent inverse correlation between DNA methylation of the first intron and gene expression across tissues and species. Epigenetics Chromatin 11:37.

Magazine and Newspaper Articles


Hutson, M. Time for women leaders. Sci. Am. 2018 Nov; 319(5): 1118.


Burke, M.N. Cost of combating Asian carp surges to $778M. Detroit News. 2018 Nov. 23; Section A:4.

Web Source

Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources. 2018. Trends in invasive species. In: State Of Michigan's Environment 2017: Fourth Triennial Report. State of Michigan, Lansing, MI. pp. 11-19. Available from

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