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GSA Format

1) References are listed in alphabetical order at the end of the work; for
papers, the references should be on a separate sheet of paper. All
references are the generalized style of: author(s) last name, first initials,
year of publication, title of work: publisher info, pages. Please note
that each item is separated by commas (,) except between the title
and the publisher data which uses a colon (:); all references are
followed by a period (.). Auto format/hyperlink is turned off in web
references. See the SI, Tana, and/or me for help; the English centers for
success are not familiar with this style. You may also try GSA’s web site
at but it isn’t that easy
to use.

2) Citations are found in the body of the work and consist of the author(s)
last names and year. For example, the correct citation for the geology
textbook is (Marshak, 2004). If there is more than one author, all last
names are given; e.g. (Skinner, Porter, and Botkin, 1999) is the citation
for the Earth science textbook. Page numbers are never given in the
citation. Note that this is GSA style and not others used on campus.

Examples of GSA reference style are given below. Note that the work by
Francis is a book with 443 pages in it. Feller is the person responsible for
the Devil’s Punchbowl site and the USGS is the agency responsible for the
Earthquake Hazards Program page; the month and year after a net site is
when it was visited. Lecture info is referenced under the instructor’s name
and class. The last example is for an article in a periodical; newspapers
are also periodicals and may be referenced in the same style. A citation
example is given in number 9 on the reverse side of this paper.
Encyclopedias may not be used; web pages or hard copy articles
about making the videos are never to be used for the CCRPP

Francis, P., 1993, Volcanoes: A Planetary Perspective: New York,
Clarendon Press, 443 p.

Feller, WD., 1996, Natural Formations < Devil’s Punchbowl < Antelope
Valley – West Mojave: (January 2005).

Lowman, J. A., 2004, Physical Geology (Geol 1) lecture: instructor, Chaffey

USGS, 2004, Earthquake Hazards Program:
(January 2004).

Watkins, T. H., 1999, Celebrating Canyon Country: National Geographic,
vol. 196, no. 1, p. 94 109.

Formal, Scientific English

1) Scientific English uses third person; I, we, they, you, etc. are never used.
This section of the style guide is written in third person.
2) Quotes are never used; paraphrasing is necessary when using
information from the various sources.
3) Opinions are not included at this level of science.
4) Slang terms are not allowed; e.g. earthquake will be used instead of
5) Contractions are not allowed; e.g. can not is acceptable but can’t is
not acceptable.
6) Organization is critical. Poor organization is indicated by repeated
topics or using phrases such as discussed above.
7) Only metric measurements are to be used. Unfamiliar units such as
horsepower and fathoms are not metric. Most textbooks’ Appendix
gives metric units. Numbers are never used without units.
8) Words with specific meanings must be used rather than vague
descriptions. Tremor has a specific meaning and is not a synonym for
earthquake. Verbose writing is not acceptable.
9) Pictures and/or tables must be referred to in the body of the text; e.g.
see Figure 1. All pictures and/or tables must be labeled at the bottom
or right side with figure number: title of figure or with table number: title
of the table followed by the correct citation; e.g. Table 1: Acids Found
in Lakes near Volcanoes (Francis, 1993). Tables and figures do not
count toward the writing limit of the paper.

Some Additional Considerations:

    • Do not allow the word processor to hyphenate words or
    divide words containing hyphens.
    • Use the spell check feature and then have someone else
    read it for typos which form real words.
    • When organizing topics, go from least important to most
    important. For geographical information, use some order that
    reflects a transverse; e.g. go from north to south, east to west,
    etc. For time sensitive material go from past to present.
    Do not put the title on the first page of the paper.
    • Be sure that the left margin of print is completely readable
    when the paper is in the folder.
    • If names appear on all sheets, use a footer.
    Do not use pink.