How to format your references using the Assessing Writing citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Assessing Writing. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteDownload the output style file
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
von Hippel, P. H. (2004). Biochemistry. Completing the view of transcriptional regulation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 305(5682), 350–352.
A journal article with 2 authors
Dai, X., & Huang, N. (2014). Numerical simulation of drifting snow sublimation in the saltation layer. Scientific Reports, 4, 6611.
A journal article with 3 authors
Smith, J., Van Dyken, J. D., & Zee, P. C. (2010). A generalization of Hamilton’s rule for the evolution of microbial cooperation. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5986), 1700–1703.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Hu, Y., Baud, V., Oga, T., Kim, K. I., Yoshida, K., & Karin, M. (2001). IKKalpha controls formation of the epidermis independently of NF-kappaB. Nature, 410(6829), 710–714.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Blair, R. (2011). Organic Production and Food Quality. Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Negro, R. W. D., & Goldberg, A. I. (Eds.). (2005). Home Long-Term Oxygen Treatment in Italy: The Additional Value of Telemedicine. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Deckert, K. (2011). Corporate Criminal Liability in France. In M. Pieth & R. Ivory (Eds.), Corporate Criminal Liability: Emergence, Convergence, and Risk (pp. 147–176). Springer Netherlands.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Assessing Writing.

Blog post
Carpineti, A. (2017, March 1). California’s San Joaquin Valley Continues To Sink. IFLScience; IFLScience.


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. (1990). Space Operations: NASA Is Not Archiving All Potentially Valuable Data (IMTEC-91-3). U.S. Government Printing Office.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Hsu, Y.-C. (2009). A cultural psychosocial model for depression in elder care institutions: The roles of Socially Supportive Activity and self-transcendence [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Arizona.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Liptak, A., & Walsh, M. W. (2015, December 5). Top Court Will Decide Puerto Rico Debt Cases. New York Times, B3.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by name and year in parentheses:

This sentence cites one reference (von Hippel, 2004).
This sentence cites two references (Dai & Huang, 2014; von Hippel, 2004).

Here are examples of in-text citations with multiple authors:

  • Two authors: (Dai & Huang, 2014)
  • Three authors: (Smith et al., 2010)
  • 6 or more authors: (Hu et al., 2001)

About the journal

Full journal titleAssessing Writing
ISSN (print)1075-2935
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Linguistics and Language

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