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
Bignami, G. F. (2007). History of science. Sputnik and satellite astronomy. Science (New York, N.Y.), 318(5847), 53–54.
A journal article with 2 authors
Rohrer, F., & Berresheim, H. (2006). Strong correlation between levels of tropospheric hydroxyl radicals and solar ultraviolet radiation. Nature, 442(7099), 184–187.
A journal article with 3 authors
Phillips, N. R., Sprouse, M. L., & Roby, R. K. (2014). Simultaneous quantification of mitochondrial DNA copy number and deletion ratio: a multiplex real-time PCR assay. Scientific Reports, 4, 3887.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Brunthaler, A., Reid, M. J., Falcke, H., Greenhill, L. J., & Henkel, C. (2005). The geometric distance and proper motion of the Triangulum Galaxy (M33). Science (New York, N.Y.), 307(5714), 1440–1443.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Tadros, T. F. (2010). Colloids in Paints. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Heuser, R. R., Schlaich, M., & Sievert, H. (Eds.). (2015). Renal Denervation: A New Approach to Treatment of Resistant Hypertension. Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Prassas, E. S., & Roess, R. P. (2013). Illustrations of Complex Economic Analyses. In R. P. Roess (Ed.), Engineering Economics and Finance for Transportation Infrastructure (pp. 113–149). Springer.

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
Andrew, E. (2015, August 5). Too Much Too Soon? What Should We Be Teaching Four-Year-Olds. 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. (1976). International Cooperation in Energy Research and Development (No. 098248). 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
Gonzales, M. (2017). Examining institutional career preparation: Student perceptions of their workplace readiness and the role of the university in student career development [Doctoral dissertation]. Pepperdine University.

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
Sophia Kishkovsky; Compiled by. (2005, November 30). Arts, Briefly; Rostropovich Quits Moscow Opera. New York Times, E2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Bignami, 2007).
This sentence cites two references (Bignami, 2007; Rohrer & Berresheim, 2006).

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

  • Two authors: (Rohrer & Berresheim, 2006)
  • Three authors: (Phillips et al., 2014)
  • 6 or more authors: (Brunthaler et al., 2005)

About the journal

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

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