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
Macilwain, C. (2013). Thrill of space exploration is a universal constant. Nature, 503(7476), 313.
A journal article with 2 authors
Hempstead, B. L., & Salzer, J. L. (2002). Neurobiology. A glial spin on neurotrophins. Science (New York, N.Y.), 298(5596), 1184–1186.
A journal article with 3 authors
Gavazzi, G., Bisio, A., & Pozzo, T. (2013). Time perception of visual motion is tuned by the motor representation of human actions. Scientific Reports, 3, 1168.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Kaneko, R., Abe, M., Hirabayashi, T., Uchimura, A., Sakimura, K., Yanagawa, Y., & Yagi, T. (2014). Expansion of stochastic expression repertoire by tandem duplication in mouse Protocadherin-α cluster. Scientific Reports, 4, 6263.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Hein, H., & Kunze, W. (2005). Umweltanalytik mit Spektrometrie und Chromatographie. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
An edited book
Anpo, M., & Kamat, P. V. (Eds.). (2010). Environmentally Benign Photocatalysts: Applications of Titanium Oxide-based Materials (1st ed.). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Jaidi, F., & Ayachi, F. L. (2015). A Formal Approach Based on Verification and Validation Techniques for Enhancing the Integrity of Concrete Role Based Access Control Policies. In Á. Herrero, B. Baruque, J. Sedano, H. Quintián, & E. Corchado (Eds.), International Joint Conference: CISIS’15 and ICEUTE’15 (pp. 53–64). Springer International Publishing.

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
Luntz, S. (2017, February 1). Brain-Computer Interface Allows Locked-In Patients To Communicate. 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. (1993). Athletic Department Profiles (HRD-93-24R). 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
McCullough, J. (2009). Functional outcomes and patient satisfaction. A retrospective study to determine if these factors are correlated in a clinical setting. A project report [Doctoral dissertation]. California State University, Long Beach.

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
Smith, M., Pérez-Peña, R., & Bromwich, J. E. (2016, November 2). Iowa Man Surrenders After Two Police Officers Are Ambushed Overnight. New York Times, A15.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Macilwain, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Hempstead & Salzer, 2002; Macilwain, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Hempstead & Salzer, 2002)
  • Three authors: (Gavazzi et al., 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Kaneko et al., 2014)

About the journal

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

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