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
Webster, R. G. (2001). Virology. A molecular whodunit. Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5536), 1773–1775.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wortmann, U. G., & Paytan, A. (2012). Rapid variability of seawater chemistry over the past 130 million years. Science (New York, N.Y.), 337(6092), 334–336.
A journal article with 3 authors
Roberts, R. B., Ser, J. R., & Kocher, T. D. (2009). Sexual conflict resolved by invasion of a novel sex determiner in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 326(5955), 998–1001.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Segarra, M., Aburto, M. R., Cop, F., Llaó-Cid, C., Härtl, R., Damm, M., Bethani, I., Parrilla, M., Husainie, D., Schänzer, A., Schlierbach, H., Acker, T., Mohr, L., Torres-Masjoan, L., Ritter, M., & Acker-Palmer, A. (2018). Endothelial Dab1 signaling orchestrates neuro-glia-vessel communication in the central nervous system. Science (New York, N.Y.), 361(6404).

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McCallum, H. (2008). Population Parameters: Estimation for Ecological Models. Blackwell Science Ltd.
An edited book
Wriggers, P., & Nackenhorst, U. (Eds.). (2006). Analysis and Simulation of Contact Problems (Vol. 27). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Rayner, M., Armando, A., Bouillon, P., Ebling, S., Gerlach, J., Halimi, S., Strasly, I., & Tsourakis, N. (2016). Helping Domain Experts Build Phrasal Speech Translation Systems. In J. F. Quesada, F.-J. Martín Mateos, & T. Lopez-Soto (Eds.), Future and Emergent Trends in Language Technology: First International Workshop, FETLT 2015, Seville, Spain, November 19-20, 2015, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 41–52). 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
Hamilton, K. (2017, February 6). “Cave Squeaker” Frog Found For First Time In 55 Years. 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. (1983). Review of the Upward Bound Program (HRD-83-19). 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
Gonzalez, A. X. (2017). Échale Ganas: Engaging, Educating, and Empowering Latino Males at Four-Year Institutions [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
Kenigsberg, B. (2017, March 30). David Lynch: The Art Life. New York Times, C10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Webster, 2001).
This sentence cites two references (Webster, 2001; Wortmann & Paytan, 2012).

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

  • Two authors: (Wortmann & Paytan, 2012)
  • Three authors: (Roberts et al., 2009)
  • 6 or more authors: (Segarra et al., 2018)

About the journal

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

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