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
Dalton, R. (2002). Palaeoanthropology: face to face with our past. Nature, 420(6917), 735–736.
A journal article with 2 authors
Macdonald, T. T., & Monteleone, G. (2005). Immunity, inflammation, and allergy in the gut. Science (New York, N.Y.), 307(5717), 1920–1925.
A journal article with 3 authors
Martincorena, I., Seshasayee, A. S. N., & Luscombe, N. M. (2012). Evidence of non-random mutation rates suggests an evolutionary risk management strategy. Nature, 485(7396), 95–98.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Yu, S. R., Burkhardt, M., Nowak, M., Ries, J., Petrásek, Z., Scholpp, S., … Brand, M. (2009). Fgf8 morphogen gradient forms by a source-sink mechanism with freely diffusing molecules. Nature, 461(7263), 533–536.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Zhang, B., & Wang, X. (2014). Chaos Analysis and Chaotic EMI Suppression of DC-DC Converters. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd.
An edited book
Palesi, M., & Daneshtalab, M. (Eds.). (2014). Routing Algorithms in Networks-on-Chip. New York, NY: Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
Mahmoudi, S., Kacem, N., & Bouhaddi, N. (2014). Nonlinear Dynamics of a Hybrid Piezo-Electromagnetic Vibrating Energy Harvester. In A. Wicks (Ed.), Structural Health Monitoring, Volume 5: Proceedings of the 32nd IMAC, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics, 2014 (pp. 41–47). Cham: 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
Andrews, R. (2016, November 17). Beijing Confirms That Climate Change Is Not A Chinese Hoax After All. Retrieved October 30, 2018, from


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. (1982). Examination of the Social Security Administration’s Systems Modernization Plan (No. HRD-82-83). Washington, DC: 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
Todman, J. V. (2016). Applicability of health care leadership competence and leadership behaviors for women’s achieving health care executive status (Doctoral dissertation). Capella University, Minneapolis, MN.

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
David Goodman, J. (2015, March 12). Focus in Subway Shooting Is on Whether Deadly Force Was Justified. New York Times, p. A23.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Dalton, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Dalton, 2002; Macdonald & Monteleone, 2005).

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

  • Two authors: (Macdonald & Monteleone, 2005)
  • Three authors: (Martincorena, Seshasayee, & Luscombe, 2012)
  • 6 or more authors: (Yu et al., 2009)

About the journal

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

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