How to format your references using the Journal of Second Language Writing citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Journal of Second Language 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
Koenig, R. (2000). ACADEMIC FREEDOM: Political Scientist Becomes Cause Celebre. Science (New York, N.Y.), 289(5481), 846b–847b.
A journal article with 2 authors
Younesi, E., & Hofmann-Apitius, M. (2013). Biomarker-guided translation of brain imaging into disease pathway models. Scientific Reports, 3, 3375.
A journal article with 3 authors
Bala, A. D. S., Spitzer, M. W., & Takahashi, T. T. (2003). Prediction of auditory spatial acuity from neural images on the owl’s auditory space map. Nature, 424(6950), 771–774.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Vanacore, R., Ham, A.-J. L., Voehler, M., Sanders, C. R., Conrads, T. P., Veenstra, T. D., … Hudson, B. G. (2009). A sulfilimine bond identified in collagen IV. Science (New York, N.Y.), 325(5945), 1230–1234.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
McLean, D. (2012). Understanding Aerodynamics. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
An edited book
Yang, F., & Li, J. C. M. (Eds.). (2008). Micro and Nano Mechanical Testing of Materials and Devices. Boston, MA: Springer US.
A chapter in an edited book
Villaseñor-Navarro, Y., Aguilar-Cortazar, L. O., Perez-Zuñiga, I., Cruz-Morales, R. A., Pavon-Hernandez, C. M., Perez-Badillo, M. P., & Ignacio Garcia-Gomez, J. (2013). Imaging in Inflammatory Carcinoma. In J. G. de la Garza-Salazar, A. Meneses-Garcia, & C. Arce-Salinas (Eds.), Inflammatory Breast Cancer (pp. 61–72). London: 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 Journal of Second Language Writing.

Blog post
Andrew, E. (2014, February 10). Shortlist Finalists Have Been Announced for Sony World Photography Awards. 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. (1999). Year 2000 Computing Challenge: FBI Needs to Complete Business Continuity Plans (No. AIMD-00-11). 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
Kazadi, M. M. (2013). Use of Data Fusion and SPC in Vibrations Detection (Doctoral dissertation). Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL.

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
Greenhouse, L. (2006, November 14). Justices Uphold a Death Sentence Twice Overturned. New York Times, p. A25.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Koenig, 2000).
This sentence cites two references (Koenig, 2000; Younesi & Hofmann-Apitius, 2013).

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

  • Two authors: (Younesi & Hofmann-Apitius, 2013)
  • Three authors: (Bala, Spitzer, & Takahashi, 2003)
  • 6 or more authors: (Vanacore et al., 2009)

About the journal

Full journal titleJournal of Second Language Writing
AbbreviationJ. Second Lang. Writ.
ISSN (print)1060-3743
ScopeLanguage and Linguistics
Linguistics and Language

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