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
Gitler, A. D. (2011). Neuroscience. Another reason to exercise. Science (New York, N.Y.), 334(6056), 606–607.
A journal article with 2 authors
Kormendy, J., & Bender, R. (2011). Supermassive black holes do not correlate with dark matter haloes of galaxies. Nature, 469(7330), 377–380.
A journal article with 3 authors
Frank, F., Sonenberg, N., & Nagar, B. (2010). Structural basis for 5’-nucleotide base-specific recognition of guide RNA by human AGO2. Nature, 465(7299), 818–822.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
William, J., Euler, C., Christensen, S., & Shlomchik, M. J. (2002). Evolution of autoantibody responses via somatic hypermutation outside of germinal centers. Science (New York, N.Y.), 297(5589), 2066–2070.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Walker, M. (2013). Happy-People-Pills For All. Wiley Blackwell.
An edited book
Biswas, J., Kobayashi, H., Wong, L., Abdulrazak, B., & Mokhtari, M. (Eds.). (2013). Inclusive Society: Health and Wellbeing in the Community, and Care at Home: 11th International Conference on Smart Homes and Health Telematics, ICOST 2013, Singapore, June 19-21, 2013. Proceedings (Vol. 7910). Springer.
A chapter in an edited book
De Padova, M. P., & Tosti, A. (2012). Pyruvic Acid. In A. Tosti, P. E. Grimes, & M. P. De Padova (Eds.), Color Atlas of Chemical Peels (pp. 25–32). 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. (2015, August 11). What Does Australia’s New 2030 Climate Target Mean For The Local Coal Industry? 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. (1994). [Comments on EPA Authority to Exempt Clean-Fuel Vehicles from Transportation Control Measures] (B-255548). 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
Garcia-Manglano, J. (2013). Working for pay or raising a family? Three papers on women’s work expectations and market outcomes [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Maryland, College Park.

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
Poniewozik, J. (2017, January 25). Sex, Drugs and Archie. New York Times, C2.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Gitler, 2011).
This sentence cites two references (Gitler, 2011; Kormendy & Bender, 2011).

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

  • Two authors: (Kormendy & Bender, 2011)
  • Three authors: (Frank et al., 2010)
  • 6 or more authors: (William et al., 2002)

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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