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
Swift, J. (2014). The point of it all. Science (New York, N.Y.), 346(6211), 882.
A journal article with 2 authors
Calka, A., & Wexler, D. (2002). Mechanical milling assisted by electrical discharge. Nature, 419(6903), 147–151.
A journal article with 3 authors
Liang, Y., Wu, D., & Fu, R. (2013). Carbon microfibers with hierarchical porous structure from electrospun fiber-like natural biopolymer. Scientific Reports, 3, 1119.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Dormitzer, P. R., Nason, E. B., Prasad, B. V. V., & Harrison, S. C. (2004). Structural rearrangements in the membrane penetration protein of a non-enveloped virus. Nature, 430(7003), 1053–1058.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Paris, J. L., & Paris, J. L. (2008). CliffsNotes® Praxis II®. Wiley Publishing, Inc.
An edited book
Hernández-Sánchez, H., & Gutiérrez-López, G. F. (Eds.). (2015). Food Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Yates, S. M. (2009). Professional Competencies: Perspectives and Challenges for the Tertiary Sector. In C. R. Velde (Ed.), International Perspectives on Competence in the Workplace: Implications for Research, Policy and Practice (pp. 87–99). Springer Netherlands.

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
O`Callaghan, J. (2015, September 4). Measuring Distances To Stars Just Got A Whole Lot Easier Thanks To This “Stellar Twin” Trick. 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. (2012). Air Passenger Screening: Transportation Security Administration Needs to Improve Complaint Processes (GAO-13-186T). 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
Lazareva, O. (2010). Constructed wetland/filter basin system as a prospective pre-treatment option for aquifer storage and recovery and a potential remedy for elevated arsenic [Doctoral dissertation]. University of South Florida.

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
Hollander, S. (2000, July 10). Powells Are Sticking Together. New York Times, D10.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Swift, 2014).
This sentence cites two references (Calka & Wexler, 2002; Swift, 2014).

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

  • Two authors: (Calka & Wexler, 2002)
  • Three authors: (Liang et al., 2013)
  • 6 or more authors: (Dormitzer et al., 2004)

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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