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
Hirsch, J. E. (2002). Superconductivity. The true colors of cuprates. Science (New York, N.Y.), 295(5563), 2226–2227.
A journal article with 2 authors
Brovkin, V., & Claussen, M. (2008). Comment on “Climate-driven ecosystem succession in the Sahara: the past 6000 years.” Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5906), 1326; author reply 1326.
A journal article with 3 authors
Wang, L. J., Kuzmich, A., & Dogariu, A. (2000). Gain-assisted superluminal light propagation. Nature, 406(6793), 277–279.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Tanaka, J.-I., Horiike, Y., Matsuzaki, M., Miyazaki, T., Ellis-Davies, G. C. R., & Kasai, H. (2008). Protein synthesis and neurotrophin-dependent structural plasticity of single dendritic spines. Science (New York, N.Y.), 319(5870), 1683–1687.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Lakshminarayana, B. (2007). Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer of Turbomachinery. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An edited book
Koundouri, P., & Papandreou, N. A. (Eds.). (2014). Water Resources Management Sustaining Socio-Economic Welfare: The Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive in Asopos River Basin in Greece (Vol. 7). Springer Netherlands.
A chapter in an edited book
Prassas, E. S., & Roess, R. P. (2013). The Costs of Transportation for Alternative Economic Analysis. In R. P. Roess (Ed.), Engineering Economics and Finance for Transportation Infrastructure (pp. 73–111). 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, April 23). New Antiviral Shows Potential Against Ebola. 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. (1978). Establishment of a Central Focal Point for Telecommunications Matters (B-131935). 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
Mai, J. (2017). College Application Behaviors: Factors Impacting the College Choices of High School Seniors [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
Crow, K. (2003, January 19). ... and Making a Precinct True Blue for the Viewers. New York Times, 146.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Hirsch, 2002).
This sentence cites two references (Brovkin & Claussen, 2008; Hirsch, 2002).

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

  • Two authors: (Brovkin & Claussen, 2008)
  • Three authors: (Wang et al., 2000)
  • 6 or more authors: (Tanaka et al., 2008)

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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