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
Oullier, O. (2013). Behavioural insights are vital to policy-making. Nature, 501(7468), 463.
A journal article with 2 authors
Wiens, D. A., & Snider, N. O. (2001). Repeating deep earthquakes: evidence for fault reactivation at great depth. Science (New York, N.Y.), 293(5534), 1463–1466.
A journal article with 3 authors
Yoshino, T., Walter, M. J., & Katsura, T. (2003). Core formation in planetesimals triggered by permeable flow. Nature, 422(6928), 154–157.
A journal article with 8 or more authors
Stutchbury, B. J. M., Tarof, S. A., Done, T., Gow, E., Kramer, P. M., Tautin, J., Fox, J. W., & Afanasyev, V. (2009). Tracking long-distance songbird migration by using geolocators. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5916), 896.

Books and book chapters

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

An authored book
Vaughan, D., Robinson, N., Lucas, N., & Arulkumaran, S. (2010). Handbook of Obstetric High Dependency Care. Wiley-Blackwell.
An edited book
Yu, E., Dobbie, G., Jarke, M., & Purao, S. (Eds.). (2014). Conceptual Modeling: 33rd International Conference, ER 2014, Atlanta, GA, USA, October 27-29, 2014. Proceedings (Vol. 8824). Springer International Publishing.
A chapter in an edited book
Schmitt, A.-D. (2016). Earth-Surface Ca Isotopic Fractionations. In A.-D. Schmitt, A. Heuser, F. Wombacher, M. Dietzel, E. Tipper, & M. Schiller (Eds.), Calcium Stable Isotope Geochemistry (pp. 145–172). 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
Davis, J. (2016, December 19). From Ziggy Stardust Snakes To Klingon Newts: Over 160 New Species Discovered In The Greater Mekong. 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. (1976). Information Reported by Federal Organizations on the Purpose, Duration, and Cost Associated With Cable Television (CED-76-149). 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
Smith, C. (2013). The affect of acculturation on obesity among foreign-born Asians residing in the United States [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
Glanz, J., & Sanger, D. E. (2017, June 4). Trump, Who Pledged to Overhaul Nuclear Arsenal, Now Faces Higher Costs. New York Times, A16.

In-text citations

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

This sentence cites one reference (Oullier, 2013).
This sentence cites two references (Oullier, 2013; Wiens & Snider, 2001).

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

  • Two authors: (Wiens & Snider, 2001)
  • Three authors: (Yoshino et al., 2003)
  • 6 or more authors: (Stutchbury 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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