This resource covers American Sociological Association (ASA) style and includes information about manuscript formatting, in-text citations, formatting the references page, and accepted manuscript writing style. The bibliographical format described here is taken from the American Sociological Association (ASA) Style Guide, 5th edition.
Contributors:Joshua M. Paiz, Deborah L. Coe, Dana Lynn Driscoll
Last Edited: 2017-08-01 03:19:09
Include a separate title page with the full title of the manuscript, authors' names and institutions (listed vertically if there are more than one), and a complete word count of the document (which includes footnotes and references).
A title footnote should include the address of the corresponding author (that is – the author who receives correspondence regarding the article), grants/funding, and additional credits and acknowledgements (for papers for sociology classes, this is often not needed).
If an abstract is needed, it should be on a separate page, immediately after the title page, with the title of the document as the heading.
Do not include author.
The abstract should be one paragraph, 150-200 words in length.
On the same page as the abstract, include a list of three to five words that help to identify main themes in the manuscript.
All text within the document should be in a 12-point font and double spaced (including footnotes), or as specified by journal or course instructor.
Margins should be at least 1 1/4 inches on all sides, or as specified by journal or course instructor.
The first page of the text should start with the title and be on a new page of text (after the title page and abstract).
Use subheadings to organize the body of the manuscript. Usually, three different levels of headings should be sufficient.
THIS IS A FIRST-LEVEL HEAD
- Place first-level heads in all caps and left-justify.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Don't begin the manuscript with a heading, such as Introduction.
This is a Second-Level Head
- Italicize and left-justify second-level heads.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Use title case.
This is a third-level head
- Italicize and left-justify third-level heads.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Capitalize only the first word of the head.
Footnotes and Endnotes
Footnotes and endnotes are used to cite materials of limited availability, expand upon the text, or to add information presented in a table.
Endnotes are used more frequently than footnotes, but both should be used sparingly. As a general rule, use one or the other throughout the manuscript but do not mix them. (The exception to this rule is to use a footnote on the Title page and for tables, but use endnotes throughout the rest of the document for manuscripts being submitted to a sociology journal.)
In the text, footnotes or endnotes, whichever are used, should be numbered consecutively throughout the essay with superscript Arabic numerals.
Footnotes are placed at the bottom of the page on which the material being referenced appears. If using endnotes, at the end of the paper in a separate section following the references, type the endnotes in numerical order, double-spaced, as a separate section with the title Notes or Endnotes.
Begin each note with the same superscripted number used in the text.
8 See the new ASA Style Guide for more information.
Pages should be numbered consecutively (1, 2, 3...) starting with the title page and including the references page(s), or as specified by journal or course instructor.
Tables and Figures
Number tables consecutively (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3).
Number figures consecutively (Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3).
Each table or figure should be placed on a separate page at the end of the manuscript, and should have a descriptive title that explains enough that the reader can understand it without having to refer to the text of the article.
In tables, give full headings for every column and row, avoiding the use of abbreviations whenever possible. Spell out the word percent in headings.
For more information, please consult the ASA Style Guide, Fifth Edition.
The field of sociology, is where you would most commonly find an ASA style paper or manuscript. ASA itself means ‘American Sociological Association,’ and its style bears a close resemblance to the widely used APA style. The biggest similarity is that both styles use parenthetical references. These appear at the end of the paper in the “References” section. MLA style papers need that section to be called “Works Cited” and formatted in a different way. Another noticeable trademark of the ASA citation format is its emphasis on the date. It always follows the author’s name. Read on for a definitive guide to ASA citations crafted by our essay writers.
Table Of Contents
General ASA Citation Format
There are a few general formatting requirements that need to be applied when using ASA citation. Stick to the following format, unless instructed otherwise:
- Make sure all written text (including footnotes, etc.) is in font size 12 and double-spaced.
- Place margins at 1 ¼ inches on each side.
- The first page (that follows the title page and abstract) begins with the paper’s title.
- Pages, tables, figures, footnotes, and endnotes are numbered sequentially (1,2,3…) or (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3…)
A title page is what one sees when picking up any paper. ASA format title pages usually contain the following information:
- Full title of the work
- Names and institutions of the writers
- A total word count
- Address of the author, or one who receives communication regarding the work
- Credits or acknowledgments of all contributors or sponsors
The abstract appears on a separate page between the title page and the beginning of the essay. It usually contains about 150-200 words. If an abstract page is included, it often lists several keywords that help identify the essay’s main points of study.
An ASA style paper uses subheadings to organize body paragraphs. They do not serve as ‘sections’ of the document. Using Introduction in a subheading wouldn’t be a great choice. Subheadings are always left-aligned and never written in bold letters. Note that the editing style of the following subheadings correspond with the way they should appear in the text:
- Letters in caps signify the first-level subheading
Here’s a Second-Level Subheading
- Title case (the first letter of each word is capitalized except for articles and prepositions)
- Only first word is capitalized
Footnotes appear on the same page as the material being underlined or expanded upon. Endnotes are listed at the end of the paper after the ‘References’ section. Both are numbered for the ASA style citation. There must always be some harmony in how they are utilized. For example, if you use footnotes to define difficult vocabulary in the text, do not do the same thing in endnotes. Avoid mixing them up to give the paper stronger continuity.
How And When To Use In-Text Citations
The ASA citation style is similar to APA when it comes to in-text citations. These are used when presenting information from any source. The general rule for the ASA in-text citation is to state the last name of the author and the initial publishing date of the referenced material. Here are some in-text citation examples:
If the author's name is in the sentence, simply include the year:
- When Vasari (1550) studied the renaissance painters…
If not - put the author’s last name inside the parentheses:
- When the renaissance painters were studied (Vasari 1550)...
When citing reprinted work with several publish dates, list the first date and then the most recent one, separated with a slash.
- (Reed and Christgau 1978/2013)
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Short quotations are cited in quotation marks and include the page number after a colon. There is no space between the year number and the page number.
- In his studies, Newton (1704:21) discovered that…
Quotations of more than 40 words (block quotations) remain separate from the main text and made single-spaced. Such quotes do not require quotation marks.
ASA Citation for Multiple Authors
Below are a few examples of using the ASA in-text citation for multiple authors. For two, write both their surnames.
- (Bockris and Malanga 2003)
For three or more, include all last names in the first citation. In later citations, include the first name and ‘et al.’.
(Breton, Magritte, and Dali 1961) - first citation
(Breton et al. 1961) - later citations
If the work does not provide the writer’s name, give enough information to find the work in the reference list.
- (U.S. Department of Justice 1977:82)
For multiple citations, separate the references with a semicolon and place them sequentially.
(Rutt, 1950; Smith 1952)
(Kenway et al. 1934; Stewart 1981)
ASA Format Reference Page
All references are double-spaced and use a hanging indent. Title case is used in all references. Capitalize everything except for prepositions, articles, and conjunctions.
References are listed in alphabetical order based on the authors’ last names.
First and middle names are included for all authors unless they used initials in the publication.
If the author repeats, still include their full name on all the references. Arrange the work in chronological order from oldest to newest.
The ASA reference page looks similar to APA with a few deviations. Here is how to cite the most common types of references:
How to Cite Books: Author [Last, First]. Year of Publication. Title. Country of Publisher: Publisher.
How to Cite E-Books:
How to Cite a Journal Article:
How to Cite a Magazine Article:
How to Cite a Web Page ASA Style:
ASA Writing Style
There are a few simple rules when it comes to the ASA writing style.
- This type of work avoids using the first person unless instructed otherwise.
- Since the paper will be heavily referenced, it is best to avoid giving opinions unless the essay is argumentative.
- The writing must be straightforward and written in active voice. Jargon, common expressions, slang, and superlatives are always best avoided.
- Words like percent and verses are always spelled and not abbreviated unless they appear as data in tables or graphs.
- Gendered terms are only used if they are crucial in specific analysis. Otherwise, avoid phrases like man, mankind, and use nongendered terms such as person, people instead.
- Racial and ethnic stereotyping are another thing to be cautious about. Be specific when describing a race or ethnicity. Use Japanese instead of Asian; Mexican instead of Latino.
- If the text requires acronym usage, provide the full name with the acronym in parentheses. After this, you can stick to the acronym:
- (first time) Based on a report conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)...
- (later in text) The CIA report concludes…
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ASA citation style is a very handy guide for sociology papers. However, sometimes many people confuse the ASA with the APA, as psychology could be a branch of sociology. Make sure you know which one your instructor prefers for you to use before you embark on your writing process. The ASA format, much like APA and MLA, has in-text citations. It also has a References section at the end of the paper where all of the sources are listed. As the article states, each in-text citation should be linked to an entry in the references page. Don’t let the similarities between ASA and APA catch you off guard! For example in the ASA format, an abstract is not mandatory, so if your instructor doesn’t explicitly state that you need it, clarify it with them or don’t include it, as it will be extra. In the ASA format style, you can also utilize footnotes and endnotes like in the Chicago style.
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