ASA Quick Guide

ASA Style Format

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One of the most important parts of writing a research paper is the documenting of the resources used. Accurate documentation is necessary to avoid any question of plagiarism. The vehicles for providing this documentation are the use of in-text citations, at the point in the paper where the information is presented, and the creation of a references page at the end of the paper, listing all of the resources used in the paper. This guide includes samples of reference entries and text citations from the American Sociological Association Style Guide, Fifth Edition (2014).

Cite sources parenthetically throughout the paper; include the author’s last name, year of publication, and page number, if quoting the source directly. A reference list appears at the end of the paper in a separate section headed References. All references cited in the text must be listed in this section. Use these guidelines for the correct formatting of your reference list:

  • Alphabetize all references according to the author’s last name.  If there is more than one author, use the last name of the author that is listed first.
  • References should be double spaced.
  • The first line of each reference should begin flush with the margin; every subsequent line should begin with an indentation.
  • Capitalize all words of a title, except for prepositions (e.g. on, in, under), articles (e.g. the, a, an), and conjunctions (e.g. and, or) that do not begin the title or subtitle.

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Examples:

Print Sources

Electronic Resources


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PRINT SOURCES

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BOOKS

One Author:

Invert the name of the first author so that the last name appears first. If there is more than one author, only the first author’s name is inverted. Connect names with commas; the final name is preceded by “and.” The title of the book is italicized and follows title case capitalization (see above). End with the place of publication and the name of publisher.

Sachs, Jeffrey. 2005. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. New York: Penguin Press.

Citation in text: (Sachs 2005:28)


More Than One Author:

Edin, Kathryn, and Maria Kefalas. 2005. (1993). Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood before Marriage. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Citation in text: (Edin and Kefalas 2005:115)


Chapters in Books or Other Collected Works:

Use the same format as above, but also include the title of the chapter or article in quotations, the page numbers, and the names of editors, not inverted and with initials instead of first or middle names.

Montez, Jennifer K., and Mark D. Howard. 2011. “Early Life Conditions and Later Life Mortality.” Pp. 187-206 in International Handbook of Adult Mortality, edited by R. G. Rogers and E. Crimmins. New York: Springer Publishers.

Citation in text: (Montez and Howard 2011:195)


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JOURNAL ARTICLES

Invert the name of the first author so that the last name appears first. If there is more than one author, only the first author’s name is inverted. Connect names with commas; the final name is preceded by “and.” The title of the article is in quotations; the name of the publication is italicized; both of these titles follow title case capitalization. The volume of the journal is listed, followed by the issue number in parentheses. End with the page numbers of the article.

Journal Articles:

Persell, Caroline Hodges, Kathryn M. Pfeiffer, and Ali Syed. 2008. “How Sociological Leaders Teach: Some Key Principles.” Teaching Sociology 36(2): 108-24.

Citation in text:
First citation for a work with three or more authors includes all names
(Persell, Pfeiffer, and Syed 2008:113)

Subsequent citations use first author’s last name plus “et al.”
(Persell et al. 2008:117)


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NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE ARTICLES

Newspaper Articles:

Yardley, Jim. 2015. “A Humble Pope, Challenging the World.”New York Times, Sep 19, pp. A1.

Citation in text: (Yardley 2015:A1)


Magazine Articles:

Heitin, Liana. 2015. “Long-Term Gains Seen for Kids Who Move Out of Poverty.” Education Week, May 20, pp. 7.

Citation in text: (Heitin 2015:7)


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ELECTRONIC SOURCES

For articles that are available online and in print, follow the same pattern as print citations. If you are unsure if an online item is also in print, look for things like volume and page numbers, which indicate their print information. Articles without this information are likely to be online-only.

Online-only resources generally follow the same pattern as print articles, except page numbers are omitted, while date of access and Internet location are added. The Internet location may be a URL or a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). A DOI is a stable Internet location that typically looks like: doi:10.1177/0092055X0803600202. Use a DOI whenever it is available; otherwise, use a URL.


Online-Only Journal Articles without a DOI:

Schafer, Daniel W., and Fred L. Ramsey. 2003. “Teaching the Craft of Data Analysis.” Journal of Statistical Education 11(1). Retrieved October 8, 2015 (http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v11n1/schafer.html).

Citation in text: (Schafer and Ramsey 2003)


Online-Only Journal Articles with a DOI:

Persell, Caroline Hodges, Kathryn M. Pfeiffer, and Ali Syed. 2008. “How Sociological Leaders Teach: Some Key Principles.” Teaching Sociology 36(2): 108-24. doi:10.1177/0092055X0803600202.

Citation in text:
First citation for a work with three or more authors includes all names
(Persell, Pfeiffer, and Syed 2008:113)

Subsequent citations use first author’s last name plus “et al.”
(Persell et al. 2008:117)


Online Newspaper and Magazine Articles:

Sampson, Robert J. 2006. “Open Doors Don’t Invite Criminals.” New York Times, March 11. Retrieved July 21, 2010 (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/11/opinion/11sampson.html).

Citation in text: (Sampson 2006)


Website or Blog with a Known Author:

Carrigan, Mark. 2014. “Qualitative Self-tracking and the Qualified Self.” The Sociological Imagination Blog. Retrieved July 31, 2014 (http://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/15674).

Citation in text: (Carrigan 2014)


Website with No Author Given:

In general, website references when the author is unknown are done this way:

Website Title. Year. “Title of specific webpage.” Retrieved Date (URL). For example:

American Anthropological Association. 2006. “Race.” Retrieved July 10, 2010 (http://www.aaanet.org/_cs_upload/resources/14737_1.pdf).

Citation in text: (American Anthropological Association, 2006)


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