A Guide to ASA Format and ASA Citation

ASA Format

In most cases, research papers build on past work crafted by authors and researchers. When you compose a paper and utilize the material of another author, you should cite that source. Referencing credits the writer and publisher of the first work and give vital data to readers to use similar sources. Referencing is common as a list of sources that is a list of works cited toward the end of the paper.

The ASA Style Guide features a lot of rules for the most well-known circumstances experienced by authors and editors in the ASA journal publication process. It is intended to fill in as the authoritative reference for composing, submitting, altering, and editing of manuscripts for ASA journals.

What is the ASA Citation Style?

The ASA format is a reference style that has been generally adopted by the network of authors, analysts, publishers, and understudies who contribute academic papers to the field of sociology. It is utilized by sociologists to credit others’ words, thoughts, and theories used in their composed work in an efficient and systematic way.

ASA is a parenthetical referencing style that adopts the author-date reference framework. This is an appealing format for sociologists because the absence of diverting footnotes makes it an exceptionally affordable and proficient method of citing.

It comprises of:

In-text references, which are embedded close to the source and encases both the creator’s last name and the year of publication in enclosures

A ‘References’ segment toward the end of the paper that lists the entirety of the sources cited in your work and incorporates full publication data for each.

So, an ASA in-text reference is utilized to make the reader notice where you have cited or summarized a source inside the content. The reference incorporates the name of the author, publication date of the source, and, where required, the page numbers, for instance: (Dennis, 2007). Subsequent references to a similar source are as yet recorded incidentally by author and year.

Each in-text reference should connect to a reference list passage, and its purpose is to direct your reader there. Your reference list is an ordered list of completely designed references, which will give the entirety of the data required for your reader to find the first source. The emphasis on dates is carried over to the reference list, where the publication date is the primary piece of data after the author’s name.

The format has numerous likenesses to both the APA (American Psychological Association) style and the Chicago reference style; both in appearance and capacity. Notwithstanding, there are some key contrasts so it is fundamental that you follow the ASA Style Guide. The guide was essentially planned by the American Sociological Association to help writers submitting articles to their diaries, yet it is presently utilized by those getting ready proposals, papers, and other research papers.

Who Uses ASA?

The American Sociological Association (ASA) Style Guide is utilized basically by researchers submitting articles to ASA journals. It is also used by sociology students composing research papers, theories, and theses.

This guide will help you format your papers and structure them appropriately.

Manuscript Sections

The text should be in 12-point Times or Times New Roman textual style. All content should be double-spaced except book quotes.

Structure your paper based on the following sections:

Title page: Includes full title followed by an asterisk, name(s) and institution(s) of the author(s), a total word count, running head, and a title commentary with name and address of author(s), affirmations, credits, and grant details.

Abstract: Begin on another page headed by the title. The abstract should be brief and jargon-free (under 200 words) summing up the work, followed by three to five keywords.

Body: Begin on another page headed by the title. Use headings and subheadings after the introduction.

Notes: Footnotes and endnote should be demonstrated in the content with superscript numbers. The notes can be composed at the lower part of the page (commentaries) or in a different area marked Notes or Endnote. Do just either; not both. Start each note with its superscript number.

References: List in the order in another segment named References.

Appendices: If multiple, name Appendix A, Appendix B, and so on Addendums should be named with a title.

Headings and Subheadings

Here is a description of the different types of headings

First-Level Head:

First-level headings are written in caps and left-justified. Begin utilizing headings after the introduction.

Second-Level Head:

Second-level headings are italicized, left-justified, and all words aside from prepositions and conjunctions are capitalized.

Third-level head

Third-level headings are italicized, indented, end with a period, and just the first word and any proper nouns are capitalized.

In-text citations

Incorporate the last name(s) of the author(s) and year of publication.

Incorporate page numbers for direct statements or explicit entries, and separate from the date with a colon and no space.

These components could be in the content or in an incidental reference, as so:

Doe’s investigation demonstrated that college understudies lean toward classes beginning at 10:00 am (2006).

Student input was elicited through surveys and focus groups (Doe 2006).

Focus groups indicated that “45 of the 52 understudies kept awake past 12 PM, at any rate, three evenings for each week, not for mingling, but rather to finish schoolwork tasks” (Doe 2006:83).

Examples of citations:

1 author

… (Jackson 1997).

2 authors

… (Georges and Jones 2001).

3 creators

First citation: … (Smith, Waits, and Bowie 1999).

Subsequent citation: … (Smith et al. 1999).

Multiple authors

… (Carson et al. 2013).

An author with various publications in the same year

… (Magill 1982a).

Several references

… (Conan 2009; Franco 2011; Garofalo 2003).

List the series either alphabetically or in date order consistently.

Not-yet-distributed material:

An entrepreneurial orientation study by Walter (forthcoming)…

No date accessible

… as Thomas contended (N.d.).

Personal Communication

Individual correspondence, such as messages, phone discussions, and meetings should be cited in a footnote or endnote and an in-text reference.


In-text: During the meeting, Mary talked about her encounters overseeing celebrations.

Footnote: 1 Mary Dickson, interview with the author, February 12, 2013.

What is the ASA style?

The ASA style is a citation and referencing format that uses the author and year in parentheses as the in-text citation and provides a reference list. The style is preferred by many writers in sociology.

How do I format my in-text citations?

An essential in-text reference incorporates the creator’s last name and the time of publication.

(Smith 2010)

The in-text reference shows up in the content quickly following the data that is being referred to.

This theory was tried (Smith 2010).

Smith (2010) tried this theory.

You don’t have to rehash any components that are already in your sentence.

ASA style assumes that there is consistently an author. In the event that you are utilizing a public/government archive, see the area beneath. If citing from a web source, including an online paper article, the site’s host can be utilized as a writer.

(Statistics France 2010).

(thestar.com 2008).

For a particular piece of a source, page numbers show up after the year, isolated by a colon without space.

(Smith 2010:198)

How do I format my reference list?

The reference list comes toward the end of your paper, on a different page.

The title should be References.

Set the list in sequential order by author’s last name and utilize a balancing indent to format all entries.

Authors’ first names and family names are utilized, except if the author has utilized initials in the first work. If those initials are utilized, follow each letter with a period and space.

List all authors; however, only the primary’s author name is inverted as last name, first name.

For two authors, don’t separate the first and second author by a comma; rather use “and.”

For multiple authors, separate author names with a comma and incorporate “and” before the last creator name.

The reference list should be double-spaced, except if in any case demonstrated by your author.

All in-text citations should be accounted for in your reference list.

Titles of books and periodicals should consistently be in italics; article titles should be in normal sort inside quotes.

When you reference more than one work by an author in your paper, show them all together by date, starting with their earliest work. For each subsequent reference, utilize the author’s complete name, not a progression of dashes.

ASA Formatting

  • General Information

All content should be 12-point textual style and double spaced

Margins should be at least 1 1/4 inches on all sides.

Incorporate a title page with the full title of the manuscript, the author’s names and institutions, and a total word count of the document.

In the event that an abstract is required, it should be for a different page. Abstracts should be 150-200 words. Keywords depicting the paper can be incorporated beneath the abstract.

The paper itself should start on a different page

  • References

Your references should start on a page named References.

All references should be double spaced separated and utilize a hanging indent.

All references should be in sequential order by first author’s last names.

Incorporate first names for all authors, as opposed to initials, and list all authors of a work.

For more than one work by a similar author, consistently remember the creator’s complete name for every reference.

Capitalize all words except prepositions such as of, between, through, unless these start a title.

Capitalize only the first word in hyphenated compound words, unless the second word is a proper noun or adjective

In-text Citations Examples

ASA Style Citation necessitates that credit should be given for all data whether it be a direct quote or a paraphrase. By and large, you are needed to give the following data: author’s last name, year of publications, and page number in parenthesis directly after the quote or paraphrase.


Direct Quote

He said, “Primates can gesture, yet don’t comprehend the syntactic structure of American Sign Language” (Smith 1994:345).


It has been indicated that primates don’t really comprehend the punctuation and structure of ASL (Smith 1994:345).

Direct Quote with Author’s Name in the Sentence

As per Jack Gannon (1988), “The dissent gave an awesome opportunity to those translators to help the hard of hearing network” (p. 94).


Jack Gannon (1988) explained that the DPN protest gave interpreters a chance to help Gallaudet’s deaf community (p. 94).

Direct Quote Showing, n.d.

“Specialists have been recommending another medication to treat social anxiety” (Geraldi n.d.:24).

Various Authors

When a source has two authors, you should give both last names. Within the parenthetical citations, use “and” between the authors’ names. If you utilize their names in the sentence, simply compose “and” between their names. The two strategies should be followed continuously of distribution, and toward the end of the sentence, placed in the page number.

One source with two authors

The Oxford English Dictionary was stated “explicitly for students of English as an unfamiliar or second language” (Hornby and Ruse 1976:82).

One source with two authors in the sentence

Hornby and Ruse (1976) clarify that the Oxford English Dictionary was intended to be utilized generally by new English clients (p. 82).

When a source has three authors, refer to all the authors’ last names and the year the first reference occurs. For later references to a similar source refer to just the principal author’s last name followed by et al. However, if a source has at least four creators, use et al. both in the principal reference and in every single resulting reference.

One source with three creators, first reference

“Researchers are attempting to discover a remedy for the basic cold” (Juneston, Craig, and Carter 1993:220).

One source with three creators, later reference

“There are a great many diverse infections that cause what we allude to as ‘the basic cold'” (Juneston et al. 1993:223).

One source with at least four creators, both first and later references

U.S. Senators contended that the U.S. Congress is too centered around getting reappointed and not zeroed in enough on meeting their constituents’ requirements (Harris et al. 1997:76).

If you are utilizing a few distinct attempts to delineate one point, you may think that it is important to refer to at least two works composed by various creators with various dates. In that circumstance, coordinate the data sequentially by the creators’ last names, and separate each square of data with a semicolon. Put all the names inside one bunch of enclosure. Try not to utilize an ampersand (and).

Refering to various works in a single sentence

A few investigations (Burna 1980; Geraldi 1988; Kesser and Morals 1990) show that the remedy for the regular virus is practically around the corner.

To refer to a group author (for example affiliation, association, or government organization) you should explain the complete name.

Citing source by group author

“A few people have antagonistic responses to this season’s virus shot, such as vomiting, fever, and rashes” (National Institute of Health 1999).

Quotes of 40 Words or More

Block citations are introduced in a more modest sort (10pt) and are set off in a different, indented section. Block citations ought not to be encased in quotes. The author, date, or potentially page number, in an enclosure, follows the last time frame in the square citation. The P for the page should be utilized and capitalized if it stands alone, without author and year

Reference Format

For a paper done in ASA documentation style, the reference list will show up in a different area and will be named “References.” Here on your References page, you recognize your sources by posting them in a sequential request by author’s last name. In spite of the fact that the References page shows up toward the end of your paper, you will draft this segment ahead of time, so you will have the suitable data to refer to your paper appropriately.

The overall formatting rules for your References page are as per the following:

List your sources in sequential order as indicated by the author’s last name.

If no writer is recorded, start with the main word of the article or book title (overlooking A, An, or The).

Italicize the title of books, magazines, or journals.

The statement the title of articles or whatever other works that show up inside a distribution.

Format every entry with a hanging indent. A hanging indent implies that the principal line of the section stays flush with the left edge, and the ensuing lines are indented 5 spaces to one side.

The order for every entry is as per the following: – Author. Year of Publication. “Article.” Title of Book. City Published: Publisher.