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ASA Citation & Format - A Complete Guide

ASA Citation &  Format - A Complete Guide

ASA Citation format is specifically used by sociologists in order to credit the other people’s ideas, work, and theories that have been used in the paper.

Like other citation styles, ASA Citation also varies as it depends on the original source material.

ASA (American Sociological Association) is used by authors preparing manuscripts for various publications in ASA journals.

Like other style formats, ASA format citation varies depending on the original source material included in the paper.

Below is an ASA style guide to help the students who are instructed to follow the ASA style in their research paper.

1. What is ASA Format & ASA Citation?

Students in the field of sociology need to collect and compile information from multiple sources. So they are required to add the information into their own articles or manuscripts that they want to submit.

Failing to properly cite the work not only will discredit the author but it will also affect their grade.

Depending upon the material that is referenced in an article, the citation method may differ.

Although, the fact that there are citation machines and generators available to automate the process of citation.

We do not recommend you to use these online citation machines as it can badly affect your overall academic grades.

2. Manuscript Formatting

The manuscript formatting dictates the following things:

2.1 Title Page

Add a new page that includes the manuscript's title, names of the authors and the name of the institutions, a running head with a shortened title, and a word count (it includes footnotes as well as references).

2.2 Abstract

Place an abstract on a new page, followed by the cover or title page.

No need to mention the author in the abstract.

The length of the abstract should be one paragraph long (around 200 words).

On the same page, add two to three words to help in identifying the main theme of the manuscript.

2.3 Text Formatting

It is important that all the text in the document to be Arial Font and the size should be 12-points.

The text should be double spaced or as specified by the instructor.

2.4 Margins

Margins for the paper should be 1 ¼ inch on all sides.

2.5 First Page

The manuscript's first page should begin from the title after that add a new page followed by the title or cover page and abstract.

2.6 Subheadings

It is very important to include subheadings in the paper as they are a great way to organize the whole manuscript.

Usually, three levels of headings are sufficient.

First-level head

  • Avoid using a bold font.
  • Avoid starting the manuscript with a heading.
  • The first level heads all in caps and should be left-justified.

Second-level head

  • Left justify and italicize.
  • Use title case.
  • Avoid using a bold font.

Third-level head

  • Left justify and italicize.
  • Avoid using a bold font.
  • The head's first word should be in caps

2.7 Endnotes and Footnotes

These are used in the paper to cite material that is not entirely available.

Endnotes are used frequently as compared to footnotes.

As a handy rule, use both throughout the text of the manuscript but do not mix them.

In the text, whichever is used, endnotes or footnotes, they should be numbered with Arabic numerals.

2.8 Page Numbering

All the pages should be numbered (1, 2, 3...) beginning with the title page.

2.9 Tables and Figures

Mark all tables with consecutive numbers.

Mark all figures with consecutive numbers.

Include each table and figure on a new page with a descriptive title where the manuscript ends.

3. ASA In-Text citation

ASA in text citations are inserted near the source and encloses the author name and the publication year in parenthesis.

Includes in-text citations when a paraphrase or quote is referred to in the paper from another source.

Cite the last name of the author followed by publication year.

When quoting the words of the author directly, or referring a specific speech, include the page numbers in the citation.

If the author's name is mentioned in the paper, then after the name includes the year in parenthesis.


When Jellin (1959) studied…

When the name of the author is not mentioned in the text, mention the last name of the author with a year of publication in parenthesis.


To assure the continuing viability (Gouldner 1963)...

3.1 Using Quotes

Quotations in the text are required to be placed in quotation marks.

For block quotes, there is no need to add quotation marks. Pagination to follow the publication year after a colon.

There should be no space between the color and the page number.

3.2 Multiple Authors

To join two authors, enclose their last names.


(Bailey and Martin 1965)

To join three authors, provide their last name in the first citation and first names with the subsequent citations and it should end with et al followed by the date.


For the first citation:

(Alex, Mark, and Jonas 1952)...

For the later citations:

(Alex et al. 1972)

When to add the four authors, provide the last name of the author and include et al.


(Gibson et al. 1972)

3.3 Author Name Not known

For the authorship, provide less identification required from the start to its complete reference.


(U.S. Census Bureau 1963:117)

3.4 Multiple Citations

Use semicolons to distinguish a reference series and either show them chronologically or alphabetize.


(Burgess 1962; Marwell et al. 1951)

3.5 Cite a Reprinted Work

In case the work cited is rereleased, then include the earliest date followed by the recent date and separate them by a forward slash.


(Stark and Finke 2005/1992)

3.6 Citing Unpublished Work

For research papers that are not published yet, cite the scheduled date (if there is any). If date is not mentioned then use N.d


Jonas (N.d.) elaborates on the effects of mutual understandings.

4. Reference Page Format

All the cited references should be listed.

Double-space all the references in the manuscript.

List down all the references alphabetically by keeping in mind the author's last name. Make proper use of hanging intentions.

Use 6 hyphens then a period to show in place of the name in case the authorship is repeated.

Include letters to differentiate the work by the same author (e.g. 1882a, 1882b, 1883c). After that list down the references for the author and the publication year in alphabetical order.

For books use italics.

For periodic titles use italics.

If the date is not mentioned, use “N.d.” in place of that. Add city and place name for the place of publication using the abbreviations of the US Postal Code. (Include the name of the country for foreign cities).

5. Different Reference Formats

Following are the commonly used ASA style citation formats.

5.1 Book - One Author

Invert the name of the author so that the last name appears first. The title of the book should be in caps as well as italicized.

Please remember that abbreviation is only required when you know the city name.

The word volume number will also be in caps and abbreviated. But not italicized.

Book Name is in italics.


Last, First Name of Author. Publication Year. Name of the Book. Name of City, State Abbreviation/Publisher's Country Name: Publisher's Name.

5.2 Book - Multiple Authors

If there are two or more authors invert only the first.

Do not invert the name of the author after the name of the first author. Distinguish the name of authors with commas, include the word and before the final name.

Book Name is in italics.


Last, First Name of Author and Author's First Last Name. Year. Name of the Book. Name of the City, State Abb./Publisher's Country Name: Publisher's Name.

5.3 Electronic Book

Invert the author's name.

The book's title should be in italics.


Last. First Name of Author. Year. Title of the Book. City Name, the Name of the State Abbreviation/Publisher Country: Name of Publisher. Date (URL).

5.4 Chapter In a Book

Put the title of a chapter in quotes.

Include Pp. and page numbers to specify from where the text is taken from the volume.

Title of the Book in italics.

Do not invert the name of the editors. Use their name initials instead of first and middle names.


Last, First Name of Author. Year. "Chapter Title." Pp. page numbers in Book Title, edited by First. Middle Name Initial. Last Name. City, State Abbreviation/Publisher Country: Name of Publisher.

5.5 Multi-Volume Works

Invert the author's name so the last name appears first.

Make sure that the title is in italics.


Author's Last Name, First Name. Publication Year. Series Name. Vol. Number, Volume Title. City, State Abb./Publisher Country: Name of Publisher.

5.6 Journal

Invert the author's name.

Make sure the title of journal article is in italics.

It ends with the volume and issue number.


Last Name of the Author, First Name. Year. "Title." Journal Title Volume #(issue number): page numbers.

5.7 Magazine Article

Invert the author's name.

Magazine name should be in italics.


Last, First Name of Author. Year. "Magazine Title." Name of Magazine, Month Year, pp. page numbers.

5.8 NewsPaper Article

Invert the name of the author.

NewsPaper name should be in italics and date should be in the format of Month space Day comma Year.


Last, First Name of Author. Year. "NewsPaper Title." Name of the Newspaper, Date of Publication, p. or pp. page numbers inclusive.

5.9 Internet Site

The date should be in the format of Month space Day comma Year.


Corporate Author's Last, First Name. Publication Date. "Site Title." Retrieved Date (URL).

5.10 Report Published Online

Invert the author's name.

The report title should be in italics.

The retrieved date should be in the format of Month space Day comma Year.


Last, First Name of Author. Publication Date.Report Title. Sponsoring Organization (if there is any). Sponsoring Organization Location: Name of the Publisher. Retrieved Month Day, Year (URL).

Please note that fonts, citations formatting, and punctuation are all important. Make sure the italics are in the right place and correct use of commas and periods throughout the headed references.

6. ASA Format Example

Here is a detailed sample of ASA format to help you understand the whole process even better.

pdf icon
ASA Format Sample

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