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ASA Format Overview

A Brief Overview of the ASA Style Guide

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ASA Format Overview

ASA Style Guide, Fourth Edition

ASA format is the official style used by the American Sociological Association and is commonly used to cite sources in sociology. The basic guidelines for ASA format are laid out in the Fourth Edition of the American Sociological Association Style Guide. ASA format may seem difficult at first, but it will become easier once you familiarize yourself with the rules and format.

Citations In Text

  • If the author’s name is in the text, follow it with the publication year in parentheses: When Chu (1977) studied…
  • Ιf the author’s name is not in the text, enclose the last name and year in parentheses: When the study was completed… (Jones 1994).
  • If the page number is to be included, it follows the year of publication after a colon, with no space between the colon and the page number: …as reported by Chavez (1966:16).
  • For three authors, give all last names in the first citation in the text. Afterwards use the first name and “et al.” For more than three names, use the first author’s last name plus “et al.” Examples as follow:
    Three authors, first in-text citation = (Smith, Garcia and Lee 1954)
    Three authors, later in-text citations = (Smith et al. 1954)
    More than three authors = (Snow et al. 1999)
  • Quotations in the text must begin and end with quotation marks. The citation follows the end-quote mark and precedes the period, as follows: “In the late 1990s, data showed that technologically oriented jobs were higher paying” (Hildenbrand 1999:47).

Footnotes And Endnotes

  • Try to avoid footnotes, but if necessary, use footnotes to cite material of limited availability or to add information presented in a table.
  • Footnotes should be numbered consecutively throughout the essay with superscript Arabic numerals and included at the bottom of the manuscript page or in a separate section headed "Endnotes."

Reference List

  • References follow the text and endnotes in a separate section headed "References."
  • All references cited in the text must be listed and vice-versa.
  • Remember: Like all other parts of the manuscript, references should be double-spaced.
  • List references in alphabetical order by authors’ last names.
  • Use hanging indention (see examples below).
  • Invert the author’s name (type the last name first). If there are two or more authors, invert only the first author’s name.
  • Arrange multiple items by the same author in order by year of publication, earliest year first.
  • Distinguish works by the same author in the same year by adding letters (e.g. 1993a, 1993b, 1993c).
  • Use italics for book and periodical titles (underline if italics are not available).
  • If no date is available use "N.d." in place of the date.
  • Include the state abbreviation only if the city of publication is not well known (i.e. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles do not need a state abbreviation). For foreign cities provide the name of the country.

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