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Sociological Research Methods 4155/4755 - Dr. Stearns

ASA format

ASA Format


The American Sociological Association Style is intended for use by authors preparing manuscripts for publication in ASA journals. This handout is intended for students who are instructed to use ASA style when writing research papers. Consult the American Sociological Association Style Guide for more detailed information (Information Desk HM586 .A54 1997).


Manuscript Format

· All text (including footnotes and references) must be doubled spaced and in a 12 point type.


· Margins must be at least 1¼ inches on all four sides.


· A separate title page including title of paper, name(s) and institution(s) of authors, word count for the manuscript (including footnotes and references), title footnote (includes names, addresses of authors, acknowledgements, credits, and grants).


· If required, on a separate page provide a short (150-200 word) abstract headed with the title.


· Begin the text of the paper on a separate page headed with the title of the paper.


Citations in Text

· If author’s name is in the text, follow it with the publication year in parentheses:

When Chu (1977) studied…


· If 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, reported data shows that technologically oriented jobs paid better”

(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 author’s last names.

· Use hanging indention (see examples below).

· Invert the author’s name (type it 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.

· Use six hyphens and a period (------.) in place of the name(s) for repeated authorship.

· 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 both city and state for place of publication (except for New York) using U.S. Postal Code abbreviations. For foreign cities provide the name of the country.


Examples of Citations


The basic form for a book entry includes…

1. Author’s last name, followed by a comma and author’s first name and middle initial, ending with a period.

2. Year of publication followed by a period.

3. Title of book italicized ending with a period. Follow with edition number if 2nd ed. or later.

4. City and state of publication, followed by a colon and name of publisher, ending with a period.


Book with One Author

Bergesen, Albert. 2006. The Depth of Shallow Culture: The High Art of Shoes, Movies, Novels, Monsters, and Toys. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.

Book with Two Authors

Mouer, Ross and Hirosuke Kawanishi. 2005. A Sociology of Work in Japan. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in Book

Holley, P.D. and D.E. Wright, Jr. 2006. "A Sociology of Rib Joints." Pp. 46-53 in McDonaldization: The Reader, edited by George Ritzer. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Book with No Author (List books alphabetically by the first significant word in the title.)

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 2005. 11th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Journal Articles

The basic form for a journal article includes…

1. Author’s last name, followed by a comma and the first name and middle initial ending with a period.

 2. Year of publication followed by a period.

3. Title of article in “quotations,” ending with a period inside the closing quotation mark.

4. Title of journal in italics, no period following.

5. Volume number followed by issue number in parentheses, followed by a colon, page number(s) and period.

6. For articles retrieved from a commercial database, in parentheses identify the database source and date of retrieval: (Retrieved from [name of database] on [date of retrieval].)

Print Journal Article with One Author

Garcia, Alma M. 1998. "An Intellectual Odyssey: Chicana/Chicano Studies Moving Into the Twenty-first Century." Journal of American Ethnic History 18(1):109.


Print Journal Article with Two or More Authors

Exum, William H., Robert J. Menges, Bari Watkins, and Patricia Berglund. 1984. "Making It at the Top: Women and Minority Faculty in the Academic Labor Market." American Behavioral Scientist 27(3):301-324.


Journal Article from a Commercial Database

Brunson, Rod K. and Jody Miller. 2006. “Gender, Race, and Urban Policing: The Experience of African American Youths.” Gender and Society 20(4):531-552. (Retrieved from Sage Journals Online on May 18, 2009.)


Newspaper and Magazine Articles

The basic form for a newspaper or magazine entry includes…

1.      Author’s last name, followed by a comma and the first name and middle initial, ending with a period.

2.      Year of publication followed by a period. 

3.      Title of article in “quotations,” ending with a period inside the closing quotation mark.

4.       Name of newspaper/magazine in italics, followed by a comma.

5.      Month and date of publication followed by a comma.

6.. Page number of article within the publication, designated by “pp.” and ending with a period.

7. For articles retrieved from an online database, in parentheses identify the database source and date of retrieval: (Retrieved from [name of database] on [date of retrieval].)


Print Magazine Article

Jana, Reena. 2000. "Preventing Culture Clashes - As the IT Workforce Grows More Diverse, Managers Must Improve Awareness Without Creating Inconsistency." InfoWorld, April 24, pp. 95.


Newspaper Article from a Commercial Database

Harris, Gardiner. 2007. "Teenage Birth Rate Rises For First Time Since '91." New York Times, December 6, pp. 26. (Retrieved from Lexis/Nexis Academic on January 12, 2008.)

Electronic Resources

 Journal Article from a Commercial Database

Sweeten, Gary, Shawn D. Bushway, and Raymond Paternoster. 2009. “Does Dropping Out of School Mean Dropping Into Delinquency?” Criminology 47(1):47-91. (Retrieved from Wiley Interscience on April 23, 2009.)


Information Posted on a Web Site

Spalter-Roth, Roberta and William Erskine. 2007. “Race and Ethnicity in the Sociology Pipeline.” Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved January 9, 2008 (


Web-Based Journal Article

Smith, Herman W. and Takako Nomi. 2000. "Is Amae the Key to Understanding Japanese Culture?" Electronic Journal of Sociology 5:1. Retrieved May 5, 2000 (


Web Version of Newspaper

Blank, Rebecca M. 2008. “How We Measure Poverty.” Los Angeles Times, September 15. Retrieved January 7, 2009 (,0,7811609.story).



Government Documents

U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2004. Crime in the United States, 2003: Uniform Crime Reports. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. (Also available at


Dissertations and Theses

Valencia, Albert. 1995. "An Examination of Selected Characteristics of Mexican-American Battered Women and Implications for Service Providers." Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Education, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA.