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SOC 101 - Library Guide

ASA Citation Format

The American Sociological Association (ASA) and other associations have their own unique guidelines for citing references in papers and essays. The reason(s) for providing citations to existing literature/research is/are: 

1.  To explicitly identify credit, and reference the author when one takes data or material verbatim from another person’s written work; and, 

2.  To provide acknowledgment of and reference to the use of others’ work, even if the work is not quoted verbatim or paraphrased.

ASA Formatting Rules


  • Margins should be at least 1 1/4 inches on all sides, or as required by the course instructor


  • 12 font size

Double Space

  • Double-space throughout your paper, including footnotes

Title page

  • Include the full title of the article, authors' name and institution, a running head, the word count of the document (including footnotes and references), and a title footnote


  • Begins on a separate page, following the title page, with the title repeated as a heading
  • One paragraph (max. 200 words)

Key Words

  • Include three to five keywords

Reference Page: General Rules

Here are some general rules on how to format your references page: 

  • The reference list appears at the end of your paper
  • Each cited source must be on the reference list and each entry on the reference list must be cited in the text
  • Begin the reference list on a new page
  • Label the page "References"; centered at the top
  • Double-space all the text on the page
  • Indent one-half inch from the left margin all the lines after the first line (hanging indentation)
  • Invert the authors' names; give the last name first, then the first name
  • List all authors. It is not acceptable to use et al. in the References section unless the work was authored by a committee.
  • Alphabetize the entries by the last name of the author of each work. If there is more than one work by the same author, arrange them in order of publication date, from oldest to most recent.


Journal article

Author's full name, inverted so that last name appears first. Year. “Article Title in Title Caps and in Quotes.” Journal Title in Title Caps and Italicized Volume Number(Issue Number):page numbers of article.


Phillips, Lindsay. 2015. "Homelessness: Perception of Causes and Solutions." Journal of Poverty 19(1):1-19.


In the example above the title of the journal (also commonly referred to as the source) is italicized and it comes after the title of the article. 

The author is Lindsay Phillips.

The title of the article is "Homelessness: Perception of Causes and Solutions."

The title of the journal is Journal of Poverty.



Author1 (last name inverted), Author2 (including full surname, last name is not inverted), and Author3. Year of publication. Name of Publication (italicized). Publisher’s city and state, or province postal code (or name of country if a foreign publisher): Publisher’s Name.


Goffman, Alice. 2014. On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 



A general rule may be applied to citing of Web sites: If the Web site contains data or evidence essential to a point being addressed in the manuscript, it should be formally cited with the URL and date of access.


In the text of the paper cite as: (ASA 2006)


In the reference list:

American Sociological Association 2006. “Status Committees.” Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved December 12, 2006 (http://www.asanet. org/cs/root/leftnav/committees/committees).

ASA help

If you have specific questions about citing in ASA style, consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab