Skip to main content

ASA Style Guide

Live Help

Chat loading...

Related Guides

Home

The Basics

About ASA Basics

This section provides bsic information and examples about citing references in the text and the bibliography of a research paper.

In-Text Citation

General Guidelines for ASA Style

American Sociological Association (ASA) style is generally used for papers in sociology. 

ASA requires in-text citations and a list of references at the end of the paper. 

Each in-text citation must provide the information necessary to identify the source in the list of references, and each reference must provide the information necessary to locate exactly that source.

Writing Centre

The Writing Centre can help you by providing feedback on your writing and instruction for improving your communication skills. 

Check out The Writing Centre Blog, too!

In-Text Citation

Cite your sources directly in the text of your paper, giving only the last name of the author and the date of publication.
Smith (2005) suggests that...
 
If the author's name does not occur in the text, put it in the parentheses with the date:
One study (Smith 2005) suggests that...
 
If page numbers are necessary, put them after the date, separated by a colon:
(Smith 2005:53-59)

If a work has two authors, give both names:
(Smith and Jones 2009)

If a work has three authors, give all three names in the first citation, but in subsequent citations use the name of the first author followed by et. al:
(Smith, Jones, and Levy 2011) . . . (Smith et. al. 2011)

If a work has more than three authors, use "et. al." from the very first citation. So for a work by Levy, Rogers, Klein and Ramsbottom, all citations, including the first one, should read:
(Levy et. al. 2011)

If a work is a reprint of previous publication, put the earliest publication date in brackets before the most recent one:
(Jones [1957] 2010) or Jones ([1957] 2010) claims that...

If multiple citations occur together, separate them with semi-colons:
(Smith 2005; Smith, Jones and Levy 2009; Levy et. al 2011)

If a work is unpublished but scheduled for publication, use “forthcoming” in place of the date:
(Smith forthcoming)

If no date is available, use the abbreviation “N.d.” for “no date”:
(Smith N.d.)

IIf there is no author given, use the name of the organization or “corporate author” that is responsible for the publication:
(American Sociological Association 2010)

Organization of References

General Guidelines for ASA Style

American Sociological Association (ASA) style is generally used for papers in sociology. 

ASA requires in-text citations and a list of references at the end of the paper. 

Each in-text citation must provide the information necessary to identify the source in the list of references, and each reference must provide the information necessary to locate exactly that source.

Writing Centre

The Writing Centre can help you by providing feedback on your writing and instruction for improving your communication skills. 

Check out The Writing Centre Blog, too!

Organization of References

References are arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the author or editor:

Archer, Robin. 2007. Why is there no Labor Party in the United States? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Beamish, Rob. 2010. The Promise of Sociology: the Classical Tradition and Contemporary Sociological Thinking. Toronto: University of Toronto Press
Calhoun, Craig, ed. 2007. Sociology in America: A History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

If there is more than one author of editor, alphabetize using the fist one given:

Manzi, Tony, Karen Lucas, Tony Lloyd Jones, and Judith Allen, eds. 2010. Social Sustainability in Urban Areas: Communities, Connectivity and the Urban Fabric. London; Washington, DC: Earthscan.

Multiple reference by an author or editor are listed in chronological order with the earliest first:

Kivisto, Peter, ed. 2001. Illuminating Social Life: Classical and Contemporary Theory Revisited. 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
Kivisto, Peter. 2011. Key Ideas in Sociology. 3rd ed. Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press.

Reference published in the same year by the same author are listed alphabetically by title and distinguished by letters placed after the year (which should also be used in the corresponding in-text citations):

Garlick, Steve .2010a. “Taking Control of Sex? Hegemonic Masculinity, Technology, and Internet Pornography.” Men and Masculinities 12(5):597-614.
Garlick, Steve. 2010b. “Uncanny Sex: Cloning, Photographic Vision, and the Reproduction of Nature.” Social Semiotics 20(2):139-54.

Formatting of References

General Guidelines for ASA Style

American Sociological Association (ASA) style is generally used for papers in sociology. 

ASA requires in-text citations and a list of references at the end of the paper. 

Each in-text citation must provide the information necessary to identify the source in the list of references, and each reference must provide the information necessary to locate exactly that source.

Writing Centre

The Writing Centre can help you by providing feedback on your writing and instruction for improving your communication skills. 

Check out The Writing Centre Blog, too!

Format of References

1. Double-space references.
Tip: To double space a reference in Word, select it and press Ctrl + 2.

2. Format each reference with a hanging indent.
Tip: To formatte a reference with a hanging indent in Word, select it and press Ctrl +T.

3. Give the name of the first author in inverted order, with the last name first:
Smith, Jean…

Give the names of subsequent authors in normal order:
Smith, Jean and Rosa Litten…
 
Seperate the names of authors with commas, except for the last two, which should be seperated with "and":
Smith, Jean, Rosa Litten and George Sills…

4. Give the date immediatly after the author's name:

Smith, Jean. 2000…


5. Italicize titles of books and journals and place titles of chapters (in books) and articles (in journals) in quotation marks:

…"Title of Chapter.” Pp. 50-60 in Title of Book

Title of Article.” Title of Journal 5(10):100-200…

6. Put page numbers of book chapters after the title of the chapter and before the title of the book:

… “Chapter Title.” Pp 50-60 in Title of Book

Put page numbers of articles after the issue numbers of the journal:

 …Title of Journal. 5(10): 10-30.


7. For books, give the place of publication and the name of the publisher at the end of the citation. Abbreviations for states and provinces are not necessary if the city is well known or if the state or province is obvious from the name of the publisher.

…Boston: Beacon Press.

…Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.


8. If book is alphabetized according to an editor, “ed” follows the name. However, if a chapter in a book is alphabetized the author of the chapter, "editeded by"' is spelled out and comes before the editor's name:

Kivisto, Peter, ed. 2001. Illuminating Social Life: Classical and Contemporary Theory Revisited. 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
Lorber, Judith and Patricia Yancey Martin. 2001. “The Socially Constructed Body: Insights from Feminist Theory.” Pp. 259-282 in Illuminating Social Life: Classical and Contemporary Theory Revisited, edited by Peter Kivisto. 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Books

This Section Covers

Basic Book

Book with Editor

Book with Translator

Book with More Than One Author or Editor

Chapter or Article in Edited Book

Article in Reference Book

Book Accessed Online

Edition other than 1st

Government Publication

Basic Book

Basic Book - General Format

[Last Name of Author], [First Name of Author]. Year. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Examples

Beamish, Rob. 2010. The Promise of Sociology: the Classical Tradition and Contemporary Sociological Thinking. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Buttel, Frederick H., Olaf F. Larson and Gilbert W. Gillespie, Jr. 1990 The Sociology of Agriculture. New York: Greenwood Press.
Hagan, John and Wenona Rymond-Richmond. 2009. Darfur and the Crime of Genocide. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Edited Book

Edited Book - General Format

[Last Name of Editor], [First Name of Editor], ed. Year. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Examples

Hiller, Harry, ed. 2005 Urban Canada: Sociological Perspectives. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press.
Pavlich, George C. and Myra J. Hird, eds. 2007 Questioning Sociology: a Canadian Perspective. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press.
Matzi, Tony, Karen Lucas, Tony L. Jones, and Judith Allen, eds. 2010. Social Sustainability in Urban Areas: Communities, Connectivity and the Urban Fabric. London; Washington, DC: Earthscan.

Book with Translator

Book with Translator - General Format

[Last Name of Author], [First Name of Author]. Year. Title of Book. Translated by [First Name of Translator] [Last Name of Translator]. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Examples

Fossier, Robert. 2010. The Axe and the Oath: Ordinary Life in the Middle Ages. Translated by Lydia G. Cochrane. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.

Chapter in Edited Book

Chapter in Edited Book - General Format

[Last Name of Author], [First Name of Author]. Year. "Title of Chapter or Article." Pp. 10-20 in Title of Book, edited by [First name of editor] [Last name of editor]. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Examples

Lorber, Judith and Patricia Yancey Martin. 2001. “The Socially Constructed Body: Insights from Feminist Theory.” Pp. 259-282 in Illuminating Social Life: Classical and Contemporary Theory Revisited, edited by Peter Kivisto. 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
Ng, Roxana. 2005. "Sexism, racism, and Canadian nationalism." Pp. x-xx in Inequality in Canada: A Reader on the Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class, edited by Valerie Zawilski and Cynthia Levine-Rasky. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press.

Article in Reference Book

Article in Reference Book - General Format

Last Name of Author, First Name of Author. Year. "Title of Article." Pp. 10-20 in Title of Reference Book, edited by [First name of Editor] [Second name of Editor]. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Examples

Konty, Mark. “Authority and Conformity.” Pp.225-229 in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer. Malden, MA: Blackwell , 2007.

Book Accessed Online

Book Accessed Online - General Format

[Last Name of Author], [First Name of Author]. Year. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher. Retrieved Jan 1, 2000 (http://...)

Examples

Jennings, James, ed. 2007. Race, Neighborhoods, and the Misuse of Social Capital. Gordonsville, VA: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved November 17, 2011 (http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.tru.ca/lib/trulibrary/docDetail.action?docID=10194106).

Edition other than 1st

Edition other than 1st - General Format

[Last Name], [First Name]. Year. Title of Book. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Examples

Kivisto, Peter, ed. 2001. Illuminating Social Life: Classical and Contemporary Theory Revisited. 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Government Publication

Government Publication - General Format

Name of Author or Government Body. Year. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Government Publisher.

Examples

Cite government documents much as you would other documents, but be sure to include any additional identifying information, such as report or catalogue numbers:

Abada, Teresa, Feng Hou, Bali Ram. 2008. Group Differences in Educational Attainment among the Children of Immigrants. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11F0019MWE2008308. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. Retrieved November 19, 2011 (http://www.statcan.gc.ca.ezproxy.tru.ca/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2008308-eng.pdf).
 

If no author is given, list the item according to the name of the government body that produced it:

British Columbia Ministry of Housing and Social Development. 2010. Disability Assistance and Trusts. Victoria: Province of British Columbia. Retrieved November 19, 2011 (http://www.hsd.gov.bc.ca/publicat/pdf/DisabilitiesTrusts.pdf).
U.S. Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1984. Criminal Victimization in the U.S., 1983. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Book with No Author

Book with No Author - General Format

Name of "Corporate Author". Year. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Examples

American Sociological Association. 2010. American Sociological Association Style Guide. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.

Articles

This Section Covers:

Basic Article

Article with More Than One Author

Article Retrieved from an Online Database

Article Retrieved from an Open Access Journal

Magazine Article

Newspaper Article

Article from an Online Newspaper/Magazine

Journal Article

General Format

Last Name of Author, First Name of Author. Year. "Title of Article." Name of Journal or Magazine. Volume Number (Issue Number): Page Numbers.

Examples

Ridgeway, Cecilia. 2001."Gender, Status and Leadership." Journal of Social Issues. 57(4): 637-655.
Blondry, Jennifer, Wendy Wood and Deborah A Kashy. 2001. "Gender Stereotypes and the Evaluation of Men and Women in Military Training." Journal of Social Issues. 57(4): 689-705.

Magazine Article

General Format

Last Name of Author, First Name of Author. Year. "Title of Article." Name of Journal or Magazine. Month Year, Page Numbers.

Examples

When citing poplular magazine articles, use the month and year of the magazine in place of the volume and issue:

Fowler, Robert. 2011. "Kidnapped." The Walrus. November 2011, pp. 24-32.

Newspaper Article

General Format

Last Name of Author, First Name of Author. Year. "Title of Article." Name of Newspapwer, Month Day, Page Numbers.

Examples

Mickleburgh, Rod and Aleksandra Sagan . 2011. “Occupy Needed for Homeless, Court Told.” Globe and Mail, November 17, p. S1.

Journal Article Accessed Online

General Format

Last Name of Author, First Name of Author. Year. "Title of Article." Name of Journal or Magazine. Volume Number (Issue Number): Page Numbers. doi:... .

Examples

When citing an e-resource, give the DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Adam, Barry and Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale. 2011. "Emerging Directions in Sociological Research on Sexuality." Canadian Review of Sociology 48(3):217-220. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-618X.2011.01263.x.

If there is no DOI, then give the date on which you retrieved the item and the URL from which you retrieved it:

Cull, Barry W. “Reading Revolutions: Online Digital text and implications for reading in academe. First Monday 16(6). Retrieved October 19, 2011 (http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3340/2985)

Newspaper/Magazine Article Accessed Online

General Format

Last Name of Author, First Name of Author. Year. "Title of Article." Name of Online Journal or Magazine. Month Day. Retrieved Jan 1, 2000 (http://... ).

Examples

Cite newpaper and magazine articles accessed online just as you would articles accessed in pint, with the addtion of the date on which you retrieved it and the URL from which you retrieved it.  If you have accessed the article through a database, include page numbers.

Leier, Mark. 2011.  “Money, Blood and Why Today's Vampire Revival Sucks.” The Tyee. November 14. Retrieved November 18, 2011 (http://thetyee.ca/ArtsAndCulture/2011/11/14/Vampire-Revival/).
Khan, Sheema. 2013."Beyond Tolerance Lies True Respect." The Globe and Mail, February 28, p A15. Retrieved October 18, 2013 (http://search.proquest.com/docview/1312837558).
Mitch Moxley. 2013. A Supposedly Stupid Thing I'd Totally Do again. Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2013, pp 28-29. Retrieved from (http://search.proquest.com/docview/1285067419).

Web Pages

This Section Covers:

Basic Web Page

Web Page with No Place of Publication

Web Page with No Author

Online Reference Work

Article in Online Newspaper/Magazine

Online Government Document

Blog Post

Basic Web Page

General Format

Personal or Corporate Author. Date. "Title of Document." Location (if known): Institution or Organization. Retrieved Jan 1 2000 (http...).

Examples

American Sociological Association. "Quick Style Guide." Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved November 18 2011 (http://www.asanet.org/Quick%20Style%20Guide.pdf).
Devor, A. H. "Reed Erickson and the Erickson Educational Foundation." Victoria, BC: University of Victoria. Retrieved November 18, 2011 (http://web.uvic.ca/~erick123/)

To find the physical location of an institution or organization, click on the “Contact Us“ link. If a webpage appears to have no place of publication, then leave it out:

British Broadcasting Corporation. “Reasons People Choose Atheism.” British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved November 18, 2011 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/atheism/beliefs/reasons_1.shtml).
Sweet, William. 2001. “Jeremy Bentham (1748—1832).” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edited by James Fieser and Bradley Dowden. Retrieved November 18. 2011 (http://www.iep.utm.edu/bentham/)

Web Page with No Author

General Format

Corporate Author. Year. “Title of Document.” Location (if known): Institution or Organization. Retrieved Jan 1 2000 (http…).

Examples

If a web site has no author, then list it by the institution or organization that publishes it on the web:

British Broadcasting Corporation. “Reasons People Choose Atheism.” British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved November 18, 2011 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/atheism/beliefs/reasons_1.shtml).
American Sociological Association. “Quick Style Guide. “ Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved November 18 2011 (http://www.asanet.org/Quick%20Style%20Guide.pdf).

Online Reference Work

General Format

Last Name of Author, First Name of Author. Year. "Title of Article” in Title of Reference Book, edited by First name of Editor Second name of Editor. Place of Publication (if known): Publisher (if known). Retrieved November 18, 2011 (http…).

Examples

If a reference work that exists only online does not give a publisher or a physical location, omit both:

Sweet, William. 2001. “Jeremy Bentham (1748—1832).” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edited by James Fieser and Bradley Dowden. Retrieved November 18, 2011 (http://www.iep.utm.edu/bentham/.

Online Government Document

Online Government Document (p. 205)

Please see the Government Publication section under the Books tab.

 

Blog Post

General Format

First Name of Author, Last Name of Author (or screen name of author). Date. “Title of Blog Post.”  Name of Blog (blog).  Name of Website or Collection of Blogs (if applicable).  Retrieved January 1, 2000 (http://...).

Examples

Beckett, Alexis. 2011. “What’s so Interesting about Occupy Vancouver?” Girl on the Wing Blog. Retrieved November 18 2011 (http://alexisbeckett.com/2011/10/29/whats-so-interesting-about-occupy-vancouver/).
Sullivan, Andrew. 2011 “Police Abuse on Parade.” The Dish (Blog). The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 19, 2011 (http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/11/police-abuse-on-parade.html).

Note: The ASA Style guide is not at all clear on how to site a standard blog, so these examples represent my attempt to cite blogs in a manner consistent with the overall ASA style. The basic idea is you give your readers all the information they need to locate the blog post, so you give the URL of the post, but in case that URL changes, you also give the title of the post, etc.

Article from an Online Newspaper/Magazine

General Format

Last Name of Author, First Name of Author. Year. "Title of Article." Name of Online Journal or Magazine. Month Day. Retrieved Jan 1, 2000 (http://... ).

Examples

Cite articles from online-only news sites as you just would articles from print magazines or newspapers that you have accessed online:

Leier, Mark. 2011.  “Money, Blood and Why Today's Vampire Revival Sucks.” The Tyee. November 14. Retrieved November 18, 2011 (http://thetyee.ca/ArtsAndCulture/2011/11/14/Vampire-Revival/).

Ask a Question

How to Ask for Help

Please contact Library staff by any of these methods:

AskAway: Real people. Real help.

AskAway
(use chat box at left
for live help,
when available)

facebook

Facebook

By email

Email

By 
appointment

Appointment

By 
telephone

Phone

In person

In person