ASA Formatting Rules

Table of contents

What is ASA Style?

ASA is the American Sociological Association. The ASA style of formatting is common to those working or studying in the sociology field. The style is the most appropriate to authors looking to publish ASA journals. Before citing papers in Sociology, the student might need to understand the citation principle of ASA.

Having your ASA works cited earns your work some validity and credibility.

Sample ASA Style

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ASA Citation Format

Your ASA citation format is subject to change depending on the type of source you wish to use. There could be devices or online citation generators that could do the citations for you. However, understanding how to do the citations manually could save you from multiple citation errors. You need to understand how to format your manuscript in ASA, how to do your in-text citations in ASA, and how to do your referencing in ASA.

Formatting your manuscript in ASA

  • Foremost, your text needs to double spaced and have a font of 12 points. This is inclusive of footnotes and references. 
  • Secondly, your margins need to not less than an inch across the four sides of your paper. 
  • The title page should be on its own page. An ASA title page should have a paper title, name of authors, the required word count inclusive of references and footnotes. There needs to be a title footnote with author names, addresses, grants, credits and acknowledgements. 
  • The title page is followed immediately with a 200 word abstract on a different page and headed with a title. The text for the essay needs to be on a separate page together with its title.

ASA In Text Citations

Different academic writing formats take different forms of in-text citations. The usual way for in-text citation has always been an author's surname and a year of publication. A page number added needs to be added to these citations in case it was a direct quote. 

  • In case an author's name appears in the text it should be followed with a year of publication in parenthesis. 

Cobalt (2018) says …

  • In a case where the name does not appear in the text, surname of author and year of publication should appear in parenthesis.

 …when studied (Cobalt 2018).

  • In the case where the page number is added, it should come after the publication year, and a colon should separate the two elements.

Cobalt (2018: 15) states… 

  • In the case with three authors, their surnames can appear in the first citation. Later, you could use the first name of one plus et al. 

(James, Cobalt, Ortiz 2018) or (Smith et al. 2014)

  • All quotes must have quotation marks at the beginning and in the end.

"In 1999, however, the data were reported by more specific job types which showed that technologically oriented jobs paid better" (Hildenbrand 1999:47).

  • All footnotes need to be in consecutive order with number superscripted and must have footnotes. 

References and Bibliography in ASA

After working on the body of your essay, your work does not end at that. There needs to be a reference or a Bibliography. 

  • Foremost, the references or Bibliography in ASA needs to come after the corresponding text together with footnotes in the “references” section. 
  • Everything cited in the text must be on the ASA reference page. Moreover, anything on your reference needs citing in your text (in the body). 
  • All references in ASA must be double-spaced.
  • All references must be in alphabetical order listing as regards to author surnames. Highlight all of them and use the "AZ and downward arrow" icon on your Microsoft Word template. 
  • Each reference needs to be in hanging indents.
  • If you are citing the same author multiple times using their different publication, arrange them starting with the earliest to the latest publication year.
  • Books and other periodicals' titles need italicizing. In place of italics, you could underline the title
  • City and state must be available in the case of a publication. If the city is foreign, their country name needs to be added next to it.

ASA Format and Sample ASA Paper Example

Once you have understood all that it needs to have an ASA format paper aven referred to an ASA format example, you need to put it to action. The standard paper must, as usual, have the three parts the introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction must be something clear and precise, allowing the reader to understand the intentions of your paper. There needs to be a thesis statement in the last parts of your introduction. The body needs to have the main idea. This includes arguments supporting the main idea and a statement tying the paragraph to the main idea of your title. What follows is a conclusion that leaves your reader with a lasting impression. 

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