This resource covers American Sociological Association (ASA) style and includes information about manuscript formatting, in-text citations, formatting the references page, and accepted manuscript writing style. The bibliographical format described here is taken from the American Sociological Association (ASA) Style Guide, 5th edition.
Contributors:Joshua M. Paiz, Deborah L. Coe, Dana Lynn Driscoll
Last Edited: 2017-08-01 03:19:09
Include a separate title page with the full title of the manuscript, authors' names and institutions (listed vertically if there are more than one), and a complete word count of the document (which includes footnotes and references).
A title footnote should include the address of the corresponding author (that is – the author who receives correspondence regarding the article), grants/funding, and additional credits and acknowledgements (for papers for sociology classes, this is often not needed).
If an abstract is needed, it should be on a separate page, immediately after the title page, with the title of the document as the heading.
Do not include author.
The abstract should be one paragraph, 150-200 words in length.
On the same page as the abstract, include a list of three to five words that help to identify main themes in the manuscript.
All text within the document should be in a 12-point font and double spaced (including footnotes), or as specified by journal or course instructor.
Margins should be at least 1 1/4 inches on all sides, or as specified by journal or course instructor.
The first page of the text should start with the title and be on a new page of text (after the title page and abstract).
Use subheadings to organize the body of the manuscript. Usually, three different levels of headings should be sufficient.
THIS IS A FIRST-LEVEL HEAD
- Place first-level heads in all caps and left-justify.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Don't begin the manuscript with a heading, such as Introduction.
This is a Second-Level Head
- Italicize and left-justify second-level heads.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Use title case.
This is a third-level head
- Italicize and left-justify third-level heads.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Capitalize only the first word of the head.
Footnotes and Endnotes
Footnotes and endnotes are used to cite materials of limited availability, expand upon the text, or to add information presented in a table.
Endnotes are used more frequently than footnotes, but both should be used sparingly. As a general rule, use one or the other throughout the manuscript but do not mix them. (The exception to this rule is to use a footnote on the Title page and for tables, but use endnotes throughout the rest of the document for manuscripts being submitted to a sociology journal.)
In the text, footnotes or endnotes, whichever are used, should be numbered consecutively throughout the essay with superscript Arabic numerals.
Footnotes are placed at the bottom of the page on which the material being referenced appears. If using endnotes, at the end of the paper in a separate section following the references, type the endnotes in numerical order, double-spaced, as a separate section with the title Notes or Endnotes.
Begin each note with the same superscripted number used in the text.
8 See the new ASA Style Guide for more information.
Pages should be numbered consecutively (1, 2, 3...) starting with the title page and including the references page(s), or as specified by journal or course instructor.
Tables and Figures
Number tables consecutively (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3).
Number figures consecutively (Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3).
Each table or figure should be placed on a separate page at the end of the manuscript, and should have a descriptive title that explains enough that the reader can understand it without having to refer to the text of the article.
In tables, give full headings for every column and row, avoiding the use of abbreviations whenever possible. Spell out the word percent in headings.
For more information, please consult the ASA Style Guide, Fifth Edition.
Guidelines and Examples for Citing Electronic Resources
The publishing industry has continuously shifted and evolved in recent years, largely due to the emergence and integration of the internet and a diverse range of electronic resources. This has created new challenges for citation styles, and basic guidelines have now emerged in order to enable writers to document these new source types in their written work. The ASA style has based its guidelines for citing e-resources on The Chicago Manual of Style; find more information here.
Across all sociological disciplines, writers and researchers draw from a huge variety of online source types to support their own ideas; from websites and e-zines, to blogs, electronic mailing lists, machine-readable data files (MRDF), CD-ROM, DVD, and social media channels. There are a few points to bear in mind when citing e-resources:
- Include all of the basic elements of source information in the citation so that the reader can access the material with ease
- Sources that are unlikely to change (e.g. those in PDF or TIFF form, those accessed through JSTOR, exact replicas of the print version) should be cited in print-form
- Ensure that the source you are using will be accessible to your reader (e.g., look out for subscription based databases, access time limits and legal restrictions)
- Whenever possible include the author’s name, document title, date of publication (or retrieval date), and an address (e.g., URL or DOI)
How do I Use a URL to Cite a Source?
The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is crucial for locating an online document. However, websites can be regularly modified, updated, redesigned, or even removed, so it is crucial that you follow these steps when including a URL in your ASA citations.
- Be sure to carefully check the spelling of a URL so that the source is accurately identified
- Avoid citing a source with a URL that no longer exists
- Do not type the URL address; copy and paste it directly from your browser into your work
- Print and save the data obtained from a URL in case the URL is modified and the information is lost
- If the URL has expired and you still need to cite the source, cite it as an unpublished paper in an archived collection
Keep reading for a detailed list of examples that show you how best to cite electronic sources.
- If an e-book was consulted online, omit page numbers and include the URL and date of access
- If an e-book is available in more than one format, other formats may be listed as well - end the citation with: (Also available at: [insert URL])
Young, T. R. 1989. Crime and Social Justice: Theory and Policy for the 21st Century. Red Feather Institute. Retrieved June 22, 2010 (http://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu/Red_FEATHER/crime/001contents.html).
Printed edition of a book accessed through an online library.
Daniels, John. 2010. Apathetic College Students in America. Middletown, IL: University of Middletown Press. Retrieved April 6, 2011 (http://site.ebrary.com/lib/collegestudies/docDetail.action?docID=1010101010).
Online periodicals available in print & online form.
Scott, Lionel D., Jr., and Laura E. House. 2005. “Relationship of Distress and Perceived Control to Coping with Perceived Racial Discrimination among Black Youth.” Journal of Black Psychology 31(3):254-72.
Journal articles (e-journals) with Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
- A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string assigned to a publication or other unit of intellectual property. As a digital identifier it provides a means of looking up the current location of the source on the internet
- When a DOI is included, it should be cut and pasted directly from the article
Persell, Caroline Hodges, Kathryn M. Pfeiffer, and Ali Syed. 2008. “How Sociological Leaders Teach: Some Key Principles.” Teaching Sociology 36(2):108-24. doi:10.1177/0092055X0803600202.
- As a general rule, if the website 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
Document retrieved from an institution with a known location.
Text: (ASA 2006)
Citation: American Sociological Association. 2006. “Status Committees.” Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved July 11, 2010 (http://www.asanet.org/about/committes.cfm).
Document retrieved from a corporate website (unknown location).
Text: (IBM 2009)
Citation: IBM. 2009. “2009 Annual Report.” Retrieved July 25, 2014 (http://www.ibm.com/annualreport/2009/2009_ibm_annual.pdf).
Social Media Sources.
- When referring to a particular social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) posting within the text, it should be accompanied by a footnote in the main body of text rather than included in the reference list
- The footnote must include the page’s title, date accessed, and the URL
Text: The American Sociological Association mentioned the meeting directly on its Facebook page.1
Footnote: 1. American Sociological Association’s Facebook page, accessed June 6, 2014, http://www.facebook.com/AmericanSociologicalAssociation/posts/10154176262000165.
Examples of how to cite a web log entry (also known as “blogs”), e-mail message, items in online databases, machine-readable data files and audiovisual materials (e.g., CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, podcast, PowerPoint presentation and sound recordings etc.) can be found in Section 5: Guidelines for Using Electronic Resources in the 5th edition of the ASA Style Guide.