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How to Cite using ASA

  • Printable ASA Citation Style  (PDF format)

    This guide provides selected examples from the American Sociological Association (ASA) style guide.  The ASA style is used primarily to cite works in the fields of sociology, advanced sociology and scientific research.  For more detailed information, consult the ASA Style Guide (REF HM 586.A54 1997)located at the Reference Desk or the Social Sciences Faculty Liaison in the library.  Please contact your instructor for specific questions on how to use the ASA style in your papers and presentations.


    The Reference page is an alphabetical list, by author’s last name, of the sources used to write papers and reports.  Each entry should be double-spaced.  The second and any other lines must have a hanging indent.


    The basic form for a book entry is (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 book italicized ending with a period.  (4) Place of publication, followed by a colon and name of publisher ending with a period.

    One Author

    Chadwick, Kathy C.  2004.  Improving schools through community engagement

    Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

    Two Authors 

    Kyle, Patricia B. and Lawrence R. Rogien. 2004. Opportunities and options in  classroom 

    management: effective teaching, preventive strategies, corrective strategies, 

    supportive techniques.  Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

    Three or more Authors

    Wodarski, John S., Lisa Rapp-Paglicci, Catherine N. Dulmus, and Arthur E. Jonsma, Jr.

    2001. The social work and human services treatment planner.  New York: John

    Wiley & Sons, Inc.

    No Author Given

    Book with no author should be listed alphabetically by the first significant word in the title.

    ASA Style Guide.  1997,  2nd ed.  Washington, DC:  American Sociological Association.

    Editor or Compiler

    Wodarski, John S. and Sophia F. Dziegielewski, eds.  2002.  Human behavior and the

    social environment: integrating theory and evidence-based practice.  Springer

    Publishing Company.  

    Component Parts of Book

    Tileston, Donna W. 2004.  “Recognizing the signs of bias.” Pp. 27-33 in  What every

    teacher should know about diverse learners.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    Editions of Books

    Heinfeld, Gary.  2003.  GASB statement no. 34, implementation recommendations for

    school districts.  2d ed.  Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Education.

    Government Documents

    Government Documents can not be standardized.  Students must provide sufficient information so that the reader can find the reference easily.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture.  1978-1990.  National Food Review/Economics,  Statistics

    and Cooperative Service. NFR-1.  National Economic Analysis Division of the

    Economics, Statistics, and Cooperatives Service, Supt. of Docs., U.S. Government

    Printing Office. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

    Dissertations & Theses 

    Lamkin, John.  2003.  “Beyond the podium: a phenomenological investigation of the

    lifeworlds of experienced   high school band directors.” Ph.D. dissertation,

    University of Maryland, College Park, MD.


    The basic form for a  journal article entry is (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 and ending with a period inside the closing quotation mark. (4) Name of journal in italics. (5) Volume number followed by a colon, the page number(s) followed by a period.  If the pages are not numbered consecutively within the volume, put the volume number, parentheses, the volume number, end parentheses OR put the exact date of the journal article before the journal number.

    One Author 

    Tucker, Joan S. 2002.  “Health-related social control within older adults.”  Journal of

    Gerontology 57B:387-395.

    Two or More Authors

    Biggerstaff, M.A., Patricia Morris, and Ann Nichols-Casebolt.  2002.  “Living on the

    edge: examination of people attending food pantries and soup kitchens.”  Social

    Work  47:267-277.


    Scannell, Ed.  2004. “Coming to grips with rids.”  InfoWorld, January 19, 2004, pp. 42.


    Olesker, Michael.  “At library, warm hearts give homeless a respite from cold:  [Final

    edition]” The Baltimore Sun, February 3, 2004, B1.

    Electronic Publications

    Information Posted on the ASA Home Page

    American Sociological Association.  2003. “Career Preparation Making the Most of an

    Undergraduate Major.”  Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. 

    Retrieved February 16, 2004


    Online Journal Article

    Koch, Max. 2004. “Closure Theory and Citizenship: The Northern Ireland Experience.”

    Electronic Journal of  Sociology 7:1-26. Retrieved June 17, 2004


    Newspaper Article

    Murphy, Dean E. 2004.  “Missed Pickup Means a Missed Opportunity for 30 Seeking a

    Fellowship.”  New York Times, February 5, p. A18. Retrieved February 16, 2004.

    Available ProQuest Database.


    J. Finn and M. Smith. 1997.  “The Use of the World Wide Web by Undergraduate Social

    Work Education Programs” (Abstract).  The-Journal-of-Baccalaureate-Social Work 

    3:71-84.  Retrieved February 16, 2004 Social   Work Abstracts.

    Electronic Books

    Webb, Nancy B. 2001.  Culturally Diverse Parent-child and Family Relationships : A Guide

    for Social Workers and Other Practitioners. New York: Columbia University Press. 

    NetLibrary electronic book.  Retrieved February 16, 2004.

    Text Citations (Parenthetical Citations) 

    Citations in the text include the last names of the author(s) and year of publication.  Include page number when you quote directly from the work or refer to specific passages.

    · Author’s name in the text, should be followed with the publication year in parentheses:

               … in the study by Purnell (2003). 

    · Author’s name not in the text, should be followed  with the last name and publication year in parentheses:

     … the survey was completed… (Purnell 2003)

    · To include the page number in the text when quoting an author, omit the space between the colon and the page number: 

     … Smith (2003:52).

    · Give both last names for joint authors:

     … (Perdow and Lassiter 2002).

    · For three authors, cite all three last names in the first citation in the text; thereafter, use “et al.” in the citation.  If a work has more   than three authors, use “et al.”  in the first citation and in all subsequent citations.

     First citation:… remote operation of the system (Jones, Burrell, and Cray 2002).

     Later:… (Jones et al. 2002).

    · Quotations in the text must begin and end with quotation marks; the citation follows the end-quote and precede the period.

    Chadwick (2004) mentioned that “school board members are somewhat ambivalent about the value of community engagement because of what happens at typical school board meetings” (p. 34).


    Researchers found that “school board members are somewhat ambivalent about the value of community engagement because of what happens at typical school board meetings” (Chadwick 2004:34).

    Remember parenthetical references take the place of footnotes and/or endnotes.  Therefore, all authors cited in the text of your paper must appear in your  reference list.

    Footnotes & Endnotes 

    Footnotes should be indicated in the text by consecutive superscripted Arabic numerals.  Refer to a footnote later in the text, use a parenthetical note, such as “… (see note 3).” 

    Type footnotes in numerical order, double-spaced, at the bottom of the manuscript page or in a separate section headed “Endnotes.”  Begin each footnote with the superscript Arabic numeral to which it is keyed in the text.

     In 1951 there was…  

    Use footnotes/endnotes only when necessary.  Consider incorporating the footnoted information into your text, stating in the text that information is available from the author,  or adding an appendix. 

    Footnotes should be numbered consecutively throughout the essay with superscript Arabic numerals and included at the bottom of the paper or in a separate section headed “Endnotes.”


    If only one appendix is included, refer to it as “Appendix.”  For example, the title might read “Appendix. Occupations of Participants and Years of Service.”

    If you included more than one appendix, each should be lettered (to distinguish it from numbered figures and tables in the text).  For example, “Appendix A.  Occupations of Participants and Years of Service.”  “Appendix B.  Questions Included in the Survey.”

     If you have any further questions, please consult a Reference Librarian.

    updated 2/17/2009