Asa Style Example Essay Format

The field of sociology, is where you would most commonly find an ASA style paper or manuscript. ASA itself means ‘American Sociological Association,’ and its style bears a close resemblance to the widely used APA style. The biggest similarity is that both styles use parenthetical references. These appear at the end of the paper in the “References” section. MLA style papers need that section to be called “Works Cited” and formatted in a different way. Another noticeable trademark of the ASA citation format is its emphasis on the date. It always follows the author’s name. Read on for a definitive guide to ASA citations crafted by our essay writers.

Table Of Contents

General ASA Citation Format

There are a few general formatting requirements that need to be applied when using ASA citation. Stick to the following format, unless instructed otherwise:

  • Make sure all written text (including footnotes, etc.) is in font size 12 and double-spaced.
  • Place margins at 1 ¼ inches on each side.
  • The first page (that follows the title page and abstract) begins with the paper’s title.
  • Pages, tables, figures, footnotes, and endnotes are numbered sequentially (1,2,3…) or (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3…)

Title Page

A title page is what one sees when picking up any paper. ASA format title pages usually contain the following information:

  • Full title of the work
  • Names and institutions of the writers
  • A total word count
  • Address of the author, or one who receives communication regarding the work
  • Credits or acknowledgments of all contributors or sponsors


The abstract appears on a separate page between the title page and the beginning of the essay. It usually contains about 150-200 words. If an abstract page is included, it often lists several keywords that help identify the essay’s main points of study.


An ASA style paper uses subheadings to organize body paragraphs. They do not serve as ‘sections’ of the document. Using Introduction in a subheading wouldn’t be a great choice. Subheadings are always left-aligned and never written in bold letters. Note that the editing style of the following subheadings correspond with the way they should appear in the text:


  • Letters in caps signify the first-level subheading

Here’s a Second-Level Subheading

  • Italicized
  • Title case (the first letter of each word is capitalized except for articles and prepositions)

Third-level subheading

  • Italicized
  • Only first word is capitalized

Footnotes appear on the same page as the material being underlined or expanded upon. Endnotes are listed at the end of the paper after the ‘References’ section. Both are numbered for the ASA style citation. There must always be some harmony in how they are utilized. For example, if you use footnotes to define difficult vocabulary in the text, do not do the same thing in endnotes. Avoid mixing them up to give the paper stronger continuity.

How And When To Use In-Text Citations

The ASA citation style is similar to APA when it comes to in-text citations. These are used when presenting information from any source. The general rule for the ASA in-text citation is to state the last name of the author and the initial publishing date of the referenced material. Here are some in-text citation examples:

If the author's name is in the sentence, simply include the year:

  • When Vasari (1550) studied the renaissance painters…

If not - put the author’s last name inside the parentheses:

  • When the renaissance painters were studied (Vasari 1550)...

When citing reprinted work with several publish dates, list the first date and then the most recent one, separated with a slash.

  • (Reed and Christgau 1978/2013)

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Citing Quotes

Short quotations are cited in quotation marks and include the page number after a colon. There is no space between the year number and the page number.

  • In his studies, Newton (1704:21) discovered that…

Quotations of more than 40 words (block quotations) remain separate from the main text and made single-spaced. Such quotes do not require quotation marks.

ASA Citation for Multiple Authors

Below are a few examples of using the ASA in-text citation for multiple authors. For two, write both their surnames.

  • (Bockris and Malanga 2003)

For three or more, include all last names in the first citation. In later citations, include the first name and ‘et al.’.

  • (Breton, Magritte, and Dali 1961) - first citation

  • (Breton et al. 1961) - later citations

If the work does not provide the writer’s name, give enough information to find the work in the reference list.

  • (U.S. Department of Justice 1977:82)

For multiple citations, separate the references with a semicolon and place them sequentially.

  • (Rutt, 1950; Smith 1952)

  • (Kenway et al. 1934; Stewart 1981)

ASA Format Reference Page

All references are double-spaced and use a hanging indent. Title case is used in all references. Capitalize everything except for prepositions, articles, and conjunctions.

  • References are listed in alphabetical order based on the authors’ last names.

  • First and middle names are included for all authors unless they used initials in the publication.

  • If the author repeats, still include their full name on all the references. Arrange the work in chronological order from oldest to newest.

The ASA reference page looks similar to APA with a few deviations. Here is how to cite the most common types of references:

How to Cite Books: Author [Last, First]. Year of Publication. Title. Country of Publisher: Publisher.
How to Cite E-Books:
How to Cite a Journal Article:
How to Cite a Magazine Article:
How to Cite a Web Page ASA Style:

ASA Writing Style

There are a few simple rules when it comes to the ASA writing style.

  • This type of work avoids using the first person unless instructed otherwise.
  • Since the paper will be heavily referenced, it is best to avoid giving opinions unless the essay is argumentative.
  • The writing must be straightforward and written in active voice. Jargon, common expressions, slang, and superlatives are always best avoided.
  • Words like percent and verses are always spelled and not abbreviated unless they appear as data in tables or graphs.
  • Gendered terms are only used if they are crucial in specific analysis. Otherwise, avoid phrases like man, mankind, and use nongendered terms such as person, people instead.
  • Racial and ethnic stereotyping are another thing to be cautious about. Be specific when describing a race or ethnicity. Use Japanese instead of Asian; Mexican instead of Latino.
  • If the text requires acronym usage, provide the full name with the acronym in parentheses. After this, you can stick to the acronym:
  • (first time) Based on a report conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)...
  • (later in text) The CIA report concludes…

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ASA citation style is a very handy guide for sociology papers. However, sometimes many people confuse the ASA with the APA, as psychology could be a branch of sociology. Make sure you know which one your instructor prefers for you to use before you embark on your writing process. The ASA format, much like APA and MLA, has in-text citations. It also has a References section at the end of the paper where all of the sources are listed. As the article states, each in-text citation should be linked to an entry in the references page. Don’t let the similarities between ASA and APA catch you off guard! For example in the ASA format, an abstract is not mandatory, so if your instructor doesn’t explicitly state that you need it, clarify it with them or don’t include it, as it will be extra. In the ASA format style, you can also utilize footnotes and endnotes like in the Chicago style.

Further ASA Format Help

An ASA paper requires a lot of attention to detail. If you are still having trouble citing ASA style papers, you can order an essay from our essay writing service. By doing so, you can receive a custom essay or request our professional writers to proofread, edit, or rewrite existing papers. Rest assured that your essay is in good hands!

The ASA citation style is intended for composing university and college research papers in the sphere of sociology. As a rule, it focuses on the organization of bibliographies together with footnotes. The ASA Guide defines standards for the given style published for the American Sociological Association, which is one of the main organizations for academic sociologists within the United States of America. The ASA research paper format is meant to assist writers and authors in writing manuscripts for the ASA publications.

To write a good and well-organized paper on Sociology, it is necessary to meet all general formatting instructions mentioned below:

  • Use 12-point font (it may be Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) for your double-spaced paper; note that only black color can be used.
  • Set 1-inch margins on all sides. In some other cases, margins may reach 1 ¼ at most.
  • Pages should be numbered.
  • Do not forget to divide the text into paragraphs.
  • Keep in mind that your paper has to include the title.
  • Usually, your name needs to be present at the cover page, though it will be the best to put it on every single page.
  • When your paper is partitioned into separate parts, every part has to be provided with a title typed in bold.
  • Introduce the quotation consisting of one or two lines in the body as any other sentence, but applying quotation marks.
  • Should you be expected to hand in your paper in the electronic format, it has to be presented in either .pdf, .doc, .rtf, or .html depending on the requirements of your instructor.
  • In general, it is better to avoid using endnotes alongside with footnotes.
  • Every single source that has been used to prepare the paper needs to be indicated on a separate page titled “References.” Here, your task is to put all sources in an alphabetical order with the surname of an author going first. When a source has several authors, organize references by publication dates. Sources cited need to be formatted with the usage of hanging indent.

When it is hard to understand how to complete the cover page in a correct way, ask your instructor or professor to give you the ASA title page example, or find it yourself online.

Remember that those quotations, which comprise more than three lines, should be organized as a block quote. It is not necessary to make corrections concerning spelling or grammar in quotes unless there are no other options. In instances when it is required to do just that, point out with brackets what has been changed by you. When bad grammar concerns you, it is always allowed to leave the quote, but you should follow it with sic meaning "it is no different from the original." If you want to assure yourself that you are going through all steps correctly when it comes to quoting, try looking for the ASA style guide sample paper and see how the quotes are structured there.

Getting back to endnotes and footnotes, it is worthy to keep in mind that they can be useful to introduce supporting and explanatory materials and facts. In accordance with the ASA citation guide, if you are going to apply them, assure yourself that they are numbered in a proper way. Endnotes are placed at the closure of the whole text. You can place footnotes on every page’s bottom in small type. Pick one style and adhere to it; remember that endnotes together with footnotes are, in general, not applied to regular citations.

ASA Citation Style Recommendations

The given style is considered a parenthetical style of citation, which takes over an author-date system of documents. Such format tends to be very convenient for sociologists as they are not distracted by confusing footnotes. This format includes:

  • In-text citations put close to sources; such citations cover the date of publication together with the surname of an author embraced with parentheses
  • Section titled “References” that enumerates all sources referred to in the essay or paper, including complete publication data for every single source

All in-text citations have to be linked to the reference list entry. The purpose of such citations lies in directing your audience to the list of sources used. Therefore, the given list needs to be organized in alphabetical order and give all the necessary pieces of information for readers to find the initial source easily. If you are not sure whether the list of references was prepared correctly, it is better to address the ASA citation creator and check the whole list.

The given format has a lot of similar features with Chicago and APA formatting styles. At the same time, all mentioned styles possess several considerable differences; for this reason, it is quite significant to go by the official ASA manual guide.


ASA citation format is quite similar to the author-date system accepted by Chicago formatting style. Every single in-text citation comprises such elements as the surname of a writer or author and year of publication in parentheses. In general, the given citation is put at the end of the sentence. Thus, it is extremely important to refer to every source accurately and completely to get rid of plagiarism.

When your ASA in-text citation is done, it is recommended to check it, looking through examples below:

  • When the name of an author is indicated in the body, add a parenthetical citation, pointing out the publication year

    When Chu (1975) studied…

  • When the author’s names are not pointed out in the body, mention the author’s surname together with the year of publication in parentheses

    When the study was completed… (Snow 1991).

  • Add page numbers when you are going to quote directly from a source

    …as reported by Chavez (1971:82).

  • If this or that source has three writers, refer to all three surnames in your first in-text citation; in all other cases, apply et al.

    This was reinforced by recent research on the topic (Johnson, Smith, and Marcus 1998)

    Later: (Johnson et al. 1998)

  • When one of the sources has five authors or even more, apply et al. in every citation

  • In compliance with the ASA style citation briefing notes, in case you refer to a few sources when writing the same statement, dates of publication and surnames of authors need to be differentiated from others with a semicolon.

    Recent studies confirmed this belief (Thompson 2011; Brown 2012; Stark 2017).

  • In case a source has been reprinted once or several times, point out the latest version

    (Marwell 1997/2010).


A correct reference list is of great importance as it gives an opportunity to the audience to find and verify materials applied by you within the work. ASA format citation tips pointed out below will definitely assist you in arranging the list of references:

  • A reference list always starts with a new page titled "References."
  • Enumerate all citations by the surname of an author; remember that citations have to be enumerated in alphabetical order.
  • Avoid including initials but indicate the first names.
  • In accordance with the ASA reference format rules, citations have to be double-spaced; apply a double line in order to make the space between entries.
  • When adding two names together in one citation, “&” is not an acceptable option, as “and” should be used instead.
  • Put a comma when pointing out more than two names of writers.
  • Your task is to capitalize all words, excluding prepositions, conjunctions, and articles; you can capitalize the above-mentioned exceptions only when starting titles or subtitles.
  • When adding several works composed by the same writer(s), first add their complete names to each citation in accordance with the ASA writing style guide. After that, you have to organize these citations chronologically,
  • starting from the earliest piece of work.
  • It can be a case when an author emerges as the first one in a citation with multiple writers or a single-authored citation; then, you need to put all citations with a single writer foremost.

  • Gladwell, Malcolm. 2002. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York, NY: Back Bay Books.

    Gladwell, Malcolm and Friedrich, Malte. 2016. Tipping Point: Wie kleine Dinge Grosses bewirken können. München, Deutschland: Goldmann Verlag.

  • For several authors, change the first names of authors (Horovitz, Alan V., Hoge, Dean R., and James Brown) – enumerating them by the surnames in alphabetical order.
  • Differentiate books composed in the same year and by the same author(s) by means of adding various letters to the date (1998a, 1998b, 1998c) – enumerate these works by titles alphabetically.

The ASA style paper example for the references:

Ehrenreich, Barbara. 2009a. Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. New York: Metropolitan Books.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. 2009b. Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything. New York: Twelve.

  • Place a state abbreviation only in case a city of publication is not widely known. For instance, Los Angeles does not require abbreviations of the state. Nevertheless, Cambridge has to have an appropriate state abbreviation.
  • As it can be seen from any ASA format template, in the case when there is no date, you should apply N.d. instead of the date. If the referred material is unpublished yet, you may point out Forthcoming instead of the year and add the publisher title.

In agreement with your publisher or professor’s preferences, it can be necessary to add a reference list together with a page of bibliography. Therefore, the next examples will introduce ways of the common usage of various source types:

  • Book with one author

    Author’s full name (place the last name out front). Publication Date. Italicized Publication Name. Location of a publisher, state or province postal code: Name of the publisher.

    Welch, Kathleen E. 1999. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric, Oralism, and a New Literacy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Book with two or more authors

    Author 1 (change the surname), Author 2 (add a full surname), and Author 3. Date of publication. Italicized Name of the Publication. Publisher’s location, postal code of state or province: Name of publisher.

    ASA book citation example:

    Kayakami, Julie, Maria Rodriquez, and Francine Depardue. 2001. Learning Gender. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Articles Printed in Journals

    Author 1 (invert the surname), Author 2 (add a complete surname, which, as a rule, is not inverted), and Author 3. Year of publication. “Name of Article.” Name of Publication in italics Volume Number (Issue Number): article’s pagination.

    Bianciardi, Roberto. 2002. “Italian Immigrants in New York.” Sociology of Immigration 12(4): 123-45.

    Goodman, Leo A. 1947a. “The Analysis of Systems of Qualitative Variables When Some of the Variables Are Unobservable. Part I-A Modified Latent Structure Approach.” American Journal of Sociology 79: 1179-1259.

    Please draw your attention to the first example, and you will see that it contains the issue number indicated after volume number; you have to add issue numbers there to assure that a source can be located easily.

  • Books’ Chapters

    Author 1 (invert the surname), Author 2 (add a complete surname without inverting the surname), and Author 3. Publication year. "Article’s Title.” Pp. in Italicized Name of Publication, edited by Editor 1, Editor 2, and Editor 3 (do not invert names and apply editors’ initials for first and middle names). Publisher’s location, postal code of state or province; Name of publisher.

    The ASA format sample paper citation: Wells, Ida B. 1995. “Lynch Law in All Its Phases.” Pp. 80-89 in With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women, edited by S.W. Logan. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Are you going to cite the other source types? If yes, you may check the Section in the official ASA Style Guide for a great number of examples that will show you how to refer to other documents. It may be dissertations, magazine articles, major reference books, government documents, presentations, etc.

More often than not, students tend to leave the task to create the reference list until the very last second. Of course, when doing so, one should mind possible consequences. To avoid the problems, it is better to look for a good ASA citation maker online. Such citation maker will be able to compose your whole list in just a few minutes.

Citing Electronic Sources

Across all disciplines in the field of sociology, researchers and students use a large number of online source types in order to back up ideas and thoughts from social media channels to websites, blogs, machine-readable data files, DVDs, and so on. There are several points to remember when referring to electronic sources:

  • Add all basic elements concerning a source to give readers a possibility to access the material easily. If you want to be sure that you have created a correct citation, you can find the ASA format example paper with the list of references.
  • Sources that will not be changed, in most cases have to be referred to in the print form.
  • Whenever possible, you need to add an address (DOI or URL), year of publication, document’s name, and the name of the author.


A URL is considered a very important element when one needs to locate an online document. Nevertheless, websites are often updated or modified, so it is necessary to mind the steps mentioned below when adding a URL to a citation.

  • Be sure that a source may be easily identified; to do that, check the URL spelling
  • Do not cite a source with the URL that does not exist anymore
  • Avoid typing the URL address; instead of that, copy and paste it from your browser
  • It may be useful to print and save all the data obtained from the website as the information can be lost when the URL is modified.

Below, you may familiarize yourself with a list of examples of how to cite electronic sources in a correct way.


  • In case you have used an e-book online, avoid adding numbers of pages and access date.
  • If an e-book can be used in several formats, list these formats as well (Also available at: [URL]).

The ASA writing style example of citation: Torres, Carlos Alberto and Theodore R. Mitchell, eds. 1998. Sociology of Education: Emerging Perspectives. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Retrieved April 26, 2005 (

Printed edition of a book that has been accessed through online library

Welch, Kathleen E. 1999. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric, Oralism, and a New Literacy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Retrieved October 21, 2004 (

Online periodicals available in both online & print form

Ferrell, Robert H. 1990. “Truman’s Place in History.” Reviews in American History 18 (1): 1-9.

E-journals with DOI

In case you include DOI, cut it and paste directly from the article

Sweeten, Gary, Shown D. Bushway, and Raymond Paternoster. 2009. “Does Dropping Out of School Mean Dropping Into Delinquency?” Criminology 47 (1): 47-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00139.x.


In general, when being engaged in the ASA website citation indication procedure, remember that any essential data from the website has to be formally cited with the date of access or URL. Therefore, always pay close attention to your citations in the reference list.

The ASA citation website example:

Bird Studies Canada. 2004. “Avibase: The World Bird Database.” Retrieved July 15, 2005 (http://www.

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