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Complete ASA Citation Manual

ASA style citation, which stands for American Sociological Association, is a standard format for the written assignments created by students or acknowledged professionals studying or working in a research field of Sociology. This format is also a standard that is used for manuscripts that are published in ASA-approved journals. Based on Chicago Manual of Style, this style follows classic author-date system, more of which will be explained in our guide. In order to help you find a way through countless citation rules and challenges, we offer ASA citation generator that will immediately take care of almost any source that has to be referenced. The EduBirdie writing experts recommend combining ASA citation machine with citation examples provided in this guide.

Basic ASA In-Text Citations Rules

Note: In our guide, we shall keep to the latest 5th edition of manual, which includes several updates like changes in how a page number is referenced.

Using in-text citation is especially important for this format as it allows one's target audience to connect source material with personal ideas being expressed, still keeping with a flow of arguments, ideas, and assumptions. It is also important to remember that in-text citations in ASA are included in a final word count. Let us review the most common in-text citing cases with examples:

  • Single book author

…Sanders has confirmed an efficiency of a given research (2005).

…as it was confirmed that a research is efficient (Sanders 2005).

  • More than one book author

A recent study has confirmed that… (Laurens and Wade 2012:17).

  • Three to five book authors

… which has made it possible to choose this particular research method (Jones, Lake, and Nash 2004)

  • More than five authors citing

For the first in-text citation:

…which has resulted in a biased survey among the schoolchildren’s parents (Berry, Mills, Buck, Stipe, and Maureen 2009)

Later on, just write:

(Berry et al. 2009)

  • Page number or no page number citing rules

According to 5th edition ASA citation manual, pagination is now separated by a colon without space. As in example:

(Larry and King 1996:24)

Using previously accepted (Larry and King 1996, p.24) is no longer allowed.

However, if there is no page number available, information is omitted.

  • Unknown author or organization as an author citation

In such case:

University of Sydney (2005) stated that… or (University of Sydney 2005)

  • Unknown date or soon-to-be-published work

If a source is to be published soon, use forthcoming in lieu of a date. If date is unknown, write N.d. For example:

As confirmed by Smith (forthcoming) and Lake (N.d.) latest research has shown that…

  • Multiple sources in one citation

(Lake, Tar, and Sorensen 2003; Carr, Lionel, and McAndrews 2001; Firsing 2009).

  • Different authors, same last name citation

In such citation case:

(Lake R. and Lake N. 2005)

  • Multiple works, same author citation

According to William R. Collins (2005, 2002)…

  • Two or more works by the same author, same year

In this case, a letter is added after a year:

(2011a, 2014b)

  • Electronic sources

Electronic sources mainly follow the same rules as ones used for print sources. For more information, check ASA citation References of our guide.

ASA Referencing Format: Tips and Examples

In this style, References section is created in a separate section. References should be listed in alphabetical order. Remember that you can always check our ASA reference generator for quick citation help.

  • Books with a single author

Craig, Steven E. 2014. A Cultural Dilemma: Traditional Beliefs and Religious Practices. London: Penguin Books.

  • Book with two or more authors

Note: starting from 5th edition, if you cite only two authors or editors, a coma is added after first author's or editor's name.

For example:

Edward, Kelly, and Michael Stark. 2007. Education in Australia: Writing Guide for a Better Future. Melbourne: Southern University Press.

  • Book with more than five authors

In ASA reference format, “et al.” phrase is not used, but all authors are listed in a Reference.

  • Books with editors

Harlan, Jim, and Randy D. Jackson, eds. 2005. Racial Inequality in Australia. Sydney: Andrews Hill Press.

  • Books with no author or organization as an author

In such case, mention title of a source or organization’s name as in example below:

Analytical Essays on the History of Australian Sociological Research. 2014. Sydney: University Press.

  • Chapter in a book citing

Andersen, Susan N. 1995. “Urban Culture: Conflicts Between Rural and Urban Youth in Australia.” Pp. 129-132 in Urban Sociology: Conflict Resolution Methods, edited by Ralf T. Jackson. Australia: Melbourne University Publishing.

  • Translated book citation

Nordstrom, Lars. 2002. Education and Employment: School System and Universities in Norway, 2000. Translated by R.V. Randall. New York: Syracuse University Press.

  • Journal article citing

Note: When working with journal articles, make sure that you include:

  1. Citing last name of an author, follow it by comma, first name, and middle initial that ends with a period.
  2. When citing multiple authors, only last name of the first author is inverted.
  3. When citing between last two authors, write "and" addition.
  4. In journal citing, publication year is always followed by a period.
  5. When a title of journal is placed in italics, there should be no period.
  6. When an article is placed in quotations, period is used inside quotation mark.
  7. After journal's volume number, add issue number in parentheses. A colon follows next with page number and period.

See an example:

Windsar, Michael R. 2004. “Online Safety Guide: How to Keep Our Children Safe.” Family and Motherhood Studies 23(1):83-104.

  • Journal articles with DOI number citing

Pharrell, Ronald. S, and S. V. Banter 2013. "Classroom Mediation Techniques." School Educator, 34(5), 126-129. DOI: 10.000/NNE.00000000.

  • Newspaper or Magazine Article

Silling, Ronald R. 2001. "Water Drainage Pipes Environmental Impact." Sydney Morning Herald, March 22. Retrieved June 1, 2015. (

  • Website ASA Citing

Sociology Online Archives. 2012. "Thesis Ideas for Sociology Students". Retrieved Nov. 4, 2017 (

  • Web Blogs and Newsgroups

Call, Brandon. 2000. “Cultural Traits of Aboriginal Tribes” Sociological Analytics and Culture Blog. Retrieved May 1, 2018 (

  • Social Media Sources (Facebook / Instagram / Twitter)

Note: Social Media references do not appear in the references page, according to ASA style guide. Such sources should be footnoted in body text where a reference is made. Social media footnotes should include page’s title and URL.

For text:

Australian Sociological Association mentioned analytic research directly on its Facebook. 2


2 Australian Sociological Association’s Facebook, accessed July 16, 2012,

  • Audiovisual Materials ASA Citation

DVDs Andersen, Howard. 2009. Culture and Music. DVD. Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century Fox. Michael Hicks [Producer]. 2009. Socio-cultural trends in music 1960-1990 (Season 4). DVD. Retrieved July 14, 2010 (

  • Youtube ASA Citation

Sociology Experimental Archives. 2001. “Social Survey Experiment.” YouTube website. Retrieved April 14, 2011. (

  • Dissertations and Theses

Kiel, Alfred R. 2004. “Social Bias in Politics: A History of Social Control in Australia.” PhD dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Melbourne.

  • Government documents citing

Department of Education and Social Services. 2013. “Healthcare Initiatives in Australia.” Australia: Office of Disease Prevention and Healthcare Control.

Key ASA Rules: Layout & Guidelines

American Sociological Association format contains several general paper layout rules:

  • Text must be 12-point font size.
  • Times New Roman is required. Alternatively, Times.
  • Block quotes can be single-spaced since the last manual edition.
  • Margins should be 1.25 inches on all 4 page sides.
  • Title is placed on a separate page where a paper title is included along with author and institution names.
  • Every author listed should be followed by a word count after institution specified.
  • An asterisk * is indicated after paper's title, leading to a footnote that reveals detailed name, address, email, and additional acknowledgements, if available.
  • If there is more than one author, such listing is placed vertically.
  • Paper contents (manuscript text itself) should be started on a separate page.

Running head ASA Citations Rules

"Running head" is important. As a rule, it is an abbreviated title of 50-60 characters (or less) that should be placed in the top left header. Remember that "Running Head =" phrase only appears on a Title page. Numbers should be included by starting on Title page.

Footnotes and Endnotes ASA

It is generally recommended to avoid footnotes and endnotes in this citation format, according to 5th manual, yet if it is absolutely necessary, follow these rules:

  • If one deals with materials that have limited availability, it should be noted in a text with a footnote or an endnote.
  • As a rule, endnotes are met more frequently in Sociology papers. It is recommended not to put footnotes and endnotes, if possible.
  • Both footnotes and endnotes have to be numbered consecutively in a paper's text with the help of superscript Arabic numbers.
  • Footnotes should be placed at the bottom where information is being referenced. If endnotes are required, type endnotes in numerical order in a separate section that follows References. They should be double-spaced.

Note: Remember that each used note should have same superscripted number.

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Frequently Asked ASA Questions

  • Is abstract necessary for all ASA papers?

An abstract is not considered obligatory for this format. However, if required, a basic abstract should include 150-200 words. An abstract should be in full title at the top like a classic heading. It should be one paragraph without indent. Start at the top of a new page right after paper's Title page, unless specified otherwise. Contents of an abstract in ASA should include brief summary of a paper with sufficient description.

  • Should I indicate DOI for all articles on the reference page in ASA format?

If available, this format requires students to include Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number. Including it in every reference will help both college professor and your target audience to find each source immediately even if a source link becomes obsolete. Check our ASA citation generator for quick articles referencing.

  • What are block quotation rules in ASA style?

Here are the basic rules for block quotations in ASA that will make formatting rules clear:

  1. If a quote is 50 words or longer, one has to set it (or them) apart in a block.
  2. These quotes can be both single or double-spaced, but always with an indent.
  3. inal punctuation is always placed before an in-text citation.
  4. If there is a quote inside block quote, write double quotation marks.
  • I have heard that ASA format does not require headers at paper's start. Is it true and what are the header rules for all levels?

It is true! Headings in ASA format are only acceptable when they do not tell of a paper's start. For example, there is no need to put "INTRODUCTION" word at the start of a paper. Still, it is allowed to use sub-headings in order to organize body paragraphs in your research. In most cases, three levels of paper headings should be sufficient. According to ASA manual, first level headings should be in CAPS. It is allowed to keep them centered or aligned to the left. Second level heading in ASA style should write in italics. The bold font is not necessary. Second level headers are written in title case. Same alignment applies. The third level headings write in italics with no bold font. Only the first word is capitalized.