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ASA Style Guide, 5th Edition: ASA Style Guide

A guide to ASA formatting


SOCIOLOGY: ASA Style Guide 5th edition 

The American Sociological Association Style Guide is intended for authors who are preparing manuscripts for publication in ASA journals. This handout is intended for students who are instructed to use "ASA style" when writing research papers. 

A quick guide is also available at the Purdue OWL Writing Lab webpage

Manuscript Format

  • All text (including footnotes, references, and endnote) must be doubled spaced.
  • Text must be in 12-point Times New Roman (Times is also acceptable)
  • Block quotes may be single-spaced
  • Margins must be at least 1.25 inches on all four sides
  • A separate title page including title of paper, author(s) and institution(s) of author(s) (list vertically if more than one author).
  • If required, on a separate page provide a short (150-200 word) abstract headed with the title.
  • Begin the text of the paper on a separate page headed with the title of the paper.

Citing within your text

Basic form for citations in the text includes the last name of the author(s) and year of publication. Include page number when you quote directly from the work or refer to specific passages.

 If you are including the author’s name in your text, follow it with the publication year in parentheses:
Jelin (1977) indicates similar patterns for women in Argentina. 

If you are referring to an idea or theory but not citing the author  in the text, enclose the last name and year in parentheses:
Women also migrate to become involved in petty trade (Arizpe 1978)...

If citing two or more works by the same author:
According to William J. Wilson (1978, 1987) race and class play a significant role in today's society.
If citing works by several authors:
After the Civil Rights movement a growing number of racial/ethnic scholars such as Almaguer (1975), Barrera (1978), and Takaki (1979) challenged... 
The subjects of this study seemed to perform their duties as determined by the institutional arrangements within which they worked (Watson, Kumar, and Michaelsen 1993; Cox, Lobel, and McLoed 1991; Fitzgerald 1993). 

For three or more authors, give all last names in the first citation in the text; afterwards use the first name and et al.:
(Holland, Holt, Levi, and Beckett 1983)  thereafter (Holland et al. 1989)
Holland, Holt, Levi, and Beckett (1983) stated...   thereafter Holland et al. (1989) refer to...

Pagination follows the year of publication after a colon, with no space between the colon and the page number:
...Arizpe (1978:71)

Quotations in the text that begin and end with quotation marks, the citation follows the end quote mark and precedes the period:
"In 1999, however, the data were reported by more specific job types which showed that technologically oriented jobs paid better" (Hildenbrand 1999:47).
Cox stated, "The essence of the issue is reality vs. perception" (1993:132), as noted earlier.

Machine-readable data files, cite authorship and date:
....(Pew Research Center 2011).


Quotations in Text
Always begin and end a quotation with quotations marks; the author, date, and/or page numbers follow the end-quote and precede the period:

Wright and Jacobs (1994) found that "the variation in men's earnings relative to their peers in the labor force was not reliable predictor of men's...flight from feminizing occupations" (p. 531).


One study found that "the variation in men's earnings relative to their peers in the labor force was not reliable predictor of men's...flight from feminizing occupations" (Wright and Jacobs 1994:531).

Block Quotations
These are set off in a separate, indented paragraph and should be used for longer quotations (generally, 50 words or more). Block quotations should not be enclosed in quotation marks.

As stated by Wright and Jacobs (1994):

The variation in men's earnings relative to their peers in the labor force was not reliable predictor of men's attrition. This finding is inconsistent with the prediction that declines in earnings are responsible for male flight from feminizing occupations. (P. 531)

Note: The "P" for "page" is capitalized when the page number is cited alone in a block quote without author and date information.

taken from the ASA Style Guide (2010:25)

ASA Tutorial


This guide was authored by Kathryn Blackmer Reyes at San Jose State University, borrowed and edited with permission by Terri Smith, Taft College Library, February 23, 2017.

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