THE DOCUMENTED ESSAY/RESEARCH PAPER
ASA (American Sociological Association) Documentation Style
The following are guidelines for the documentation style recommended by the American Sociological Association. ASA style may be required for certain sociology courses. However, some instructors may require a different style. Please check with your instructor for specific instructions.
In the ASA format, the author’s name and the year of publication are cited for each use of borrowed information, whether a direct quotation or a paraphrase. For direct quotation and specific claims of evidence, page number should also be cited.
If the author’s name appears in your text, it should be followed by the publication date in parentheses. The page number, preceded by a colon, follows the date. In the case of direct quotation, the page number appears following the quotation.
Some instructors may require you to provide a list of all sources consulted, whether you cite them in your text or not. Such a list is called a bibliography. More commonly, you will be asked to list only those sources cited in your paper. This is called a list of references.
The heading for a bibliography or reference section appears in the upper left-hand margin and is all in caps. Skip three lines before the first listed source.
List sources alphabetically by author’s last name, or, for an edited volume, by editor’s last name. For authors with more than one publication, list works according to year of publication, beginning with the earliest.
If there is more than one author, all authors’ names should be included, with the first author listed last name first, and the remaining authors listed first name first.
Sample Reference Listings
Book titles are underlined or italicized. If a work was originally published many years ago, include the original publication date in brackets before the newer publication date. The basic publication information (City, State: Publisher) should also be included.
Durkheim, Emile.  1997. Suicide. Translated by J. S. Spaulding and G. Simpson.
Elias, Norbert.  1978a. The Civilizing Process. Vol. 1, A History of Manners.
Honeycutt, James M. and James G. Cantrill. 2001. Cognition, Communication, and
Satow, Roberta, ed. 2001. Gender and Social Life. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.
The title of an article appearing in a journal should be in quotation marks. The title of a journal is italicized or underlined. Following the journal title, information about volume and issue number appear. At the end of the entry comes the page numbers of the article in the journal.
Krain, Mark, Drew Cannon, and Jeffery Bagford. 1977. “Rating-Dating or Simply Prestige
Reiss, Ira L. 1965. “Social Class and Campus Dating.” Social Problems 12(2): 193-205.
Walker, Willard. 1937. “The Rating-Dating Complex.” American Sociological Review 2: 727-735.
List works by the author of the article. The entry should include information about page number, title of the collection, and editors as well as the basic publication information (City, State: Publisher).
Aureli, Filippo and Darlene Smucny. 2000. “The Role of Emotion in Conflict and Conflict
. For more information, please consult Writing Center Handout: “Writing about Sociology.”
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