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Sociology Research Guide: ASA Style

What Is ASA Style?

  • Each academic discipline has its own rules for citing ideas and words borrowed from other writers and researchers.
  • Courses in Sociology generally use the style rules developed by the American Sociological Association.
  • The American Sociological Association (ASA) Style Guide contains comprehensive rules and examples for citing.

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Cite Your Sources!


  • First and foremost, we need to give credit to other authors when we borrow their words or ideas. Acknowledge!

  • Citing also allows your readers to find the resources cited in your papers. Share!

  • Finally, we avoid plagiarism and maintain good standing with our instructors. Succeed!



1. In-Text Citations 

  • Use an in-text citation to acknowledge that you are quoting or praphrasing another author's words or ideas in the text of your research paper. 
  • Here's an example

    Critser (2003:5) noted that despite growing numbers of overweight Americans, many health care providers still “remain either in ignorance or outright denial about the health danger to the poor and the young.”

    If the author is not named in the signal phrase, place the author’s name, the year, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation (Critser  2003:5). 

  • Your reader will use the author information provided in the in-text citation to find the full citation for the source in your references list.


2. References List

  • Include a references list at the end of your paper. The list shoud contain a full citation for each in-text citation referenced within your paper.

  • Each full citation should include the specific publication information required by the ASA rules. This allows your reader to find the sources, if desired.

  • Arrange the citations alphabetically by the author's last name. Use the title if the source has no author.

  • Click here to learn more about the ASA references list.

Need More Help?

OWL The Purdue Online Writing Lab logo

Visit the ASA style guide created by the OWL.