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Citations: ASA (American Sociological Association) Style


Ethnic Studies Classes may use a number of citation styles, given the interdisciplinary nature of the field. Please consult with your Instructor or course syllabus to ensure that you are using the correct citation style. 

American Sociological Association (ASA) Style Guide

The American Sociological Association published its first style guide in 1997 to formalize publication standards for sociological research and writing.  It is the authoritative reference for writing, submitting, editing, and copyediting manuscripts for ASA journals and other publications following ASA's unique format. 

In 2019, the ASA released the sixth edition of the style guide, which features guidelines for the most common situations encountered by authors and editors. New features include reference formatting and additional information on grammar, as well as expanded information on the use of electronic, digital, and social media sources (ASA, 2019). 

The ASA Style Guide is published in print version only. However, they have put many of their general guidelines online. To access information on ASA citations, you may:

  • Refer to the print copy we keep at the Cuesta Library, available for use from the Library Reference desk;
  • Use an online writing tutorial such as the one managed by Purdue's Online Writing Lab
  • Refer to the fundamentals on this subject guide, using the links below to navigate. 


Formatting Tips and information


The American Sociological Association Style Guide is intended for authors who are preparing manuscripts for publication in ASA journals. Consult the print ASA Style Guide for additional or more detailed information. 

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

  • 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.

Basic form for a journal article is 1) Author’s last name, followed by a comma and the first name and middle initial ending with a period. 2) Year of  publication followed by a period. 3) Title of article in quotations and ending with a period inside the closing quotation mark. 4) Name of journal in italics 5) volume number followed by colon, page number(s) and period. Use the issue number following the volume number in parenthesis or exact date for journal article prior to the volume number for journals that do not number pages consecutively within a volume.

One Author
Ngai, Mae M. 1998. "Legacies of Exclusion: Illegal Chinese Immigration during the Cold Years." Journal of American Ethnic History 18(1):3-35.

Two or More Authors
Exum, William H., Robert J. Menges, Bari Watkins, and Patricia Berglund. 1984. "Making it at the top: Women and minority faculty in the academic labor market." American Behavioral Scientist 27(3):301-324.

Basic form for a book entry is 1) Author’s last name, followed by a comma and the first name and middle initial, ending with a period. 2) Year of publication followed by a period. 3) Title of book italicized ending with a period. 4) Place of publication, followed by a colon and name of publisher ending with a period. 

One Author  
De Anda, Roberto M. 1995. Chicanas and Chicanos in Contemporary Society. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Two Authors
Herrera-Sobek, María and Helena María Viramontes. 1995. Chicana (W)rites: On Word and Film. Berkeley, CA: Third Woman Press.

Edition of Book
Acuña, Rodolfo F. 2011. Occupied America: a history of Chicanos. 7th ed. Boston, MA: Longman.

Edited Book
Jelin, Elizabeth, ed. 1991. Family, household, and gender relations in Latin America. NY: Routledge, Chapman and Hall.
Note: When two or more editors place "eds".

Chapter in Book
Ruiz, Vicki L. 1987. "Star struck: Acculturation, adolescence, and Mexican American women, 1920-1950." Pp. 333-354 in Small worlds: Children and adolescents in American, 1850-1950, edited by E. West and P. Petrik. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.

Andersen, Margaret L. and Patricia Hill Collins, comp. 1998. Race, class, and gender: an anthology. 3rd ed. Belmonth, CA: Wadsworth Pub. Co.

No Author
Manual of Style. 1993. 14th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Note: List books with no author alphabetically by the first significant word in the title.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. 2002. The Dress of women: a critical introduction to the symbolism and sociology of clothing. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press. Retrieved September 18, 2013 (

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).

Article Databases
Knoll, Benjamin R. 2009. "Amigo De La Raza? Reexamining Determinants of Latino Support in the U.S. Congress." Social Science Quarterly 90(1):179-195 Retrieved September 18, 2013 (

Articles with Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bryant, A. N., & Kim, G. 2013. The relation between acculturation and alcohol consumption patterns among older Asian and Hispanic immigrants. Aging & Mental Health 17(2):147-156. doi:10.1080/13607863.2012.727382.

Web Version of Newspapers
Clary, Mike. 2000. "Vieques Protesters Removed Without Incident." Los Angeles Times, May 5. Retrieved May 5, 2000 (

Web Base Journals
Smith, Herman W. and Takako Nomi. 2000. "Is Amae the Key to Understanding Japanese Culture?" Journal of Sociology 5(1). Retrieved May 5, 2000 (

Information Posted on a Web Site
Paino, Maria, Chastity Blankenship, Liz Graverholz, and Jeffrey Chin. 2012. "The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Teaching Sociology." Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved September 17, 2013 (

Newspapers and Magazines Articles in Print

Basic form for a newspaper or magazine entry is 1) Author’s last name, followed by a comma and the first name and middle initial, ending with a period. 2) Year of publication followed by a period. 3) Title of article in quotations and ending with a period inside the closing quotation mark. 4) Name of newspaper/magazine in italics 5) date of publication followed by a comma 6) page number of article within the publication ending with a period.

Jana, Reena. 2000. "Preventing culture clashes - As the IT workforce grows more diverse, managers must improve awareness without creating inconsistency." InfoWorld, April 24, pp. 95.

Rimland, Bernard. 2000. "Do children's shots invite autism?" Los Angeles Times, April 26, pp. A13, A18.

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)

Try to avoid footnotes, but if necessary, use footnotes to cite material of limited availability or to add information presented in a table. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively throughout the essay with superscript Arabic numerals and included at the bottom of the paper or in a separate section headed "Endnotes."

Government Documents
Since the nature of public documents is so varied, the form of entry for documents cannot be standardized. The essential rule is to provide sufficient  information so that the reader can locate the reference easily. For example see the following:

United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. 1999. Rehab a home with HUD's 203(k): HUD and FHA are on your side. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

Dissertations and Theses
Valencia, Albert. 1995. "An examination of selected characteristics of Mexican-American battered women and implications for service providers." Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Education, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA.

Thiele, Megan. 2011. "Class, Cultural Capital and the Elite University: A Look at Academic and Social Adjustment and Relations with Authority." University of California, Irvine.  Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database, 874157583.
Note: The number listed at the end of the citation is the ProQuest document ID.

Format your Paper

The list of references is a list of all of the resources you used in your research paper or assignment, organized alphabetically by author.

The list is double-spaced with a hanging indent, meaning that, for a citation on more than one line, each line after the first is indented 1/4" from the left margin. Find the paragraph settings, choose the indentation style of hanging, and set it to 1/4". In Word, you'll click the little icon in the lower right corner of the "Paragraph" section of the main toolbar.

Screenshot of how to create a hanging indent in Word.

The first part of your in-text citation (almost always the author) should match the first part of your full citation in the list of references.

There are guidelines for how to cite different numbers and types of authors, and how to cite different formats of information (article, book, website, etc.). You will have to combine these guidelines for each citation.

Choose a standard font that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman.

All text should be 12-point font and double-spaced.

Margins should be 1 1/4" on all sides, unless otherwise specified by your instructor.

Start your references on a new page. Center the title, "References," in all caps.

List all of the works you have cited in the paper.

Double-space the list.

Each reference has a hanging indent, which means the first line is flush with the margin, but any lines after are indented about 3 spaces.

List the references in alphabetical order by the author's last name, or the name of the organization, whichever is the first part of the citation.

To create the hanging indent, highlight your list, then enter your paragraph settings, choose "hanging indent" and set it to 0.15".

Image showing how to set up a hanging indent in Microsoft Word.

Sample paper with 3 references, each with a hanging indent and in alphabetical order.


Chicago Manual of Style

Video on Chicago Style

Online Style Guides