ASA Format: A Guide to Main Peculiarities of the Style in Writing

ASA Format: A Guide to Main Peculiarities of the Style in Writing

Students hear a lot about various paper writing styles which they must use in the university including ASA format. Unfortunately, authors often don’t know all the details concerning this style and make many mistakes when using it. That’s why they require a guide that will help them learn more about ASA citation format.

ASA format is the abbreviation from American Sociological Association. It means that an author usually uses it when he or she deals with sociology. Experts do not recommend writing research papers in sociology if a person lacks key information about ASA format. Otherwise, a person can cite works improperly and incorrect ASA citation format will affect, first, the article, and then his or her career.

ASA Format: Where to Find Guidelines

In case one wants to get some additional information concerning ASA formatting, it’s necessary to visit the official page of the American Sociological Association and find there a guide that is available for everyone. It includes a list of necessary issues a writer must be aware of. One can also see ASA format sample paper on different web resources.

ASA Citation Format: Why Did It Appear?

All published ASA articles are well-researched and include reliable and 100% trustworthy material. Each document is of high quality because authors search solid works of great scientists, study, analyze them and embody citations in the text of their research. ASA created ASA citation format to make every scientific work have a proper look. It has common features with APA style and is similar to Chicago format.

ASA Format Example to Follow

The best way to write properly is to see a good ASA format example. It concerns mostly citation peculiarities. Here are some:

… named by James Bryce (1905). - in-text citation after an author’s name

… the Sociological Society (Bryce 1905), … (Marteen and Beilay 1995) and (Caths, Smooth, and Joles 1982). - in-text citation without an author’s name(s)

… Bryce (1905: 12) - pagination

Galton, Francis, and P. Geddes eds. 1905. Sociological Papers. London, CA: Macmillan & Co, Limited. - book citation

Shanthi Robertson. “Status-making: Rethinking Migrant Categorization”. Journal of Sociology: SAGE Journals. Published August 13, 2018 ( - web source citing

One can see more examples on the official website of ASA.

What Is ASA Format and What Are Its Minimal Requirements?

So, what is ASA format for? It’s a writing style which people use to write sociological research papers. It requires a 12-point font. The two mostly used prints are Times New Roman and Arial. The size of the paper is a common one (8,5 X 11) and it must be white. Only double space is permitted (other variants are not acceptable for ASA paper format).

The use of italic type is necessary when the paper contains periodical and book titles. A writer should separate the title page and mention there his/her name, professor’s name, class (if there is one) and full title of the paper. By the way, a reader should have a chance to make the first impression of the paper using an overview or an abstract that usually contains 200 words. The text that follows the title page starts on a new page with the title of the paper on its top.

How to Cite in ASA Format: Basic Rules

How to cite in ASA format? The rules concerning ASA format citation depend on the source and place. For instance, if an author writes a manuscript, there is the need to follow the next rules for ASA citation format:

  • 12-point font.
  • It’s necessary to present a research as a double-spaced text taking into consideration all references and footnotes.
  • The format requires a title page that is to be given as a separate section with the total word number (count) and names of all authors (if there are more than one).
  • A writer must keep to 1-inch margins on each side of the page.
  • There must be specific information about authors given in the footnotes of the title page (acknowledgments, place of living, etc).
  • An abstract that contains two hundred words and has a title and a detached page.
  • A writer must type the title of the manuscript on each new page of the text.

How to write in ASA format if it’s an in-text citation? Writers should know that:

  1. they give a cited author’s last name and the year of the publication and number of the page;
  2. they use parentheses when pointing the year of the publication after the author’s surname;
  3. a colon separates the year of publication and page number(s);
  4. they mention three surnames (if there are such) when they cite a paper firstly;
  5. quotation marks are required.

ASA Bibliography Format: Main Issues to Follow

There is a necessity to learn peculiarities of ASA bibliography format. A person mustn’t forget to mention references after the cited abstract and/or footnotes in the “Reference” section. In addition, a researcher is to mention all cited works both in the body of the text and in the bibliography that requires a list in ABC order according to authors’ surnames.

People should double space references. All references require hanging indents. In case a person cites one author’s works several times, it’s necessary to present them in a chronological order (from the earliest publication to the latest one).

A writer should use italics when there are periodical and book titles. They can be underlined if there is no such font.

A writer should mention the name of the country if the edition belongs to a foreigner.