ASA Formatting Style Guide

ASA Formatting Style Guide
Table of Contents
  1. ASA Formatting Style Guide
  2. What is ASA Format
  3. ASA format example
  4. How to cite in ASA format
  5. ASA bibliography format examples

ASA format is a well-known style to write a university research paper in sociology. This style is the leading American method of quotation and referencing. Sociological scholars apply the ASA citation format to have the proper punctuation arrangement of the footnotes, citing, bibliography. This is a brief guide to want to learn how to write academic papers of high quality. American Sociological Association created the standards of ASA to publish them on the official site. You can check it out to read information in more details.

What is ASA Format

According to the standards, scholars must apply ASA format to text of the research paper. With ASA formatting, the world accepted font is Times New Roman, 12 pt. Entire text, including reference list, should be double-spaced; those standards also cover the text structure:

  1. Title page. Includes information about the author: his name, institution, acknowledgments, grant info & address (in a footnote, below the page) to list the whole word count on this page.
  2. Abstract. This is a short paragraph (no more than 200 words), which summarizes entire essay content. Begin this thing on the next page to start it from main title. Add 3-5 keywords to it.
  3. Body. Main part of your paper, where the author does his research; proofs his opinion with help of data; references to the authoritative resources. Write the text in ASA paper format and divide it into titles and head titles. Read 10 useful tips on how to write the academic paper from the experts’ argument.
  4. Notes. Additional information in the paper. You can take notes below the page in a superscripted numbers order or create a separate section.
  5. References. Citing in the paper should be listed in the alphabetical order. Read more information about the ASA bibliography format below.
  6. Appendixes. The section to include data, graphs, pictures, etc. should be listed in each of the appendixes on the separate page and title it (Appendix 1, Appendix 2).

ASA format example

As it was mentioned before, body is always divided into subheadings. Read the ASA format sample paper to compose it correctly:

  2. Second Level Heading (Use Italics and Capitalize the First Letters of the Words Unless They are Prepositions or Conjunctions)
  3. Third level heading (capitalize only the first word, use italics).

Avoid using bold font throughout every heading and indicate the period only after the 3rd level headings.

How to cite in ASA format

  • If you use the author’s name in the text: ...according to the concept of Daniel Bell (1950).

  • If you don’t use the author’s name, enclose it in the parentheses: ... the term of post-industrial society (Bell 1950).

  • Write the page number with no space, after the colon: the term of post-industrial society (Bell 1950:78).

  • If there are 2 authors, indicate both of them: ...(Bell and Goffman 1970)

  • If the paper cites 3 and more authors, in the first quotation you need to cite all of them, but after that use et al.:

...(Allen, Bell, and Goffman 1970) for the first time;

...(Allen et al. 1970) further in the text.

  • If there is a series of references, separate them with semicolons; Write the authors alphabetically or with the year of the publication and note that you must choose only one approach and stick to it throughout the paper:

... (Durkheim 1880; Bell and Goffman 1970; Bourdieu 1999);

or ...( Bell and Goffman 1970; Bourdieu 1999; Durkheim 1880).

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ASA bibliography format examples

Bibliography or reference list must include only the references you mentioned in the text (and vice versa: don’t forget to indicate all references in the list). Place each author in the alphabetical order with the first author’s surname. Include first names and surnames of all authors. Use Italics to create titles and periodicals.

  • Booksа:

Bell, Jack D. 1997. Ethnographic Research. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

  • Journal articles:

Mendez, Bill A. 2012. “Health of Mentally Disabled Men.” Gerontologist 50:410-11.

  • Internet resources:

“The Impact of Career Choice Process on Applicants” 2018. University of Toronto April 27, 2005,

By the way, it is much easier to reference any book or a website by using the free online citation apps. You need to fill the information form and then copy the reference into your work.

Now the main tips on how to write in ASA style are clear and if you struggle with your work or experience a lack of time, we can help you! Our team of experienced writers will write a unique work of high quality in any style so visit our website to find out more details.