The American Sociological Association Style Guide is intended for authors who are preparing manuscripts for publication in ASA journals. This handout is intended for students who are instructed to use ASA style when writing research papers. Consult the ASA Style Guide for additional or more detailed information (ref desk HM 73 A54 1997).

Manuscript Format

  • All text (including footnotes & references) must be double spaced and in 12 point type.
  • Margins must be at least 1 inches on all four sides
  • A separate title page including title of paper, name(s) of authors, word count for the manuscript (including footnotes and references), title footnote (includes names, addresses of authors, acknowledgments, credits, and grants)
  • 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.

Citations in Text

  • Basic form for citations in the text include 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 author's name is in the text, follow it with the publication year in parentheses:
    When Chu (1977) studied...
  • If the author's name is not in the text, enclose the last name and year in parentheses:
    ...when the study was completed (Jones 1994).
  • If the page number is to be included, it follows the year of publication after a colon:
    Chavez (1966:16)...
  • For three authors, give all last names in the first citation in the text; afterwards use the first name and et al.; for more than three names, use the first author's last name plus et al.:
    (Smith, Garcia and Lee 1954); (Snow et al. 1989)
  • Quotations in the text must 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).

Footnote & Endnotes

  • 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."

Reference List (Bibliography)

  • References follow the text and footnotes in a separate section headed "References."
  • All references cited in the text must be listed and vice-versa.
  • Remember references should be double-spaced.
  • List references in alphabetical order by author's last names.
  • Use hanging indentation* (Indent one half inch from the left margin all the lines after the first line) - (hanging indentation cannot be duplicated in HTML)
  • Invert the authors' name; if there are two or more authors, invert only the first author's name.
  • Arrange multiple items by the same author in order by year of publication, earliest year first.
  • Use six hyphens and a period(------.) in place of the name(s) for repeated authorship.
  • Distinguish works by the same author in the same year by adding letters (e.g. 1993a, 1993b, 1993c).
  • Use italics for book and periodical titles (underline if italics are not available).
  • If no date is available use "N.d." in place of the date.
  • Include both city and state for place of publication except for New York using U.S. Postal Code abbreviations. For foreign cities provide the name of the country.

Examples of References

Note: Examples are single-spaced to conserve space but should be double-spaced in your paper.


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, Mari'a and Helena Mari'a Viramontes. 1995. Chicana (W)rites : On Word and Film. Berkeley, CA: Third Woman Press.

Chapter in Book

Nathan, Peter E. and Raymond S. Niaura. 1987. "Prevention of Alcohol Problems." Pp. 333-354 in Treatment and Prevention of Alcohol Problems: A Resource Manual, edited by W.M. Cox. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, Inc.

No Author

Manual of Style. 1993. 14th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

List books with no author alphabetically by the first significant word in the title.

Journal Articles in Print

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 (Journal Articles)

Garcia, Alma M. 1998. "An Intellectual Odyssey: Chicana/Chicano Studies Moving into the Twenty-first Century." Journal of American Ethnic History 18:109.

Two or More Authors (Journal Articles)

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 27:301-324.

Newspaper & Magazine 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, A13.

Articles Retrieved in Electronic Format

From Commercial Databases

Graham, Lorie M. 1998. "The Past Never Vanishes: A Contextual Critique of the Existing Indian Family Doctrine." American Indian Law Review, 23:1. Retrieved May 25, 1999 Available: LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe, Law Reviews.

Web Version of Newspapers

Clary, Mike. 2000. "Vieques Protesters Removed Without Incident." Los Angeles Times, May 5. Retrieved May 5, 2000 (http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/updates/lat_vieques000505.htm).

Web based journals

Smith, Herman W. and Takako Nomi. 2000. "Is Amae the Key to Understanding Japanese Culture?." Electronic Journal of Sociology 5:1. Retrieved May 5, 2000 (http://www.sociology.org/content/vol005.001/smith-nomi.html).

Information posted on a web page

American Sociological Association. 2000. "Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Workshop." Washington, DC: American Sociological Association, Retrieved May 5, 2000 (http://www.asanet.org/members/socwkshp.html)


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.

Willamette University

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503-370-6556 voice
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