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E. H. Butler Library - Buffalo State

ASA Style
American Sociological Association Documentation Style

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 by their professors to use "ASA style" when writing research papers. Consult the Style Guide for answers to questions not covered here. As with any writing assignment, students should pay careful attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, usage, and accuracy. Hanging indentation should be used for all references. Some web browsers will display references in block format. 

American Sociological Association. 1997. American Sociological Association Style Guide. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. 

Butler Library Call Number: Ref HM 73 .A54 1997

The Librarian can point out the location of the Style Guide in the Reference Room.
 

MANUSCRIPT FORMAT

  • Use a word processor with an ink jet or laser printer, not a dot matrix printer
  • Choose 12-point type and print on 8-1/2 by 11 inch white paper using 1-1/4 inch margins on all four sides
  • All text must be double-spaced
  • Use the word processor's italics feature for book and periodical titles; underline if the word processor does not provide italics
  • Have a separate title page giving the title of the paper, author, etc.
  • If required, on a separate page provide a short (150 - 200 words) abstract headed with the title
  • Begin the text on a separate page headed with the title
  • If section headings are used in the paper, follow this sequence:

 

THIS IS A FIRST LEVEL HEADING (all caps, centered or left justified)

 

The beginning of the paper should not have a heading, i.e. do not use INTRODUCTION

 

This Is a Second Level Heading (italics, centered or left justified) 

  • Use citations in text

CITATIONS IN TEXT

  • DIRECT QUOTES - Whenever you use an author's exact words, you must document the source. 
  • For shorter quotes: 

Quotations in text must begin and end with quotation marks; the citation follows the end quote mark and precedes the period.  

"In 1998, however, the data were reported by more specific job type3/4 which showed that technologically oriented jobs paid better" (Hildenbrand 1999:47).

 Use p. (lowercase p) for the page number when the author and year do not accompany it. 

Hildenbrand (1999) stated that "in 1998, however, the data were reported by more specific job type3/4 which showed that technologically oriented jobs paid better" (p. 47).

 

  • Longer quotes: 

Set longer quotations off in a separate paragraph that is indented from the text, single space, and use a smaller type size. Do not use quotation marks.

 If necessity is the mother of Invention, then perhaps desperation might be Inspiration's father. How many useful innovations that seem to others like bright and shiny new ideas are created as the result of a last-ditch attempt to fix a part of the world that had just been noticed to be "out of order?" Perhaps that is not a very romantic view of change, but it often fits experience. And if a new idea works, by bringing about needed improvements, it looks better and better (Besemer et al. 1993:69).

If the author's name is in the text followed by the year in parentheses, put the page reference, preceded by P. (upper case P), in parentheses following the end period of the quote.

 

According to Besemer et al. (1993): 

If necessity is the mother of Invention, then perhaps desperation might be Inspiration's father. How many useful innovations that seem to others like bright and shiny new ideas are created as the result of a last-ditch attempt to fix a part of the world that had just been noticed to be "out of order?" Perhaps that is not a very romantic view of change, but it often fits experience. And if a new idea works, by bringing about needed improvements, it looks better and better (P. 69).

 PARAPHRASES - When using an author's ideas or re-phrasing his words3/4 even though you do not quote the words directly3/4 you must document the source. Use the same format as shown above for the citations in text, but omit the page number. 

<paraphrase> in another study by Davidoff (1989).

 <paraphrase> whenever it occurred (Riess 1991).

 

Additional Examples of Citations in Text

    • Give both names for joint (two) authors:
      (Hakim and Lindstrom 1998)
       
    • For three authors give all three names in the first citation and use "et al." subsequently (Rockwell, Lord and Newman 1992) first citation (Rockwell et al. 1992) subsequent citation(s). 
    • For four or more authors (e.g. Sternberg, Barone, Gray, Ellmann and Gadikian) use "et al." in all citations including the first 

(Sternberg et al. 1999) 

    • For institutional or government authorship, supply minimum identification from the beginning of the complete citation.

(U. S. Bureau of the Census 1998:482) 

    • Separate a series of references with semicolons. List them in a logical order, e.g. by year or alphabetically. 

(Posner 1987; Munn 1990; Vaughan and Hsu 1993)

(Munn 1990; Posner 1987; Vaughan and Hsu 1993)

 

 

REFERENCE LIST

  • The reference list is printed on a separate page headed with the word "References"
  • All references cited in the text must appear in the reference list
  • All references in the reference list must be cited in the text
  • The references should be double-spaced
  • Use hanging indentation [Your browser may display these examples in block format.]
  • The list should be arranged alphabetically by author's last name
  • Invert the author's name; if there are two or more authors, invert only the first author's name
  • Use six hyphens and a period (------.) in place of the name(s) for repeated authorship
  • Arrange multiple items by the same author in order by year of publication, earliest year first
  • Distinguish works by the same author in the same year by adding letters (e.g. 1993a, 1993b, 1993c)
  • Use city and state (U. S. postal abbreviation) for all cities except New York
  • Use italics for book and periodical titles (underline if italics are not available)

 

Examples of References
(Examples are single-spaced to conserve space.)

Books - One Author

Prus, Robert C. 1996. Symbolic Interaction and Ethnographic Research: Intersubjectivity and the Study of Human Lived Experience. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

 

Books - Two Authors 

Renzetti, Claire M. and Daniel J. Curran. 1998. Living Sociology. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

 

Books - Edited 

Turner, Stephen P., ed. 1996. Social Theory and Sociology: The Classics and Beyond. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

 

Books - 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.

 

Chapters from Books 

Berk, Richard. 1972. "The Controversy Surrounding Analysis of Collective Violence: Some Methodological Notes." Pp. 112-118 in Collective Violence, edited by James F. Short and Marvin E. Wolfgang. Chicago, IL: Aldine.

 

Articles from Journals - One Author 

Crawford, Walt. 1999. "Bits Is Bits: Pitfalls in Digital Reformatting." American Libraries 30 (5): 47-49. 

Hildenbrand, Suzanne. 1999. "The Information Age vs. Gender Equity." Library Journal, April 15, 124:44-47.

Use the issue number or exact date for journals that do not number pages consecutively within a volume.

Articles from Journals - Multiple Authors 

Besemer, Susan P., Sarah B. Dorsey, Barbara L. Kittle and Carrie M. Niles. 1993. "Managing the Academic Library through Teamwork: A Case Study." Journal of Library Administration 18:69-89.

Issue number and/or exact date unnecessary if pages are numbered consecutively within a volume.

 

Articles from Magazines and Newspapers

Gibbs, Nancy. 1999. "Noon in the Garden of Good and Evil: The Tragedy at Columbine Began as a Crime Story But Is Becoming a Parable." Time, May 17, 153:54.

 Snyder, Donna. 1999. "Judge Orders Teen's Hearing in Murder Case to Be Closed." The Buffalo News, May 18, 1B.

 

Articles from Commercial Electronic Periodical Databases

Graham, Lorie M. 1998. "The Past Never Vanishes: A Contextual Critique of the Existing Indian Family Doctrine" American Indian Law Review, 23:1 (32854 words). Retrieved May 25, 1999 Available: LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe, Law Reviews.  

Whipple, Ellen E. 1999. "Reaching Families with Preschoolers at Risk of Physical Child Abuse: What Works?" Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services. 80:148 (1 page). Retrieved June 23, 1999 Available: SearchBank Expanded Academic ASAP.

 

Articles from Electronic Journals 

Chuang, Chien-Pen, Xing Lan and Joseph C. Chen. 1999. "A Systematic Procedure for Designing State Combination Circuits in PLCs" Journal of Industrial Technology, 15 (3 pages). Retrieved May 25, 1999 (http://www.nait.org/)

 Rehfeld, Jens F. 1998. "The New Biology of Gastrointestinal Hormones." Physiological Reviews, 78:1087-1108. Retrieved May 25, 1999 (http://physrev.physiology.org/search.shtml)

 

Information Posted on Web Pages, etc. 

American Sociological Association. 1999. "Meeting Schedule." Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved April 22, 1999 (http://www.asanet.org/Meetings/99AM/PrelimProg/genschedule.htm)

Chubu Institute of Advanced Studies. "Comparative Rural Sociology in Asia." PROJECT (3). Japan. Retrieved April 1, 1999 (http://www.chubu.ac.jp/inst/projects/comparative-index-.html)

 Pomeroy, Steve and Michel Frojmovic. 1995. "Inventory of Responses Addressing Homelessness." Submitted to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Retrieved March 2, 1999 gopher://csf.colorado.edu:70/00/psn/homeless/Inventory-of-resources)

For additional information on citing electronic resources consult:
Li, Xia and Nancy B. Crane. 1996. Electronic Styles: A Handbook for Citing Electronic Information. Rev. ed. Medford, NJ: Information Today. 


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