ASA Citation Format


If you want to become familiar with ASA format and what it entails to write a paper using ASA format citation, the following guide will give you an insight. The style was created for correct formatting of research and academic papers in sociological sciences. This refers to formatting the body text, headers, in-text citations, and references. The following guide will highlight the main aspect and standards of ASA format for those who are not familiar with it. It is highly encouraged that students who take sociology or intend to pursue a graduate degree in the discipline to become familiar ASA Formatting Guide, which includes the editorial styles, techniques of styles, ways to present and organize content, and other details about the correct ASA bibliography format.  The ASA format title page is similar to that of APA format.

ASA Reference Format

The ASA format assumes the author-date method for developing in-text citations to cite a source or providing commentary relevant to the paper. The author’s last name, the year the source was published should be stated in the text. One should ensure the same information is also included in the Reference page. As a general requirement, the in-text citations are inserted at the end of the borrowed idea and has both the writers name the year the source was published.  If the author’s name is already mentioned, then one does not need to repeat it in the practical citation. It is only mandatory to state the year of publication in the parenthesis.

ASA Reference format examples

Example One: Sidney (2019) asserts that

Example 2: In Africa, there are many national parks with a wide range of animal species (Sidney, 2014).

If one needs to state the number of the page that is being cited, then it should be written after the year of publication, and the two should be separated with a colon.

Example Three: as Sidney states (2014:91)

Citing Direct Quotation in ASA Reference Format

Another method of citing in ASA format is the use of direct quotations, which are the phrases taken from the source in their exact form. The use of direct quotations differs from having paraphrased quotes. On the basis of ASA format, quotation marks should be used in the direct quotations in the paper. It is important to note that the closing quotation mark should be preceded by the parenthetical citation stated in the parenthesis and should have the author’s name, year of publication, as well as the page number.

Example: “It is apparent that many tasks in factories are being automated meaning that many people face the risk of unemployment.” (Sidney 2019: 27)

Formatting Rules for ASA Bibliography Format

According to the rules of ASA bibliography format, all the material used in the paper should be stated at the end of the work labeled “References.” The references should follow alphabetical order starting with the author’s surname. All the lines after the first one of the entries in the list should be indented 0.5 inches. It is important to remember that the titles of books and periodicals should be italicized on the reference page. The titles of chapter or articles should be written without italics or quotation marks.


Sidney, Brave. 2019. The Synthesis of Sources in ASA Format Papers: Oxford University Press.

Sidney, Brave. 2019. “Nationalism and Patriotism in the Digital Age.” Twenty-First Century Renaissance 27(28): 1991-1992.

The General Points of ASA Format

ASA citation format shares some common features with the APA format created by the American Psychological Association. The two have a similar reference and citation framework.  Sources used in the paper are situated in the last section of the paper after all sections.  The entries in the reference section should be listed alphabetically, and the section should be labeled as “References.” The style can be easily recognized by the design of the header and the “author-year” format. The date of publication follows the author’s name or names of the authors. The required features of an ASA paper format are:

ASA format title page: It should have a complete toe of the paper and the names of the author as well as the institution.  One can write the address of the author to contact. All information has to be centered, with the paper’s title being formatted in bold.

Abstract: while is not a required feature, it is recommended that the paper has an abstract after the cove page. An abstract gives the reader insight into the general information about the contents of the work, along with the terms used. It is comprised of all usual information like describing any special words and terms and in-explicit abbreviations. In regards to the technical perquisites, the abstract page begins with the term “Abstract” which is centered on the page and written in the 12pt Times New Roman font. It is then followed by text that is not intended and does not go beyond 250 words to act as a summary of the main points of the paper, and any key types are typed in italics. The abstract page helps the paper to be discovered in searches and facilities the reader with a short overview of what the paper is talking about.  

References page: It is the page with the sources used throughout the paper. Aside from the name of the source, one has to state the name of author or authors, year of publication, and the publisher’s name. The order by which the information is arranged is important.

Main Features of ASA Format

Some of the main aspects of APA format are discussed below:

  1. The format is recommended for academic papers in social sciences.
  2. The paper should have a running head, which is the short version of the essay’s complete title. It has to be written with upper case letters, be not more than fifty characters, and aligned flush right.
  3. Page numbers begin in the header of the first pare with the number 1 in Arabic format aligned flush left.
  4. Margins should be set at one inch.
  5. Times New Roman format is recommended at the size should be 12 pt.
  6. The text should be double spaced.

ASA Format in-text Citation

The ASA format has its own discrete method of inserting in text citations. As illustrated above, ASA format has its own rules different from APA format. The guide illustrates elaborately how to cite in ASA format.

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