How to Cite in ASA Format

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Learning ASA (American Sociological Association) citation can be tedious, but it is necessary to properly acknowledge sources and ensure their work is respected and honored. A proper citation allows writers to give credit to the original source of information and ideas in their written documents. According to the ASA Style Guide, citations must be used both in-text and at the end of the document in a "References" section. The citation format will vary depending on the location of the citation and the specific source (i.e. book, journal, website, etc.). With practice, ASA citation can become a fairly simple process for students.

Things You'll Need

  • ASA Style Guide

In-Text Citations

  • Write the last name of the author followed by the publication year in parentheses. Do not use a comma to separate the author and publication year. Place a period after the parentheses.

    Example: (Taylor 1980).

  • Write the page number after the publication year with the use of a colon. Do not put a space between the publication year, colon, and page number. Place a period after the parentheses.

    Example: (Taylor 1980:24).

  • Include the last names of other authors when the source has multiple authors. If a source has two authors, separate their last names by using "and."

    Example: (Taylor and Brown 1980).

    If a source has three authors, list all last names in the first text citation only. Then use one author's last name followed by "et. al" and the publication year.

    Example: (Taylor et. al 1980).

  • Cite multiple references by putting them in alphabetical order and separating them with a semicolon after the publication year.

    Example: (Taylor 1980; Johnson 1995).

References Citations

  • Cite a book by writing the author's last name followed by a comma and his first name followed by a period. If there is more than one author, write his first name followed by his last name. Then write the publication year, title of the book, location of the publisher, state and the publisher's name.

    Example: Taylor, John and David Brown. 1980. How to Cite ASA. New Jersey: New Jersey Press.

    Always italicize the title of the book.

  • Cite an article by writing the author's last name followed by a comma and her first name followed by a period. If there is more than one author write her first name followed by her last name. Then write the publication year, the title of the article, followed by the journal or periodical title, the volume number, the issue number (in parentheses) and the page numbers.

    Example: Taylor, John and David Brown. 1980. "How to Cite ASA." Writing Styles 30(4):123-28.

    Always italicize the journal title, and put the article title in quotations.

  • Cite a website by following the same guidelines used for books. Include the date the information was originally retrieved from the website followed by the URL in parentheses at the end of the citation.

    Example: Retrieved September 4, 2011 (URL).

  • Arrange sources in alphabetical order according to the last name of the authors.

  • Indent the second line of each citation.

  • Photo Credit Nick White/Photodisc/Getty Images
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