How to Format in ASA - Complete Style Guide

How to Format in ASA - Complete Style Guide
Table of Contents
  1. How to Format in ASA - Complete Style Guide
  2. What Is ASA Format?
  3. ASA Format – General Points
  4. ASA Format – Main Features
  5. ASA Citation Format – General Requirements
  6. Direct Quotations – How to Cite in ASA Format?
  7. ASA Bibliography Format Rules
  8. ASA Format Example – Get Trained

ASA format or English American Sociological Association style is the generally accepted style used to design research/academic papers in Sociology. Just like APA or MLA style format, this style has specific requirements to arrange content, citations, footnotes, and bibliography in academic works. Every student is to be aware of them. These standards are described in detail in dedicated style guide by the American Association of Sociologists, which is constantly updated.

What Is ASA Format?

If you want to know what is ASA format and how to write in ASA format, we will tell you here. The style was developed for proper formatting of academic/research papers in sociological sciences. This refers to formatting in-text citations, headers, references, and body text. In this post, we will outline the main features and rules of ASA citation format for those who have never coped with it.

We highly encourage students who study Sociology or plan to pursue their Master’s degree in Sociology to download the complete ASA Formatting Guide, which features sections on editorial styles, mechanics of style, guidelines to organize and present content, and more detailed info about referencing your scholarly sources. Click to see/ get to know more about ASA format citation in a single post, and use it as a reference guide. More tips on writing an A-grade expository essay here.

ASA Format – General Points

ASA citation format has something in common with APA developed by the American Psychological Association. The two have a common citation and reference look-out. Sources used in the work is placed at the very end of the document after all sections of it.

Reference entries should be alphabetically mentioned in a section labeled “References.” This style is easily recognizable by the “author-year” format of citations and header designing. The publication date follows the author's name or the names of the authors.

The required elements of a paper in ASA format are:

  • Title page – it should contain a full title of the work and the name of both the author and the institution. One can indicate there the address of the author to get in touch with. All the info is to be centered, with the title of the paper being written in bold.
  • Abstract – it is not a required element. It is recommended that the work contains an abstract following the title page. An abstract gives insight into the general information about the paper contents as well as terms used in it.
  • Reference page – it is a page with all the sources used is mentioned on it. Apart from the source name, you are to specify the author’s (authors’) name, publication year of the source, and the name of the publisher. The order of the info matters.

ASA Format – Main Features

Some of the basic features of the style are outlined below.

  • The style is recommended to be used in academic works in social sciences;
  • The paper should contain a running head, which is a shortened version of the paper’s full title. It is to be written in capital letters, be less than 50 characters, and aligned flush right.
  • Page numbers start in the header of the first page with Arabic number 1 and should be flush left.
  • Margins should be set at 1”.
  • The font is to be Times New Roman.
  • Font size is to be 12 pt.
  • Text should be double-spaced.

ASA Citation Format – General Requirements

ASA format presupposes the author-date way of designing of in-text citations to cite sources and/or providing relevant commentary. The last name of the author, the year of source publication should be indicated in the text. Ensure the same info is specified on the Reference page as well.

As a general rule, in-text citations are set at the end of the paraphrased idea and contain both the writer’s name plus the year of publication of the source. If the name of the author is already mentioned, no need to repeat it in the practical citation. It is only necessary to specify the year of publication into the parenthesis.

Example 1: According to James (2014), …
Example 2: In Africa, heat beating is done by using traditional means of shade and water (James 2014).
If you need to specify the number of the page being cited, write it after the year of publication and put the colon between the two.
Example 3: ... as James wrote (2014: 16)…

Direct Quotations – How to Cite in ASA Format?

Another way of how to cite in ASA format is using direct quotations, which are the exact phrases that are taken from the original source. Using direct quotations is different from having paraphrased quotes. Based on ASA format, use quotation marks in direct quotations used in the text. Note that the closing quotation mark should be followed by the parenthetical citation written in parenthesis and containing the writer’s name, year of publication, and the page.

Example: “The data of the late 1990s showed that professions related to technology were highly paid” (Hildebrand 1999: 47).

ASA Bibliography Format Rules

According to ASA bibliography format, all the resources used in the work should be mentioned at the end of the paper labeled “References.” References should be arranged in the alphabetical order by the surname of the author.

All lines after the first one of each entry in the list should be 0,5 inch indented. Remember that the titles of periodicals and books are to be italicized on the reference page as a rule. Write the titles of articles or chapters without quotation marks and italics.


Buhs, Joshua Blu. 2009. Bigfoot: The Life and Times of a Legend. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press.
Gray, Phillip W. 2013. “Leaderless Resistance, Networked Organization, and Ideological
Hegemony.” Terrorism and Political Violence 25(5):655-671.

ASA Format Example – Get Trained

If you have no experience in paper formatting, you can find any ASA format sample paper on the Internet. You have an option to check an ASA format example on our website or order a ready-made piece from our experts. Choose what suits you better.

When buying paper online, you can choose whether to have a paper written from scratch or just having it adjusted according to rules of ASA citation format. On top of that, you can order revising your ready-made draft, proofreading it, and making corrections to eliminate any errors. Ensure your ASA paper format is perfectly done!