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Citing Sources

Citation styles and tools for citing sources/managing citations

Style by Discipline

ASA style is usually used in Sociology. ASA stands for the American Sociological Association.

Key Characteristics

Big Picture

  • ASA style features in-text parenthetical citations and a corresponding References page. 

In-Text Citations

Use for quotes, paraphrases and summaries

  • Basic format includes the last name of the author(s) and the publication year - Example: (Eaton 2016)
  • Include page number when quoting directly, paraphrasing or when referring to specific passages - Example: (Beattie 2017: 96)
  • If the author's name is included in the text, follow it with the publication year in parenthesis- Example: When Beattie (2017) studied...
  • If referring to two authors of the same text, join last name with and. Example: (Kettrey and Pirtle 2014) 
  • If the resource has more than three authors, list all the authors' last names and publication year for the first citation; for subsequent citations, use the first author's last name and et al. - Example (Brooks, Dodson and Hotchkiss 2010); (Brooks et al. 2010)
  • If referring to more than one source in the same citation, separate citations with a semi-colon - Example: (Eaton 2016:45; Beattie 2017:96)
  • If the works by the same author were published in the same year, add lowercase letters to the dates of publication and repeat them in the reference list - Example (Dodson 2006a; 2006b) 

ASA In-Text Citations (Purdue OWL)

Reference List...

  • Order citations alphabetically (typically by author's last name)
  • Include hanging indent after the first line
  • References should be double-spaced
  • Use italics for book and periodical titles 
  • Capitalize main words in a title
  • Format author in citations as follows:
    • one author includes last name, first name, middle initial (if used.) Example: Beattie, Irenee R. 
    • two or more authors includes last name, first name and first name last name. Example:  BeattieIrenee R. and Linda Renzulli Beattie, Irenee R., Heather Macpherson Parrott, and Linda A. Renzulli
  • DOIs are preferred over URLs when citing journal articles

ASA References Page Formatting (Purdue OWL)

ASA Formatting Guides & Examples

ASA Examples

Journal Article from a Commercial Database

Sweeten, Gary, Shawn D. Bushway, and Raymond Paternoster. 2009. “Does Dropping Out of School Mean Dropping Into Delinquency?” Criminology 47(1):47-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00139.x.

Information Posted on a Web Site

Spalter-Roth, Roberta and William Erskine. 2007. “Race and Ethnicity in the Sociology Pipeline.” Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved January 9, 2008 (

Web-Based Journal Article

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 (

Web Version of Newspaper

Blank, Rebecca M. 2008. “How We Measure Poverty.” Los Angeles Times, September 15. Retrieved January 7, 2009 (,0,7811609.story).

Note: Citations should be double-spaced and have a hanging indent.

ASA Journal Article Citation Video

USCA Library, 2:14

For the ASA style video playlist (7 videos) from USCA Library, visit