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Citation Styles

If you are submitting a manuscript to a journal requiring ASA style it is a good idea to read the ASA Style Guide. It includes detailed content about usage: including vocabulary, syntax, punctuation, spacing, font size. It is more than just citations, although these are obviously critical. 

If you don't want to buy a copy of the style guide, you can start by using the edition in the Internet Archive as a reference, linked here.

Style Guide Manual for ASA

Author-Date Format

ASA style follows the author-date system, (last name of the author or authors, followed by year of publication), established by the Chicago Manual of Style. The style consists of an in-text citation enclosed in parentheses, and a reference list at the end of the article, preceding any appendices.

The in-text citation is composed of author surname (s) and date of publication inside parentheses. For example (Kittredge 1980)

(If you are preparing a book manuscript, you will also need to include a bibliography, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it. This guide describes the author-date/ reference list system.)

☞ If you are quoting or referring to a specific passage, the in-text citation should include page numbers as well as the author and date.

When you have to include page numbers, use this format: year of publication- colon-page number(s), as below:(Thompson 2007:86)
Weird but true.

☞ If you use the author's name in the passage of text, don't include it in the in-text citation. Only include the year of publication; for example:

"as described by Thompson (2007), the effect of expectation is powerful...".

☞ Author's name not in the passage of text? Include it inside the parentheses, as below:

"The effect of expectation on measures of success has been found to be powerful (Thompson, 2007)". [Notice the parentheses are NOT set off by commas.]

Multiple authors? If there are two, use both surnames connected by "and". 
If there are three, use all three surnames in the first instance of the in-text citation, after that use et al. when citing the same authors.

"The effect of expectation on measures of success has been found to be powerful (Thompson, Carter and Walling 2007)

"Despite their perception of expectations, first-gen students were found to succeed... (Thompson et al. 2007)

Four or more authors? List the last name of only the first author followed by “et al.” and the year in every in-text citation.

"The effect of expectation on measures of success has been found to be powerful (Thompson et al. 2007)..." [Notice the period after et al.]

More than one publication date? If you are citing material that has been reprinted use both publication dates. Include the earliest publication date in brackets, followed the date of the publication you are using.

"The effect of expectation on measures of success has been found to be powerful (Thompson [1995] 2007)..."

Material not published yet? Use the word "Forthcoming". If it is a dissertation, include a date if available. If no date is available use N.d instead.

"A study concluded by Thompson (forthcoming) supports findings by Carter (N.d) showing that"...

Multiple sources cited for the same statement?  List them either in alphabetical order by author name OR by order of dates, but just be consistent. Separate them with a semi-colon.

(Thompson, 2007; Carter 1995; Walling 1987)

Forgoing adapted from American Sociological Association Style Guide,  4th Edition, 2010. Retrieved from Internet Archive, February 11, 2022.




Types of References





Book with one Author (Berry 1977)

Berry, Wendell. 1977. The Unsettling of America : Culture & Agriculture. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

Note that the two-letter state abbreviation should be given only if needed to identify the city. For a publisher located in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Boston, for example, it would not be necessary to include the state abbreviation.

Book with two Authors (Alba and Foner 2015) Alba, Richard D. and Nancy Foner. 2015. Strangers No More : Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Book with three Authors

First time citation appears in the paper:

(Cray, Kotler and Beller 2003)

All subsequent appearances in the paper:

(Cray et al. 2003)

Cray, Ed, Jonathan Kotler, and Miles Beller. 2003. American Datelines : Major News Stories from Colonial Times to the Present. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Edited Book (Anthology) Gates, Henry Louis and Nellie Y. McKay, eds. 1996. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton.
Chapter from Edited Book Dyer, Richard. 2016. "Whiteness: the Power of Invisibility." Pp. 125-178 in White Privilege : Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism Fifth ed. edited by P. Rothenberg and M. Soniya. New York: Worth.
Encyclopedia or Dictionary (electronic)  

Major reference works can be cited with a note in the text. Subject-specific encyclopedias require an in-text citation an entry in the reference list.

Author's Last Name, First Name Middle Initial. Year of publication.  "Title of Entry or Article." Title of Reference Source. edition,  Vol. number, edited by Editor (editors use initials and not inverted). City of publication: Publisher.

Note that electronic versions of encyclopedias don't usually have page numbers. Check with the latest edition of the ASA Guide if you are consulting an electronic encyclopedia.


Journal Article from Database with URL

Cooper, Cassidy H., and Paul E. Noroian. 2021. “Standards of Review for Reversing Decisions Made by Immigration Courts.” Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 49 (3):443–45. Retrieved February 16, 2022  (

Journal Article from Database with DOI  

Martinez, Robert R., Jr., Lacretia Dye, Laura M. Gonzalez, and Julia Rivas. 2021. “Striving to Thrive: Community Cultural Wealth and Legal Immigration Status.” Journal of Latinx Psychology 9 (4):299–314. doi:10.1037/lat0000191.

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) should be included if readily available (otherwise, omit). Copy and paste to avoid typos.

Journal Article with two Authors   Cattaneo, Cristina, and Daniela Grieco. 2021. “Turning Opposition into Support to Immigration: The Role of Narratives.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 190 (October):785–801. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2021.08.015
Journal Article with three Authors Carnahan, Dustin, Daniel E. Bergan, and Sangwon Lee. 2021. “Do Corrective Effects Last? Results from a Longitudinal Experiment on Beliefs toward Immigration in the US.” Political Behavior 43 (3):1227–46. doi:10.1007/s11109-020-09591-9.
Journal Article with four or More Authors   Ward, Colleen, Inkuk Kim, Johannes Alfons Karl, Stephen Epstein, and Hea-Jin Park. 2020. “How Normative Multiculturalism Relates to Immigrant Well-Being.” Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 26 (4): 581–91. 
Thesis or Dissertation   Yost, Abby. 2021. "Fostering a Commitment to Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy among Teacher Preparation Students." PhD dissertation, Department of Sociology, Prescott College. Retrieved from Proquest Dissertation and Theses Database, 28961962. 

Zhang, Sarah. 2020. "The Lost Children of Down Syndrome," The Atlantic Monthly, December, pp. 42-55.



Peter S. Goodman. 2022. "A Normal Supply Chain? It’s ‘Unlikely’ in 2022". The New York Times, February 15. Retrieved February 17, 2022 

A newspaper in print form will require page numbers following the month and day in this format: Pp. A3-4. 


Journal articles found in library databases are not the same as websites. Includes Google Scholar.

Web citations include: Author. [can be an institution or group] Year. "Resource Title." Date accessed if the date of publication is not known. URL 

University of Massachusetts, Lowell. 2022. "Happy Birthday, Jack Kerouac." 

e-Book from Library  

Kuhn, Thomas S. 1996. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Retrieved February 17,2022(


Public Documents (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1990)

If an author name is available the reference entry should be in this format:
Author Last Name, First Name. Year of Publication. "Title of Article, Report or Data". Name of Government Department and any specification to identify the article. Location of publication. Publisher [government department].

No author name use this format:

Country, state or government agency issuing the content [include all the detail you can]. Date. "Title of Document". page numbers if available, report number if available, place of publication, publisher.

U.S Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2001.Washington, DC: U.S Government Printing Office.


Podcast Author, Group or Organization [last name first]. Date. "Title of the Podcast". Location of Organization if known, organization hosting the podast if any. Name of podcast or just include the words Audio Podcast. Date accessed (URL in parentheses).
Citing Volume Number in Multi-volume Book   Moore, Mary E. and Beth Hess. 1968. "Aging and the Life Course." Pp.124-233 in Aging and Society. Vol. 1, The Population, edited by M.W. White  and A. Foner, New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Republished Works   Include both dates of publication. The original date should appear first, in brackets, in the usual date location, i.e. after the author(s) information.


Web Content

If you are relying on content from a website to support a point you are making in your paper, you should treat the site explicitly in the Reference List in the format shown, (Author. [last name first OR name of group or institution] Date. [N.d. if date unknown]"Title of Article". URL. [Notice that date of retrieval is only required is there is no known publication date for the website.]

If a source is of limited availability, e.g. blog, tweet, social media post, email, you can either include a note to that effect in the text, or use a numbered superscript system and create footnotes or endnotes. You thought you were getting out of this whole footnote thing but no.

Try to avoid footnotes though; a note about the source in the text is better, even mentioning that more details are available from the author, (you). Or, an appendix!

Footnotes should appear in numerical order at the bottom of the page double spaced.

Other Possible Sources you Need to Cite

There are a lot of them. If something you need is missing, go to a copy of the American Sociological Association Style Guide, preferably the 6th edition.