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ASA Style

Links to helpful websites, citation examples, and personal assistance using the style guide of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Direct Quotations & Paraphrasing in ASA

ASA style follows the author-date format used by The Chicago Manual of Style for in-text citations. After a quotation or reference, add parentheses containing the author's last name and the year of publication of the work being cited. The page number may also be noted following a colon.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 2007:7).

If you use more than one work by the same author published in the same year, use the letters a, b, etc., after the year.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Seuss 2007a:7).

If a reference list includes more than one author with the same last name, add the first initials to in-text citations.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (D. Seuss 2007:7).

If two or more authors wrote the work, see the "Basic ASA Citations" table below.

If using the author's name in your text, do not include it in the parentheses.

Example: In his scholarly study, Dr. Seuss (2007) observed that "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog."

If no author name is available, use the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use quotation marks around titles of articles or web pages and italicize titles of books, periodicals, or reports. Treat in-text citations to legal materials such as court cases, statutes, and legislation the same as works with no author.

Example: "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" (Fox in Socks 2007:12).

For additional examples, see section 4.3.1, pages 55-58 in the ASA's Style Guide (2022).

Basic ASA Citations

Type of Citation First Citation in Text Subsequent Citations in Text Parenthetical Format, First Citation in Text Parenthetical Format, Subsequent Citations in Text
One work by one author Walker (2007) Walker (2007) (Walker 2007) (Walker 2007)
One work by two authors Walker and Allen (2004) Walker and Allen (2004) (Walker and Allen 2004) (Walker and Allen 2004)
One work by three authors Bradley, Ramirez, and Soo (1999) Bradley et al. (1999) (Bradley, Ramirez, and Soo 1999) (Bradley et al. 1999)
One work by four or more authors Wasserstein et al. (2005) Wasserstein et al. (2005) (Wasserstein et al. 2005) (Wasserstein et al. 2005)
Groups/institutions as authors (readily identified through abbreviation) NIMH (2003) NIMH (2003) (NIMH 2003) (NIMH 2003)
Groups as authors (no abbreviation) University of Pittsburgh (2005) University of Pittsburgh (2005) (University of Pittsburgh 2005) (University of Pittsburgh 2005)

See American Sociological Association Style Guide (2022) for more information.