ASA Paper Format Basics - A Student Guide

There are various formats used to cite the resources in an essay or assignment. Students must know the differences among these citation styles so that all the exact requirements can be fulfilled. ASA is a commonly used writing style by the students. In the US, you may come across this citation style many times. This is especially true if you are working on some sociology assignment or project. The basic format has been developed by the American Sociological Association and the format is also known as the style of English Americans. In the following lines, we will take a look at some characteristics of this citation format.

As with all other citation styles, this format includes a title page, in-text citations, text in the body, and a list of references. To format properly, students should know all the aspects of the formatting style. IF a student is planning to take up a master’s degree in sociology, this guide will be very useful for him or you can ask others to write my paper.

Writing in the ASA style

The ASA format is very similar to the ASA style which was developed by the American Psychological Association. The reference entries must be placed at the end of the document in the references section. The citation format for this method is also called the “author-year” style. The title includes a date which is usually followed by the name or names of authors.

Citation in ASA style

There is a particular format to be followed by the students while working in the ASA style. The title page, abstract, references, and other sections should follow a definite pattern in this style. We will take a look at all these sections below.

Title Page

This section of the document should contain the full title of the assignment or essay along with the name of the author and the institution. The document may also contain the address of the author. On the paper, this information should be centered and the title of the paper should be written in bold. If you are still confused, consult a paper writing service now.


In some assignments or essays, this may not be a requirement. If the work requires an abstract after the title page, you should cite it properly. This section is meant to provide an overall summary of the work and the terms used in the whole document.


All the sources used in the document are listed in alphabetical order so that the reader knows the sources of information. The year of publication along with the name of the author should be mentioned. In the case of a publication, its year and name of the source publisher should be mentioned.

Headings and cover page in ASA

There should be a running head as a summarized version of the full paper title. Capital letters must be used to write the running head. The margins should be 1’ on all sides. The acceptable font is Times New Roman and 12pt should be used. The last name of the author and the relevant date should be added as a part of the in-text citation. The citation should be used at the end of paraphrased materials and the same name is not required to be repeated if you have already mentioned it.


If you have to specify the page number of a particular source, you can write it after the year of publication in the in-text citation. As Alfred wrote (2020:156), you can see that a semi-colon has been used to separate the year and page number.

If the name of the author is already used in the text, it is not necessary to use it in the citation. According to Sharon (2019). If the name of the author is not used, an essay writer should add it to the parenthesis. The use of the term post-industrial society (Bell 1990).

If you want to add a page number to this type of citation, you may add it by placing a semicolon after year without space. The example can be given as (Mill 1955:45).

If a publication contains two authors, you should mention them both and the date of publication after their names. (Bill and Billy 1996).

When a source contains more than three authors, you have to mention them in the first instance while using the paraphrase. In every instance thereafter, you can use the term “et-al” and will not have to enter them again and again. (Mark, Bill and Harry 1999) for the first time and (Mark et al.1999) for the rest of the text.

When one or more parts of the text have to be cited by including many sources, you should separate them with a semicolon. (Mars 1957; Bill and Ethel 1965)

Direct Quotations

Direct quotations are important sources of information in this format. You will have to use the quotation marks to show the direct quotes in this format. You will have to use the parenthetical citations at the end of a direct quote.

“The data gathered from the late 1990s revealed that technology professionals were the highest-paid” (Graham 1997:56)

Formatting rules for ASA

All the resources used in the text should be included at the end of the paper and they are usually named references. These references are provided in alphabetical order so that they are easier to read through. The lines should be indented by 0.5” and the titles of periodicals and books should be italicized in the reference list. A book may be cited as follows:

Mark, Juniper D. 1996. Business Research Methods. NY: State University of Montreal Press.

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