Skip to Main Content

Style Guides: APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian & AP: ASA

ASA Style Guide

The ASA Style Guide, 6th Edition is the most recent edition of the guide, published in 2019. It's available for reference at the Waterfront Library Reference Desk Collection. Please see a librarian at the desk to view the book.

Additional Resources

  • Check out Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) site on ASA Style for examples citing specific resource types

ASA Style Guidelines

General Formatting

All text is size 12 Arial font. All text, including footnotes, is double spaced. Margins are 1.25 inches on all sides. Pages are numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page, through the end of the manuscript (including the reference pages).

Manuscript Organization

Title Page

ASA papers begin with a separate title page that includes the full title of the manuscript; author name(s) and institutional affiliation(s); a running head with a shortened title not exceeding 60 characters; and a complete word count, which includes footnotes and references.


Immediately following the title page is the abstract, also on its own page. The abstract is a single paragraph, 150 - 200 words in length. Immediately under the abstract are three to five keywords that point to the major themes of the manuscript.

Manuscript text

The manuscript text begins on a new page immediately following the abstract page. The first page of text begins with the full manuscript title. The body of the text is organized by headings and subheadings, though the very beginning of the manuscript does not need a heading (e.g. no INTRODUCTION). Headings are formatted as follows:

  • First-level headings: left justified, all caps, and in normal font (not bold).
  • Second-level headings: left justified, title caps, and italicized.
    • e.g. The Institutional Review Board at HPU
  • Third-level headings: left justified, with only the first letter of the first word capitalized, and italicized. These are indented at the beginning of the paragraph they introduce, and should be followed by a period
    • e.g. Protocol amendments.


References begin on a new page under a first-level heading, "REFERENCES." References are double spaced, and use a handing indent. References are listed alphabetically by author last name.

Footnotes and Endnotes

Generally, use either footnotes or endnotes, but not both. Footnotes and endnotes are limited to a maximum of 100 words. Footnotes are numbered consecutively throughout the manuscript, and are labeled with Arabic numerals. If using endhotes, include them in a separate sections labeled "Endnotes," following the references.

Tables and Figures

Tables and figures are numbered consecutively throughout the manuscript. They should appear on a separate page at the end of the manuscript. Each should have a descriptive title.

General Rules for In-Text Citations

In-text citations include the author last name(s) and year of publication:

([Author Last Name] [publication year]) → (Nayak 2014)

If no publication date is listed, use "N.d":

([Author Last Name] [N.d]) → (Nayak N.d.)

In-text citations also include page number(s) when quoting, paraphrasing, and referring to a specific section of the cited work:

([Author Last Name] [publication year]:[page number]) → (Nayak 2014:100)

For institutional authors, the institution name can be abbreviates in the in-text citation (though the complete name is required in the reference list:

In-text: (ASA 2019)

In reference list: American Sociological Association. 2019...

There are two main ways of presenting in-text citations:

  • If you mention the author name in the manuscript, follow it immediately with publication year (and page number, if applicable) in parentheses:

Nayak (2014) explains that...

  • If you don't mention the author name in the manuscript, enclose author last name and publication year in parentheses in your sentence. For example:

Discussions of intersectionality (Nayak N.d.)...

In-text citation for a single author

([Author Last Name] [publication year]) → (Nayak 2014)

or ([Author Last Name] [publication year]:[page number]) → (Nayak 2014:100)

In-text citation for two authors

([Author Last Name] and [Author Last Name] [publication year]) → (Nayak and Tiwari 2008)

or ([Author Last Name] and [Author Last Name] [publication year]:[page number]) → (Nayak and Tiwari 2008:37)

In-text citation for three authors

Provide all author last names in the first in-text citation, and in all subsequent citations, provide only the first author's last name and "et al."

First citation: (Olsen, Hansen, and Jansen 2020)

All subsequent citations: (Olsen et al. 2020)

In-text citation for four or more authors

Provide only the first author's last name, followed by "et al." and the publication year:

(Zoro et al. 1991)

Citing with unknown author, or institutional author

Provide the minimum identification required from the complete reference for a reader to be able to find it in the reference list:

(U.S. Department of Labor 2020:19)

Citing more than one work in a single sentence

Multiple reference are separated by a semicolon and arranged in either alphabetical or chronological order (be consistent after choosing one way of ordering them):

(Marx 1884; Weeks 2011)

General Rules for the Reference List

  • Use title case for all titles.
  • In hyphenated compound words, capitalize only the first word (unless the second word is a proper noun)
  • Include full first and middle names for authors, rather than initials, unless not included in the original publication.
  • List all authors up to 10. If there are more than 10 authors, list the first 7, followed by "et al."
  • Citing multiple works by the same author:
    • When citing more than one work by an author (or a consistent group of authors), arrange them from oldest publication first to newest publication last.
    • If citing more than one work by an first author with different co-authors, arrange them alphabetically by the second author's last name (even if this means they're not in chronological order).
    • When citing more than one work by the same author(s) with the same publication year, add a letter to the publication year (e.g. 2020a, 2020b, 2020c). List the references for that author(s) and publication year alphabetically by title.
  • For electronic books and articles, do not include page numbers.
  • For articles with a DOI, do not include a URL.
  • If using "N.d" in place of a date, include access date ("Accessed Month Day, Year.")  immediately before the URL.


Citing a book with one author

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. Title Italicized and in Title Caps. Publishing City: Publisher.

  • Include a two-letter state abbreviation (e.g. HI), only is needed to identify the city.
  • If the book is a volume, include abbreviation "Vol. #, Series Title." following a period after the volume title. "Vol" is in title caps but is not italicized.
  • If the book is an edition, include # ed. (e.g. 2nd ed.) following a period after the book title.

Arendt, Hannah. 1958. The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Citing a book with more than one author

1st Author Last Name, 1st Author First Name, 2nd Author First Name 2nd Author Last Name, and 3nd Author First Name 3nd Author Last Name. Year. Title Italicized and in Title Caps. Publishing City: Publisher.

Engels, Friedrich and Karl Marx. 2018. The Communist Manifesto. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group.


Citing a chapter in an edited volume

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. "Chapter Title in Quotation Marks." Pp. ##-## in Book Title Italicized and in Title Caps, edited by Editor First Name Editor Last Name. Publishing City: Publisher.

Fauste, Maxine. 1976. "Lightness and Being." Pp. 39-92 in Philosophy of Being. Vol. 3, Contemporary Thought, edited by L.B. Riza, M. Jakobsen, and A. Flounder. New York: Penguin.


Citing a print journal article

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Article Title in Title Caps and in Quotation Marks.” Journal Title Italicized and in Title Caps Volume Number(Issue Number):page numbers of article.

Toffler, W. L. 2006. “Ethnographic Studies in the Principles of Clinical Medicine.” The Permanente Journal 10(3):54–56.


Citing an electronic journal article

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Article Title in Title Caps and in Quotation Marks.” Journal Title Italicized and in Title Caps Volume Number(Issue Number). [url] or [doi] if available.

Lilly, John C., and Alice M. Miller. 1961. “Vocal Exchanges between Dolphins.” Science 134(3493):1873–76.


Citing a newspaper or magazine article

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Article Title in Title Caps and in Quotation Marks.” Newspaper Title Italicized and in Title Caps, Month Day, pp. ##-##.

Sablan, J. Erick. 2020. “Black Lives Matter Protests Held, Planned.” Pacific Daily News, June 3, pp. 5.


Citing a website

Author Last Name, First Name or Institutional Author. Year. "Page Title in Title Caps and in Quotation Marks.” Retrieved Aug. 21, 2020 (url).

Disability and Communication Access Board. (N.d.) "ADA Coordination." Retrieved June 22, 2020 (