Include a separate title page with the full title of the manuscript, authors' names and institutions (listed vertically if there are more than one), and a complete word count of the document (which includes footnotes and references).
A title footnote should include the address of the corresponding author (that is – the author who receives correspondence regarding the article), grants/funding, and additional credits and acknowledgements (for papers for sociology classes, this is often not needed).
If an abstract is needed, it should be on a separate page, immediately after the title page, with the title of the document as the heading.
Do not include author.
The abstract should be one paragraph, 150-200 words in length.
On the same page as the abstract, include a list of three to five words that help to identify main themes in the manuscript.
All text within the document should be in a 12-point font and double spaced (including footnotes), or as specified by journal or course instructor.
Margins should be at least 1 1/4 inches on all sides, or as specified by journal or course instructor.
The first page of the text should start with the title and be on a new page of text (after the title page and abstract).
Use subheadings to organize the body of the manuscript. Usually, three different levels of headings should be sufficient.
THIS IS A FIRST-LEVEL HEAD
- Place first-level heads in all caps and left-justify.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Don't begin the manuscript with a heading, such as Introduction.
This is a Second-Level Head
- Italicize and left-justify second-level heads.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Use title case.
This is a third-level head
- Italicize and left-justify third-level heads.
- Don't use a bold font.
- Capitalize only the first word of the head.
Footnotes and Endnotes
Footnotes and endnotes are used to cite materials of limited availability, expand upon the text, or to add information presented in a table.
Endnotes are used more frequently than footnotes, but both should be used sparingly. As a general rule, use one or the other throughout the manuscript but do not mix them. (The exception to this rule is to use a footnote on the Title page and for tables, but use endnotes throughout the rest of the document for manuscripts being submitted to a sociology journal.)
In the text, footnotes or endnotes, whichever are used, should be numbered consecutively throughout the essay with superscript Arabic numerals.
Footnotes are placed at the bottom of the page on which the material being referenced appears. If using endnotes, at the end of the paper in a separate section following the references, type the endnotes in numerical order, double-spaced, as a separate section with the title Notes or Endnotes.
Begin each note with the same superscripted number used in the text.
Pages should be numbered consecutively (1, 2, 3...) starting with the title page and including the references page(s), or as specified by journal or course instructor.
Tables and Figures
Number tables consecutively (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3).
Number figures consecutively (Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3).
Each table or figure should be placed on a separate page at the end of the manuscript, and should have a descriptive title that explains enough that the reader can understand it without having to refer to the text of the article.
In tables, give full headings for every column and row, avoiding the use of abbreviations whenever possible. Spell out the word percent in headings.
For more information, please consult the ASA Style Guide, Fourth Edition.
In-Text (Citation) References
Cite the last name of the author and year of publication.
Include page numbers within the citation when directly quoting the authors’ words or paraphrasing a passage.
If the author's name is used in the text, put the date in parentheses.
If the author's name is not in the text, enclose last name and year in parentheses.
Short quotations in the body of the manuscript should be surrounded by quotation marks.
Block quotations (direct quotations of more than 40 words) should be offset from the main text and may be single-spaced. Do not include quotation marks with block quotes.
Pagination follows the year of publication after a colon (note that in the in-text citation, there is no space between the colon and the page number).
For joint authors, give both last names.
For three authors, give all last names in the first citation in the text; in subsequent citations, use the first name and et al.
For four or more authors, use the first author's last name plus et al. in all citations.
Name of Author Unknown
For institutional authorship, supply the minimum identification needed from the beginning of the complete reference to find it in the reference list.
Separate a series of references with a semicolon and either alphabetize or place them in chronological order, but be consistent throughout the manuscript.
(Marwell et al., 1971; Burgess 1980)
Citing a Reprinted Work
If the work being cited was published earlier and then re-released, list the earliest date first and then the most recent date, separate these with a slash.
Citing Unpublished Work
For unpublished papers, cite the date, or, if scheduled to be published soon, use forthcoming in lieu of a date. If no date is given, use N.d.
For archival sources, use abbreviations when possible.
References Page Formatting
References Page Formatting
References follow the text in a section headed REFERENCES (use first-level head format identified earlier).
All references should be double-spaced and use a hanging indent.
Use title case for all titles (capitalize all words except prepositions such as of, between, through), articles (such as a, the, and an), and conjunctions (such as but, and, or; however, capitalize them if they begin the title or the subtitle).
Capitalize only the first word in hyphenated compound words, unless the second word is a proper noun or adjective (for example, don’t capitalize it in The Issue of Self-preservation for Women, but do capitalize it in Terrorist Rhetoric: The Anti-American Sentiment).
All references should be in alphabetical order by first authors’ last names.
Include first names for all authors, rather than initials, but use first-name and middle-name initials if an author used initials in the original publication.
List all authors. It is not acceptable to use et al. in the References section unless the work was authored by a committee.
For repeated authors or editors, include the full name in all references (note: this is a change from the third edition of the ASA Style Guide). Arrange references for the same author in chronological order, beginning with the oldest.
Baltzell, E. Digby. 1958. Philadelphia Gentlemen. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Baltzell, E. Digby. 1964. The Protestant Establishment. New York: Random House.
Baltzell, E. Digby. 1976. “The Protestant Establishment Revisited.” American Scholar 45:499-519.
When an author appears in both single-authored references and as the first author in a multiple-authored reference, place all of the single-authored references first, even though they may not be in the proper chronological order.
Hoge, Dean R. 1979. "A Test of Theories of Denominational Growth and Decline." Pp. 179-197 in Understanding Church Growth and Decline 1950-1978, edited by D. R. Hoge and D. A. Roozen. New York and Philadelphia: Pilgrim Press.
Hoge, Dean R., Benton Johnson, and Donald A. Luidens. 1994. Vanishing Boundaries: The Religion of Mainline Baby Boomers. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
When the same first author appears in multiple references, arrange them alphabetically by the last name of the second author.
Alba, Richard and Philip Kasinitz. 2006. “Sophisticated Television, Sophisticated Stereotypes.” Contexts 5(4):74-77.
Alba, Richard, John R. Logan, and Brian J. Stults. 2000. “The Changing Neighborhood Contexts of the Immigrant Metropolis.” Social Forces 79(2):587-621.
When including more than one work by the same author(s) from the same year, add letters to the year (2010a, 2010b, 2010c) and then list the references for that author and year alphabetically by title.
Fyfe, James J. 1982a. “Blind Justice: Police Shootings in Memphis.” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 73(2):707-22.
Fyfe, James J. 1982b. “Race and Extreme Police-Citizen Violence.” Pp. 173-94 in Readings on Police Use of Deadly Force, edited by J. J. Fyfe. New York: Police Foundation.
Book with One Author
Author's full name, inverted so that last name appears first. Year. Book Title in Title Caps and Italicized. Publishing City: Publisher.
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.
Note that the word "volume" is capitalized and abbreviated but not italicized.
Gurr, Ted Robert, ed. 1989. Violence in America. Vol. 1, The History of Crime. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Mason, Karen. 1974. Women's Labor Force Participation. Research Triangle Park, NC: National Institutes of Health.
Book with Two or More Authors
Same as with one author, but do not invert authors’ names after the first author. Separate authors’ names with a comma (unless there are only two authors), and include the word and before the final author.
Note that the word “edition” is abbreviated, and not italicized or capitalized.
Corbin, Juliet and Anselm Strauss. 2008. Basics of Qualitative Research. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Edited Volume (when citing the entire volume)
Same as book reference but add "eds." to denote book editor'(s') name(s).
Hagan, John and Ruth D. Peterson, eds. 1995. Crime and Inequality. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Chapter in an Edited Volume
Put chapter title in quotes.
Use Pp. and page numbers to designate where the chapter is found in the volume.
Italicize the book title, then give the book editor’(s’) name(s).
Do not invert editor'(s)' name(s).
Use initials instead of first and middle names for editor(s).
Clausen, John. 1972. "The Life Course of Individuals." Pp. 457-514 in Aging and Society. Vol. 3, A Sociology of Stratification, edited by M.W. Riley, M. Johnson, and A. Foner. New York: Russell Sage.
Scholarly Journal Article
Author's full name, inverted so that last name appears first. Year. “Article Title in Title Caps and in Quotes.” Journal Title in Title Caps and Italicized Volume Number (Issue Number):page numbers of article.
Note that there is no space after the colon preceding page numbers.
For multiple authors, invert last name of first author only.
Separate with commas, unless there are only two authors.
Use and between last two authors.
Conger, Rand. 1997. "The Effects of Positive Feedback on Direction and Amount of Verbalization in a Social Setting." American Journal of Sociology 79:1179-259.
Coe, Deborah L. and James D. Davidson. 2011. “The Origins of Legacy Admissions: A Sociological Explanation.” Review of Religious Research 52(3):233-47.
Magazine or Newspaper Article
Ziff, Larzer. 1995. "The Other Lost Generation," Saturday Review, February 20, pp. 15-18.
Newspaper Article (author unknown)
Lafayette Journal & Courier. 1998. Newspaper editorial. December 12, p. A-6.
Because the nature of public documents is so varied, the form of entry for documentation cannot be standardized. The essential rule is to provide sufficient information so that the reader can locate the reference easily.
Reports, Constitutions, Laws, and Ordinances
New York State Department of Labor. 1997. Annual Labor Area Report: New York City, Fiscal Year 1996 (BLMI Report, No. 28). Albany: New York State Department of Labor.
Ohio Revised Code Annotated, Section 3566 (West 2000).
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law 104-014, 110 U.S. Statutes at Large 56 (1996).
U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Characteristics of Population. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 4.
Court cases and legislative acts follow a format stipulated by legal publishers.
The act or case is listed first, followed by volume number, abbreviated title, and the date of the work in which the act or case is found.
The volume number is given in Arabic numerals, and the date is parenthesized.
Court cases are italicized, but acts are not.
Case names, including v., are italicized.
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
If retrieved from an online database, such as LexisNexis or HeinOnline, provide access information.
Ohio v. Vincer (Ohio App. Lexis 4356 ).
U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. H.R. 2. 110th Congress, 1st Session, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2010 (http://thomas.loc.gov).
Name of author. Year. Title of Presentation. Location where the article was presented or is available or has been accepted for publication but has not yet been published.
Conger, Rand D. Forthcoming. “The Effects of Positive Feedback on Direction and Amount of Verbalization in a Social Setting.” Sociological Perspectives.
Smith, Tom. 2003. “General Social Survey.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 16, Atlanta, GA.
Dissertation or Thesis
King, Andrew J. 1976. “Law and Land Use in Chicago: A Pre-history of Modern Zoning.” PhD dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Print Edition of a Book Accessed through an Online Library
Daniels, John. 2010. Apathetic College Students in America. Middletown, IL: University of Middletown Press. Retrieved April 6, 2011(http://site.ebrary.com/lib/collegestudies/docDetail.action?docID=1010101010).
Meany Archives, LRF, Box 6, March 18, 1970. File 20. Memo, conference with Gloster Current, Director of Organization, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
For electronic references, follow the same guidelines as for print references, adding information about the medium, such as the URL and date of access.
For online periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers), use the same format as for printed periodicals, unless they are available ONLY in online form. In that case, simply add the date viewed and the URL for retrieving the article.
Manuscript Writing Style
Manuscript Writing Style
In addition to providing guidelines for the general formatting of a manuscript and for in-text citations and the page of references, which follows a document, the ASA Style Guide also specifies a particular style of writing for presenting sociological work.
Generally, avoid writing in the first person, unless instructed to do so. Avoid giving an opinion, unless the purpose of the writing is to make an argument.
Use the active voice (click here to view the OWL's resources on active voice).
Spell out words such as percent, chi-square and versus, rather than using their abbreviations (except when presenting data in tables or graphs).
Whenever using data that someone else collected, or whenever referring to that data, or whenever using another person’s ideas, whether published, unpublished, or available electronically, reference the author(s). This is true whether quoting their work verbatim or paraphrasing it (click here to view the OWL's resources on avoiding plagiarism).
Use straightforward language, avoiding jargon, superlatives, wordy phrases and common expressions.
Pay close attention to such “nuts and bolts” issues as consistent use of verb tenses and accuracy in spelling, punctuation, sentence construction, and following a well-thought-out outline.
Unless gendered terms are important to the analysis or demographics, use nongendered terms wherever possible.
Instead of man, men, or mankind, use person, people, individual, or humankind.
When appropriate, use a plural noun (people) or pronoun (they). Replace gendered pronouns with an article when possible (the instead of hers).
Race and Ethnicity
Avoid racial and ethnic stereotyping.
Be as specific as possible when using terms that describe a race or ethnicity.
Use the following terms:
- African American (no hyphen)
- black (not capitalized)
- white (not capitalized)
- Hispanic, Chicano, Latino, or Latina (Latino if gender is unknown or known to be male; Latina if known to be female)
- American Indian or Native American (no hyphen)
- Asian or Asian American (no hyphen)
Avoid using the following:
The first time you use an acronym, you should give the full name with the acronym in parenthesis.
Afterwards, you can use only the acronym.
Later in the text:
The DoE suggests that...
Different sections of a paper may call for different verb tenses but use the same tense within each section.
Use the past tense to communicate that the research being reviewed has been completed.
It is possible to mix tenses if it helps to explain the finding.
Use the past tense to explain the methods used in the research.
Use either past or present tense but don’t mix them.
In addition to following general writing conventions, the ASA Style Guide also provides the following guidelines:
Use only one space after punctuation marks (do not use two spaces between sentences).
Punctuation marks should be in the same font (including italics) as the text that precedes it. (Note: this is a change from the previous usage in The Chicago Manual of Style).
When numbering a series of items in a list, use the convention (1), (2), (3) rather than 1. or 1).