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ASA (American Sociological Association) is the documentation style used by Sociologists. It is based on the Chicago Style, but has its own unique features. It is the required style for submitting papers to journals published by the American Sociological Association, including the American Sociological Review, Contemporary Sociology, Social Psychology Quarterly and Teaching Sociology. The guide in only 114 pages, but in contains all the essential information for sucessfully using ASA style.
You'll find a copy of the American Sociological Association Style Guide, 4th edition, in the Osterlin Reference collection, PN 147 .A547 2010.
As is the case with most citation styles, there are two types of citing in ASA: in-text citations and reference citations. In-text citations refer to when a writer uses information from a source (book, article, website) either as a quote or a paraphrase in their paper. In-text citations include only the basic information of the citation. Reference citations refer to the citations which appear in the paper's Reference list at the end of the document and includes the full citation of the material cited.
Here are the basic elements of a citation:
Example of a Direct Quotation (in-text citation)
The hope for an integrated, united society is challenged by the strength of social differences, "More often than not, the differences, while cloaked in party manners or the best medical sympathies, are as tough and unyeilding as rebuffs and confinements always are" (Lemert, 2012:161).
Example of a Paraphrase (in-text citation)
The strength of social differences challenges the pursuit of an integrated, united society. The differences can be trivalized, but they strong and not easy to overcome (Lemert, 2012).
Reference Citation Example (using book cited above)
Lemert, Charles. 2012. Social Things: An Introduction to the Sociological Life. 5th ed. Lanhma, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Reference Citation Example (journal article from a library database)
Vaisey, Stephen and Omar Lizardo. 2010. "Can Cultural Worldviews Influence Network Composition?" Social Forces 88(4):1595-1618. (Retrieved from
Academic Search Elite Full Text on May 23, 2012.)
All of the details are important with ASA. For more examples, consult the American Sociological Association Style Guide.
NMC Librarians recommend these websites for APA information: