University of Oregon

Citing Sources in Research Papers

American Sociological Association

This guide is intended as a general introduction to citing sources using the bibliographic style established by the American Sociological Association Style Guide, 2nd edition (ASA). For more complete details, see the most recent edition of the manual at REF KNIGHT HM73 A54 1997. Note that this manual also includes essential information on research and writing, and manuscript preparation (e.g., margins, use of the passive voice).

General Guidelines

  • In works with no bibliography, give full details at the first mention of a work cited; in a work with a bibliography, the note citations can be concise.
  • Always consult your professor/department/publisher for specific requirements.
  • Include as much of the requested information as is available. The most important thing about a footnote or bibliographic entry is that the reader can use it to find the item being cited.

Text Citations

  • Include the last names of authors and year of publication in all citations; include the page number when quoting directly from a work
    • e.g. (Duncan 1995)
  • Pagination follows year of publication after a colon, omitting the space
    • e.g. (Gouldner 1963:52)
  • If a work has three authors, list all in the first citation; thereafter, use "et al." in the citation. If there are more than three authors, use "et al." in all citations.
    • e.g. First citation: (Carr, Smith, and Jones 1962)
      Later citation: (Carr et al. 1962)

Reference List Guidelines

  • The Reference List follows the text and footnotes in a separate section headed "References." All references cited in the text must be included in the reference list and vice versa. Footnotes and endnotes are not used for citing.
  • List references in alphabetical order by author's last name. For multiple listings under one author, list in the order of publication year, earliest year first.
  • If no date is available, use "N.d." in the place of the date.

ASA has a different format for footnotes and bibliographic entries. Below are formats for both types of citation. For citation-styles of genres not included here, please see the American Sociological Association Style Guide.

Type of Citation Example
Book, one author Mason, Karen O. 1974. Women's Labor Force Participation and Fertility. Research Triangle Park, NC: National Institutes of Health.
Book, multiple authors Berlin, Gordon and Andrew Sum. 1988. Toward a More Perfect Union: Basic Skills, Poor Families, and Our Economic Future. New York: Ford Foundation.
Book, editor Thirsk, Joan, ed. 1984. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Articles from journals Goodman, Leo A. 1974. "The Analysis of Systems of Qualitative Variables When Some of the Variables Are Unobservable." American Journal of Sociology 79:1179-259.
Articles from newspapers and magazines Guildes, Melinda and Krystal Miller. 1990. "Mazda and Mitsubishi-Chrysler Venture Cut Output." Wall Street Journal, January 12, pp. A2, A12.
Government Documents U.S. Congress. 1950. House Subcommittee on the Study of Monopoly Power of the Committee on the Judiciary. Study of Monopoly Power: Hearing. 81st Cong., 2d sess., pp.788-91.
Dissertations and Theses King, Andrew. 1976. "Law and Land Use in Chicago: A Pre-History of Modern Zoning." PhD. dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
Online Journal article Jacobson, John W., Jane A. Mulick, and Ann A. Schwartz. 1995. "A History of Facilitated Communication: Science, Pseudoscience, and Antiscience." American Psychologist 50:750-65. Retrieved January 25, 2001 (
Website Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (August, 2005). Rural America: An Overview. In Rural Research Needs and Data Sources for Selected Human Services Topics (vol 1, chap. 2). Retrieved March 24, 2007 (


Created by jstaiger on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Aug 24, 2015
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