How to Write an ASA Style Paper

Students have to deal a lot with writing during the college or university life because it determines one’s ability to contribute to the scientific world. Writing is sometimes compared with Mathematics because both contain different rules and even algorithms to be followed. Format citation is one of such examples. It has several types: MLA, APA, Chicago, ASA, and several others. Only they are acknowledged in higher educational institutions. That is why each student has to adapt his or her college paper to these rules. This writing style influences not only the final score but shows how scientifically valued the work is.
In this article, we will explain you a step-by-step approach to formatting your reference page as well as all the citations which you include. Even if you have not heard about formatting at all, here you will find all the necessary information for your writing.
What is ASA Format?

To begin with, let’s clarify what a format type means for writers. When you prepare a composition, you are usually asked to include citations, add a reference page. It means that your work should be based on scientific research. Before beginning the paper, you are to find sources, relevant examples, theories, hypothesis, and add this to your essay. In order to avoid misunderstandings, scientists have organized a list of rules about how to add this information to your paper. As a consequence, it is always easy for writers to find which data is taken from which source. It is convenient and quick.
ASA is one of the most popular citation types required for the text written on the topic of Sociology or any theme relevant to it. Whether you are a student of a Sociology Department or you just enrolled on the extra course about Sociology, you should know how to format your essay.
ASA is the abbreviation of American Sociological Association. It has lots of editions and variants with slight differences, and the 6th edition is the latest on the moment of writing this article.
Obligatory Parts of ASA paper
There are certain elements which each essay made in ASA should have. It is the title, overall text format, and page numbers.
There should be a separate title page. Here you need to include the full title of the work on the cover page, your full name and surname, and the overall word count of the paper.
Text format
The text should be in 12-point font Times New Roman, and the page should be double-spaced. The title has to be typed without quotation marks or underlining. The margins of all pages should be 1 inch. We recommend adding all those specifications before you begin writing and just check at the end. You will save up time, and you will clearly see the number of words and pages.
Page numbers
As regular, the page numbers should begin with 1 on the title page and continue consecutively to the last page of your paper without any exceptions.
Additional Parts of ASA paper
The following extra elements of the ASA essay can be added depending on the number of pages and the topic of your article. Sometimes the specifications are included in the task description. Those additional parts make your writing more structured and solid.
If the work is long, you will need to prepare an abstract. After the title, add a separate page which should be dedicated to introducing the topic of your essay. It should be approximately 150 – 200 words framed up in one paragraph. The title of the work should be on the top of this page. After you have finished the abstract, type the keywords adding 5-7 words or word combinations which are topical to the whole paper. Keywords, as well as the whole abstract, should give readers an overall idea of what the essay is about.
Again if your paper is long, you will need to organize its structure properly. Your essay should not be the text of many-many pages. Such an additional heading will make your composition more logical, and better understood by readers.
There can be three levels of subheadings which should be formatted differently. Capitalized words are the specification of the first level. The second one should include italicized words with each first letter of the notional words from the subheading being capitalized, and the third is also italicized, but only the first letter of the first word is capitalized.
Level 2. The Biographical Approach
Level 3. The historical approach
Footnotes, Endnotes
Both footnotes and endnotes are used to give some extra information about something from the text. The main difference is that the footnotes are included at the bottom of the page where the specified information is needed. Endnotes are used after the reference page. If you have several of them, use the Arabic numeration.
Tables, Figures
You can use tables and figures to exemplify something but do not forget about proper numeration: Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2, and so on. Tables and figures should have separate numeration from each other. Also, those elements have to be placed on a separate page at the end of the essay.
Citations within the Text
Whether you are adding direct or indirect quotations, you have to add information after or before including somebody’s word, ideas, examples. No matter which writing style is required, you have to include the name of the author and the date of the word publication. It is necessary because it shows the writer’s attention to academic honesty.
You have to remember different nuances which appear when you use ASA style paper in writing in-text citations.
Indirect Citations

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If you use the author’s name in the text, there is no need to repeat it in parentheses:

            e.g., The world-known linguist Sinclair (1975) stated that…

If you do not mention the author’s name in the text, but you write about his or her ideas, mention his or her surname as well as the date of the publication of the work which you cite in parentheses. Do not put commas between the name and the year:

e.g., Collocation tool is considered to be a determining feature of the corpus linguistic analysis (Sinclair 1975).
Direct Citations
The sentence which is quoted should be written in quotation marks. If you have a long quotation which is more than 40 words, it is called the block citation. It should be without quotation marks and has to be offset from the text.

One Author. All the main specifications are the same as in the indirect quotations: “It is significant to mention that linguistics…”(Lavid 2007).
Several Authors. Add “and” before the last surname, while others should be enumerated with commas: (McCarthy, Rissanen, and Lenders 2007). If you have four and more authors of the work, write only the first one and add “et al.”: (Sinclair et al. 1976).

ASA paper example
The most significant part of any formatting style is the reference page. It is also called words cited page. This is that space where you enumerate books, periodicals, articles, and all the other sources which you have used to write the paper. The longer your essay is, the more sources you need. Teachers usually include the minimum and maximum number of sources that you need to include, so read the instructions carefully.
Here are the basic rules for formatting your last page with reference list:

You should order everything alphabetically. Each new reference should have a hanging cut.
Begin with writing the author’s surname and then the first letter of his or her name.
If there are several authors, include all of them. Do not write “et al.” as in the in-text citations.
Put a year of the work publication after the writer’s surname and name.
Write down the title of the work. If it is an article of the periodical or a chapter in the book, add quotations marks to the title and make the name of the periodical or book italicized.
The next information you add is the city of publication, put a semicolon, and write the name of a publishing company.
Each type of source has nuances connected with formatting. Download the full edition of the American Sociological Association and find out all the details.

We offer you to look at the last page of a short sample paper about Literature.
Beardwood, Robert. 2013. Literary Analysis: Section 4 of the Insight English Handbook. New York: Insight Publications.
Bhattacharya, Ananyo. 2016 “In retrospect: Flowers for Algernon.” Nature, Retrieved Dec. 27, 2017. (
Cline, Brent. 2012. “You’re Not the Same Kind of Human Being”: The Evolution of Pity to Horror in Daniel Keyes’s Flowers for Algernon,” Disability Studies Quarterly, 32:13-4.
Hill, Cheryl. 2004. A History of Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon. LIBR 548F: History of the Book.
Keyes, Daniel. 1996. Flower for Algernon. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Kunst, Jennifer. 2011. “Is Ignorance Bliss?” Pp. 2-3 in Psychology Today. Retrieved Jan. 2, 2018. (
Sanders, Bryan K. 2012.“Flowers for Algernon: Steroid Dysgenesis, Epigenetics and Brain Disorders.” Pharmacological Reports, 64: 78–45.
More Details about ASA
Whenever you receive the writing task to use ASA format citation in your essay, spend some time in looking for the latest edition because they change quite often. Although there are not so many changes, your teacher may put you a lower mark unless you pay attention to the current requirements.
You can find all the necessary information from the Internet because the electronic versions will be downloaded there. The OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab is one of the most reliable sources where you can find a detailed analysis of any formatting style and find the examples.
Remember that the more correctly your essay is formatted, the more scientifically valued it is.

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