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What is ASA?
American Sociological Association (or ASA) formatting style is an instrument, which allows sociology students to collect and render information from various sources, and to use those sources in their own articles and texts that will later be published in journals or even books.
If students or other scholars fail to familiarize and understand the principles of ASA formatting style, they risk not only of being accused in plagiarism but to seem unprofessional. Such an unfavorable situation may greatly influence their future career.
There are many different formatting styles, each of which is used in a particular field. Those, who study or work in the field of sociology, need to apply the ASA formatting style. Moreover, this format is used by those, who want to publish their manuscripts in ASA journals. Similar to other formatting styles, ASA formatting requirements differ depending on the type of the original source.
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ASA citation style: its format
It is not a secret that nowadays there are many tools and programs that allow to format and cite sources automatically. However, they also make mistakes, so students need to understand formatting peculiarities to polish automated formatting.
Key requirements of the ASA citation format include:
- The manuscript must be double-spaced, using the 12pt font. This requirement also concerns references and footnotes;
- At least one-inch margins from all sides;
- A separate title page, which consists of paper’s title, authors names, word count and title footnote;
- If required, there must be an abstract (200 words long) on a separate page;
- The text should start from a new page and headed with the manuscript’s title.
Peculiarities of in-text citations include:
- The general format of such citations includes the surname of the author and publication year. Page numbers should be used for direct quotes;
- Any time the author’s name appears, it must be followed with the publication year in parenthesis;
- If the author’s name doesn’t appear, surname and publication year should be placed in parentheses;
- If page numbers are included, it should follow publication year;
- If there are three authors, their surnames should appear in the first citation then you can use one name and words ‘et al.’;
- Quotes should start and end with quotation marks.
It is also advisable to avoid footnotes if possible. However, they can be used when citing materials or writing essays, which are available limitedly or to add data to a table.
Bibliography or References should meet the following requirements:
- All references should be placed in the ‘References’ section;
- References must be double-spaced;
- References should go in an alphabetical order starting with authors’ surnames;
- Every reference should start with a hanging indent;
- The last name of the author always goes first;
- Several references of the same author are included starting with the earliest publication;
- Periodical and book titles must be italicized. If italics are not available, it is acceptable to underline titles;
- Publication state and city should be used. If it is a foreign city, reference should also include the country’s name.