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Citation Styles: ASA

ASA Quick Tips Guide

Headline Style Capitalization

ASA style prefers that all titles be rendered in Headline Capitalization, regardless of how they appear on the original item.

In Headline Capitalization, these words should be capitalized:

- nouns

- pronouns

- adjectives

- verbs

- adverbs

- subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, etc.)

These words should NOT be capitalized:

- articles (a, an, the)

- coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor)

- prepositions

The only exception is if the above three types of words are the first or last word in the title; then they should be capitalized.

For example:

"The Rules for Capitalizing the Words in a Title" is correct.

When was the webpage last updated?

If the publication year is not apparent, the date that the webpage was last updated will work.

Put 

javascript:alert(document.lastModified)

in the address bar and a pop up window will appear with the date and time of the last modification to the webpage.

In-text Citations

All in-text citations contain two pieces: the author's name and the date. Those two elements are always enclosed in parentheses, like so:

         One Author: (Hernandez 2012)

         Two Authors: (Jackson and Cano 2014)

         Three Authors: (Iwakuma, Paxton, and Walker 2013) the first time, and (Iwakuma et al. 2013) for any subsequent time

         Four or more authors: (Seager et al. 1993) - "et al." is Latin for "and others."

If your sentence cites more than one resource, the citations are put in the same parenthesis in date order with a semi-colon in between:

Multiple studies over several decades have proved this is true only in an urban setting (Sele et al. 1977; Perry 1981; Johnson and Charlton 1997; Moyer 2002).

If you are citing two or more authors with the same last name, add a first initial to distinguish between them:

         (T. Martinez 1995; E. Martinez 2001)

Include page numbers when quoting directly from a work or referring to specific passages, with a colon between the date and page number:

           ..." according to Suzuki (2004:74).

If you are citing two works by the same author, use a semicolon in between the dates: 

 (Davis 1982; 1985)

If the works by the same author were published in the same year, add lowercase letters to the dates of publication and repeat them in the reference list:

 (Wilson 2006a; 2006b) 

Citing Books

Book citations include these elements in this order:

Author. Date. Book Title. Publisher City: Publisher.

For example:

Giddens, Anthony. 1991. Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Lynd, Rober Staughton and Helen Merreil Lynd. 1929. Middletown, a Study in Contemporary American Culture. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.

Note that the first author is always listed as last name, first name.

If citing a chapter in an edited book, use the author(s) of the chapter as the author(s), and add the chapter title before the book title, like so:

Duncan, Brian and Stephen J. Trejo. 2011. "Who Remains Mexican? Selective Ethnic Attrition and the Intergenerational Progress of Mexican Americans." Pp. 285-320 in Latinos and the Economy: Integration and Impact on Schools, Labor Markets and Beyond. edited by D. L. Leal and S.J. Trejo. New York: Springer.

Be sure to punctuate exactly as the examples show.

Citing Articles

Journal Article citations include these elements in this order:

Author. Date. "Article Title." Journal Title volume (issue number):page numbers.

For example:

Eschbach, Karl, Khalil Supple, and C. Matthew Snipp. 1998. "Changes in Racial Identification and the Educational Attainment of American Indians, 1970-1990." Demography 35 (1):35-43

Soule, Sarah and Susan Olzak. 2004. “When do Movements Matter? The Politics of Contingency and the Equal Rights Amendment.” American Sociological Review 69 (2):473-98.


Journal Articles found in online databases should be cited as these above examples.


Newspaper Article citations are similar:

Author, Year, "Article Title." Newspaper Title, Month Day. Retrieval date (url). [last two only if an online newspaper article]

For example:

Zeller, Tom, Jr. 2010. “Banks Grow Wary of Environmental Risks.” New York Times, August 30. Retrieved September 2010 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/business/energy-environment/31coal.html?_r=1).  

Be sure to punctuate exactly as the examples show.

Citing Web Resources

Web resources include online government documents, blogs, statistics, reports and similar items.

Journal articles found in online databases are not considered web resources.

Web Resource citations include these elements in this order:

Author. Year. "Resource Title." URL (Most Recent Date Accessed).

For example:

International Labour Organization (ILO). 1989. "Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention." Retrieved November 12, 2013 (http://www.ilo.org/indigenous/Resources/Publications/WCMS_100897/lang--en/index.htm). 

Rumbaut, Ruben G. and Golnaz Komaie. 2007. “Young Adults in the United States: A Mid-Decade Profile.” Retrieved July 27, 2011 (http://www.transad.pop.upenn.edu/downloads/Rumbaut%20Komaie%20-%20Young%20Adults%20in%20US.pdf). 

Note in the first example that the author is a group.

If the publication year is not apparent, the date that the webpage was last updated will work. Put javascript:alert(document.lastModified) in the address bar and a pop up window will appear with the date and time of the last modification to the webpage.

Double-check your URL to make sure it directs to the resource.

The most recent date accessed is important because web materials can be easily altered; noting when you retrieved the material tells your readers that you may have used a previous version of the document than the one available to them.

Be sure to punctuate exactly as the examples show.

Formatting a References List

The reference list should be titled References, not Works Cited or Bibliography.

References in the reference list should be ordered by author's last name, or the first author's last name in cases of multiple authors. If citing two different works by the same author, list the earliest first.

The first line of a reference is never idented; every subsequent line is indented three spaces: