ASA Style Guide – Sixth Edition (for UTM Sociology and Criminology, Law & Society students)

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This document is extensive but not exhaustive. If you need more, please look for the complete sixth edition style guide at the UTM library: READYREF HM569.A54 2019

Some preliminary notes:

  • You need two things for each source you've used: an in-text parenthetical citation, and a reference entry.
  • Generally, all sources cited in your document should have an entry in the References page, and vice versa.


In-text parenthetical citations are necessary any time someone else’s work is summarized, paraphrased, or quoted.

  • The citation should immediately follow the summary, paraphrase or quote, unless it is already referred to elsewhere in the sentence (see examples). Citing more than one source in your parenthesis? Organize the sources alphabetically.
  • The format of your citation is the author(s) last name(s) and the year of publication, without any comma separating the two: (Lastname Year). In the rare occurrence that the publication date is unknown, the format is: (Lastname n.d.)
  • When you've quoted someone, the format is the same as described above but with the addition of page numbers, and without a space after the colon: (Lastname Year:Page). Remember, include page numbers when you have quoted a source or when you wish to direct the reader to a particular page for an important passage.
  • When page numbers are not available, as is the case with many electronic resources, you revert to (Lastname Year). If your instructor is unsure why you have not included a page number for a quote, they will have their answer when they consult your References page and see that source's entry.
  • For sources by one or two authors, list all last names and the year. When there are three authors, list all authors in the first in-text citation in which they appear; all subsequent citations for that source should list the last name of the first author followed by “et al.” and the year. For sources with four or more authors, always list the last name of only the first author followed by “et al.” and the year.

A couple of notes about quotations

Quotations of less than 50 words are incorporated into the body of your paragraph, whereas quotes of 50 or more words are indented on the right and left margins by 1/2" and are not enclosed in quotation marks.

To refer to the page number of your quote, you can include it in the citation – such as (Schneiderhan 2013:295) or at the end of a quote in a bracket if you've provided the author and year earlier in that sentence.


Examples of citations and quotations

Johnston and Baumann (2015) argue that the study of food culture can bring insight to a complex part of our social world: how group boundaries become visible and part of the reproduction of social inequality

Students continue to think it is more likely that their friends—not themselves—will be denied entry to elite law schools, shaping their decision to apply to these competitive law schools (Dinovitzer, Garth, and Sterling 2013).

Moving beyond the between institutional comparisons to within institutional comparisons reveals that field of study choices vary substantially according to social class, gender, and race in the United States (Mullen and Baker 2008; Mullen and Baker 2015).

Note: Same author(s)? List in chronological order. Same author(s) AND same year? List according to the title of the sources. For example: Maroto and Pettinicchio (2014a, 2014b). The title of the 2014a source is earlier in the alphabet than the 2014b source.

For understanding the complexity of an issue like genocide, “the “cash value” of pragmatist theory used alongside other theories is the potential for increased analytical traction in making sense of how and why genocide occurs” (Schneiderhan 2013:295).

Dinovitzer et al. (2013) argue “the main reason that students continued to apply to non-elite law schools—at least until the recent major drop-off in applications—was, according to the orthodox negative argument, “optimism bias”” (p. 212).

Note: Because this article was previously listed and has three authors, the citation here includes “et al.”

Many scholars examining the issue of recidivism and community-based, preventative solutions often focus some attention on neighbourhoods, community, and housing. Inadequate housing can be a significant problem for re-integration.

Upon release from prison, many women are unable to secure housing and live in environments that are conducive to reoffending, while being subjected to increased police surveillance. Precarious housing is clearly not conducive to post-release success. Gaining access to ongoing, affordable housing is a significant priority for paroled women, especially those with parental responsibilities. Paroled women need considerable housing support and few received adequate financial subsidies. (Hannah-Moffat and Innocente 2013:91)

Thus, it is in the best interests of communities and governments to think carefully about the links between housing and the likelihood of re-offense.


References and the References Page

The References page follows the conclusion of the paper, and comes before an Appendix (if you have one). Use the heading “References” in upper- and lower-case letters, in the centre of the page, in italics. The References page (including the references themselves) are double-spaced. Format with hanging indents of ½ inch; your word-processor can be set up to do this for you automatically. 

Items are listed alphabetically by last name. Both the first and last name of all authors are used. If a full first name is unavailable, use an initial. Your author is typically a person but may be an organization, such as if you are quoting a webpage without an author. If there is no date, use n.d. in place of the date.

Titles of publications (such as books, magazines, movies, newspapers and journal titles) are put in italics. Article and chapter titles are put in quotation marks.

If you have two sources by the same author, list them by date (earliest to latest). Single-author reference entries precede references with multiple authors, regardless of date. For example, the entry for "Smith, Chris M. 2019." would come before the entry for "Smith, Chris M. and Andrew V. Papachristos. 2016."

What about online sources?

A guiding principle with online sources is to include as much information as possible for your reader to locate your source.

You should include the URL for these items. Your instructor may ask you to include access dates for sources like webpages, e-journals, blog posts, and newspaper or magazine articles accessed online, though this isn't required by ASA style guide.

Even though we access them through our online library database, most journals are also print journals. As a result, you will not include things like access dates or weblinks for these sources unless you've been asked by your professor to do so.

If you've used a journal article that includes a DOI (a type of stable link), it should be included in the reference entry.

What about lectures?

Check your assignment guidelines or ask your professor. Most prefer that you include the original sources that were presented within the class. If you're asked to cite lectures, see the example in the table below.

Source TypeCiteReference
Journal articleHoffman 2015Hoffman, Steve G. 2015. “Thinking Science with Thinking Machines: The Multiple Realities of Basic and Applied Knowledge in a Research Border Zone.” Social Studies of Science 45(2):242-269.
Journal article – two authorsInnocente and Baker 2018Innocente, Nathan and Jayne Baker. 2018. “The Sociology Teaching Fellowship: A Mentorship Model for Graduate Student Teacher Training.” Teaching Sociology 46(4):335-345.
Journal article – three authorsBateman, Baumann, and Johnston 2019 (subsequent: Bateman et al. 2019)

Bateman, Tyler, Shyon Baumann, and Josée Johnston. 2019. “Meat as Benign, Meat as Risk: Mapping News Discourse of an Ambiguous Issue.” Poetics 76:101356. 2019.03.001

(This is an online journal article, which is why the traditional page numbers are absent.)

Journal article – four or more authorsBianchi et al. 2012Bianchi, Suzanne M., Liana C. Sayer, Melissa A. Milkie, and John P. Robinson. 2012. “Housework: Who Did, Does, or Will Do It and How Much Does It Matter?” Social Forces 91:55-63.
ForthcomingGoodman forthcoming

Goodman, Philip. Forthcoming. “‘Work Your Story’: Selective Voluntary Disclosure, Stigma Management, and Narratives of Seeking Employment After Prison.” Law & Social Inquiry.

(“Forthcoming” refers to a source that has not yet been published.)

BookMaghbouleh 2017

Maghbouleh, Neda. 2017. The Limits of Whiteness: IranianAmericans & the Everyday Politics of Race. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

(References always include the publisher location and province/state abbreviation, except for when that location is New York.)

Chapter in edited bookGray 2018Gray, Robin R. R. 2018. “Repatriation and Decolonization: Thoughts on Ownership, Access and Control.” In Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation, edited by Frank Gunderson, Rob Lancefield and Bret Woods. Oxford Handbooks Online. https://www.oxfordhandbooks. com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/ 9780190659806.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780190659806 (Links are included for e-books)
Chapter in edited book, subsequent editionWelsh and Baker 2011Welsh, Sandy and Jayne Baker. 2011. “Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Workplace.” Pp. 55-64 in Society in Question, edited by Robert J. Brym. 6th ed. Toronto, ON: Nelson Education Ltd.
TweetHaag 2020Haag, Julius (@HaagJulius). 2020. “Consultation, consultation, consultation…there comes a point where this becomes an empty gesture.” Twitter, June 29, 2:47 p.m.
InterviewNone, because the paper should already reference the particulars of the interview. E.g.: “In his interview with Steve Paiken in 2020, Akwasi Owusu-Bempah discussed defunding the police."Owusu-Bempah, Akwasi. 2020. Interview by Steve Paiken. The Agenda with Steve Paiken. TVO, June 17.
Source TypeCiteReference
LectureMiles 2019Miles, Andrew. 2019. “Regression models for categorical data.” SOC222 Measuring the Social World. October 7.
WebsiteJohn Howard Society of Ontario 2020John Howard Society of Ontario. 2020. “Our Mission & History.”
Newspaper or magazine article – accessed onlinePettinicchio 2018Pettinicchio, David. 2018. “Why disabled Americans remain second-class citizens.” Washington, August 28.
Newspaper or magazine articleMaher 2020Maher, Stephen. 2020. “The end of the RCMP?” Maclean’s, August, 24-31.
Government publicationGreenlee and Reid 2020Greenlee, Edith and Alana Reid. 2020. “Parents supporting learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.” StatCan COVID-19: Data to Insights for a Better Canada. Statistics Canada. 0001/2020001/article/00040-eng.htm
Government publication – no authorStatistics Canada 2020Statistics Canada. 2020. “Canadians’ perceptions of personal safety since COVID-19.” The Daily, June 9. Statistics Canada. dq200609a-eng.htm
Conference presentationLiu 2020Liu, Sida. 2020. “The Decline of Two Forces in Chinese Governance under Xi Jinping.” Paper presented at the Illiberalism and Insurgent Politics Workshop, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON.
DissertationBaumann 2001Baumann, Shyon. 2001. “From Entertainment to Art: The Social History of Film in the United States.” Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Film13th 201613th. 2016. Ava DuVernay. Netflix.
Court caseFor court cases and laws, reference the case or law in the body of your paper. E.g.: “The Firearms Act is a federal law controlling the licensing, possession, manufacturing, and importation and exportation of firearm in Canada.”Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto v. K.S., ONCJ 316 (2020). 2020oncj316.html
LawFor court cases and laws, reference the case or law in the body of your paper. E.g.: “The Firearms Act is a federal law controlling the licensing, possession, manufacturing, and importation and exportation of firearm in Canada.”Firearms Act, S.C. 1995, c. 39 (1995).
PodcastWeinberg 2017Weinberg, Jill. 2017. “Jill Weinberg on Post-It Notes as a Visual Method.” March 18 in Give Methods a Chance, produced by Kyle Green and Sarah Lageson, podcast, 30:39.

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