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ASA Essay Format Writing Guide

Whatever college or university essay you need to write, it should have a specific structure and meet the academic requirements. There are loads of types of research papers but each of them has unique features. Let's take a look at the very core of ASA writing format. It may prove to be the simplest and most convenient writing style.

What is ASA and Its Writing Format

Various academic organizations have worked out step-by-step guidelines for research writing. The American Sociological Association (commonly used as ASA) has developed its own formatting style that is required for various sociological works. It includes several sections on rules for correctly citing and referencing, rules of structuring and presenting sociological content, and other important details.

Why do students need to follow ASA formatting style? They gather and compile tons of information from multiple sources to be included in their own manuscripts. If students public their essay in the sociology journal without following the required citation principles, they can be discredited. It can have a negative impact on their future career.

General Requirements for ASA Format Writing

1. Pay attention to such minor details as small technical features that are very important when preparing a sociological manuscript:

  •  a proper font is 12-pointed Times New Roman including a double space between the lines; 
  • the margins are 1.25"; 
  • divide the text into 3 or 4 main sections including the title page, the abstract (you may exclude this section), the main part, and the list of references; 
  • the essential part should contain subheadings; 
  • it is allowed to use italics to make emphasis on any thesis
  • to add more info, make use of footnotes. 

 

2. Look through the main characteristics of the title page. Your manuscript's first page must contain:

  • a full name of the writing work; 
  • a full name of the author and the organization it has been written for; 
  • the total word count of the academic work including tables, the endnotes, and other possible sections; 
  • the title's important words should be capitalized.

 

3. Summarize your essay. The abstract is a short variant of your essay that is aimed to get the audience familiar with your research. ASA style doesn't require you to compose an abstract, but if you include it, follow these peculiarities: 

  • it should be written on a separate page after the title one; 
  • it has to be titled; 
  • it is required to contain one paragraph with the strict interval of words - 150-200; 
  • make it look like an effective press-release that depicts your essay in brief. 

 

4. Follow the general writing format requirements in the body. Pay extra attention to three points: the sub-headings, the footnotes, and citations. 

Sub-headings should be presented of three levels: 

  • capitalize the first level title letters with the left-side alignment. Avoid other types of emphasis like bolding, italic, and underlining. 
  • the second level should be italic with every first letter of the meaningful word capitalized; 
  • the third level is italicized as well, but there's no need to capitalize all the words, except the first one. 

 

5. Footnotes and endnotes must be specified with the help of superscripted numbers.

  • label all the notes; 
  • limit them to fewer than 100 words; 
  • if you need to refer to a footnote once more in the text, opt for parentheses. 

 

What to Do with Parenthetical Citations

If you cite other authors' works on various occasions, the requirements will differ:

1. Paraphrased quotes should contain the author's name and the year of source publication.

There's no need to repeat the above-mentioned name of the author in the citation. What you need is to specify the year. Take a look at the examples:

  • As Paul Smith (2018) mentioned,. 
  • It's impossible to grab the world attention with a thin, insignificant strike in the heart of the country (Paul Smith, 2018). 
  • As Paul wrote (2018: 16). 
  • If your citation is taken from the different sources, it can be presented as an indirect quotation and separated by a semi-column. For instance, People will greatly suffer from their empty-headed, irresponsible impact on the environment (Smith 2010; Paul 2018). 

 

2. If you need to insert the exact sentences or phrases quoted out of the source, use direct quotations.

Based on ASA requirements for writing, you should set it in quotation marks and then write the author's name and the year of source issue with the page in parenthesis.

Take a look at how to do it correctly:

"Love is great and unbelievable when you cherish it" (Stainly 2018:5). 

 

ASA Style Rules for Bibliography

All the resources used in the essay should be placed at the extreme end of the research followed by footnotes. The list with bibliography should be named "References." Whatever you reference or cite in the text, list it there.

ASA format requires students to double space references and order them in alphabetic order based on the authors' surnames. 

If there are numerous citations belonging to the same writer, start the list with the earliest one and then list them one by one. 

The titles of books and periodicals should be written in italic or underlined. 

 

Requirements for Footnotes and Endnotes

Students prefer using endnotes to cite materials or add information. It's allowed to use one of the ways of citations and explanations but there is an exception when both types are possible (when a footnote is suitable for the Title page and tables while endnotes can be used throughout the rest part of the paper). Both citations should be numbered with Arabic numerals. 

Take care of page numbering of your manuscript starting with the title page and including bibliography. 

If tables and figures are included, all of them should be numbered consequently (Table 1, Figure 1, .). Both elements should be placed at the end of the essay on a separate page. It's impossible to include tables or figures without a descriptive title which will be understandable to the reader at a glance. 

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