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How to Cite Your Sources

A guide to some of the citation styles

Citing Common Sources in ASA

In-text citations generally include the author's last name and the publication year. When quoting directly, page numbers should be included. 

  • Citations usually include the author's last name and publication year in parenthesis after the last word in the sentence, but preceding the punctuation mark.
  • The author's last name does not need to be included in the parenthesis if it is mentioned in the preceding sentence.
  • Page numbers follow the publication year after a colon, with no space between the colon and the page number
  • If you are citing multiple sources in the same passage, the citations can be separated within the parenthesis by a semicolon (;)



Author's name in text:

The evidence of this phenomenon is proven in a study by Smith (1976). 

Author's name not in text:

The evidence of this phenomenon is proven by the observation of these three behaviors (Smith 1976).


Smith states that "the phenomenon and patterns observed is supported by the evidence produced" (1976:33). 

Two authors:

(Martin and Bailey 1988)

Three authors:

First time - (Carr, Smith, and Jones 1962)

Subsequent citations - (Carr et al. 1962) 

Four or more authors:

(Johnson et al. 1964)

General Format

Last name, First name. Year. Title. Publisher's City and State: Publisher's name.

Single Author Example

Desmond, Matthew. 2016. Evicted: Poverty and profit in the American city. New York: Crown Publishers. 

Multiple Author Example

Kotarba, Joseph A., and John M. Johnson. 2002. Postmodern Existential Sociology. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.  

Chapter in a Book Format

Last name, First name. Year. "Title of Article." Pp. (with page numbers) in Title, edited by Editor Initials, Editor Last name. Publisher's City and State: Publisher's name.

Riley, Matilda White. 1985. "Women, Men, and the Lengthening Life Course." Pp. 333-47 in Gender and the Life Course, edited by A.S. Rossi. New York: Aldine.

General Format

Last name, First name. Year. "Title." Journal Title volume number(issue number): page range. DOI (for online sources).

Single Author Example

Fyfe, James J. 1982. “Blind Justice: Police Shootings in Memphis.” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 73(2):707-22.

Multiple Authors Examples

Coe, Deborah L., and James D. Davidson. 2011. “The Origins of Legacy Admissions: A Sociological Explanation.” Review of Religious Research 52(3):233-47.

Kalleberg, Arne L., Barbara F. Reskin, and Ken Hudson. 2000. “Bad Jobs in America: Standard and Nonstandard Employment Relations and Job Quality in the United States.” American Sociological Review 65(2):256-78.

Krahn, Jessica, Vera Caine, Jean Chaw-Kant, and Ameeta E. Singh. 2018. "Housing Interventions for Homeless, Pregnant/Parenting Women with Addictions: A Systemic Review." Journal of Social Distress & the Homeless 27(1): 75-88.

Electronic Article

Persell, Caroline Hodes, Kathryn M. Pfeiffer, and Ali Syed. 2008. "How Sociological Leaders Teach: Some Key Principles." Teaching Sociology 36(2):108-24. doi:10.1177/0092055X0803600202.

General Format

Last name, First name. Year. "Title," Publication, Month Date, page range.


Ziff, Larzer. 1995. "The Other Lost Generation," Saturday Review, February 20, pp. 15-18.

Example (Author Unknown)

Lafayette Journal & Courier. 1998. Newspaper editorial. December 12, p. A-6.

General Format

Name of author or institution. Publication Year. "Title of page." Title of Website. Publication city: name of publisher. Retrieved date from (URL).

Note: Publication city and publisher name can be omitted if unknown.


ASA. n.d. "Application and Sociological Practice." American Sociological Association. Retrieved January 8, 2021 (

Sociology Citation Styles Resources