Formatting Friday: ASA Basics
May 4, 2018
ASA (American Sociological Association) style is typically used in the field of sociology to help students and authors prepare papers and manuscripts for ASA journals and other publications. The style guide is officially called The ASA Style Guide, and is currently in its 5th Edition, last published in 2014 by the American Sociological Association. It’s heavily influenced by CMoS (for instance, the author-date format for in-text citations).
We always encourage students to get the actual style guides if possible, even if you’re following a distilled electronic version. It can be so helpful to be able to look something up after hours, and many style guides contain valuable information about academic writing, especially writing styles and preferences in your particular field. The ASA manual has sections on editorial style (which include plagiarism, grammar, and writing), mechanics of style (including punctuation and quotations); ASA-specific usages and conventions, guidelines for organizing and presenting content, guidelines for usage of electronic content, preparing and submitting to journals, interpreting copyeditor’s notations, and references, among other things. As a comprehensive guide to writing in the field of sociology, the manual is a must-have.
If you’re having trouble parsing out the formatting from the manual, have questions about style or format issues, or want an extra set of eyes on it, along with expert editing and formatting experience, let us know! We are always happy to review formatting guide issues or troubleshoot and discuss concerns in a consultation, as well as help format your document.
Basics of ASA
- Title page should have full title of the manuscript, author’s names and schools, and word count of document (footnotes and references included)
- Abstract should be on a separate page after the title page and should be between 150-200 words.
- Text should be 12-pt and double-spaced.
- Margins should be at least 1.25 inches all around.
- Footnotes and endnotes are used, but sparingly; endnotes are more frequently used than footnotes.
Resources for ASA Style
Formatting styles can be tricky, especially if you’re not very familiar with them or don’t use them a lot. There are a variety of style “cheat sheets” and supplemental guides and web pages that are often helpful, although caution should be used if you use these in lieu of the actual manual. They’re best used in conjunction with the most recent edition of the style guide.
If you’re struggling with formatting your paper ASA-style, contact us today! We have editors on staff who are experienced in ASA and can help you take your dissertation or thesis to the next level.