ASA paper format: meaning, essential guidelines, and examples

ASA paper format

To successfully complete academic courses, graduate students must know how to write their academic papers with proper formatting. One way to do this is by understanding various citation styles, like the one used by the American Sociological Association (ASA). In this article, we’ll delve into the essentials of the ASA paper format, analyzing its key components and providing basic guidelines. Moreover, we’ll give you illustrative examples and explain this style’s structure and citation rules so you’ll get the necessary tools to present your research findings according to academic standards.

What is ASA format? 

The American Sociological Association style represents a standardized format utilized predominantly in the field of sociology and related disciplines. It serves as a comprehensive set of guidelines dictating the structure, citation practices, and overall formatting of an ASA style paper within the realm of sociological research and scholarship. This citation style governs various aspects of content, encompassing the proper quotation of sources, the organization of bibliographic information, and the presentation of textual elements.

It is predominantly favored by any essay writer service, scholars, academics, and sociology students for their papers and articles submitted to any academic edition within the discipline. Ensuring adherence to ASA guidelines is paramount, as any deviation may jeopardize the work's credibility and potentially delay its recognition and the professional advancement of its author.

Where is it used?

The ASA citation style is widely used in academic research papers, articles, and publications within sociology to ensure consistency, accuracy, and proper attribution of sources. It specifies how to cite sources within the text using parenthetical author-date citations or footnotes, format the bibliography or reference list at the end of the paper, and how to write a book review. This style guide outlines detailed rules for formatting headings, margins, font styles, and other elements to maintain uniformity in sociological writing.

ASA basic guidelines

When you have to write thesis statement or any academic paper using the ASA paper format, adhere to the specific requirements outlined in the ASA Style Guide. They ensure uniformity and clarity in presenting scholarly work. Below are some general recommendations that should be followed in any ASA paper format example:

  • Font and spacing: Use font size 12 and double-spacing for all content, including footnotes. This ensures readability and consistency.
  • Margins: Maintain 1 ¼ inch margins on all sides for a professional appearance of your research and easy reading.
  • Title page: Include a separate ASA title page with the paper's title, authors' names, word count, and a title footnote containing additional information. 
  • Pagination: Number all pages, including pages containing figures, tables, footnotes, and endnotes, sequentially. For example, page numbers can be formatted as (1, 2, 3...) or (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3...). Sequential numbering aids in organization and referencing within the document.

Following these guidelines ensures professional presentation and adherence to ASA standards, enhancing readability and effective communication of scholarly information. For further clarification on ASA essay format guidelines or assistance with your papers, consider the option to pay for research paper and get support from professional writers at Edubirdie.

How to cite different parts of the paper in ASA format?

Citing various sections of a paper in ASA style entails a systematic approach to acknowledging sources and providing bibliographic details in a standardized manner. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to cite various components of an ASA example.

Title page

This section serves as the initial point of contact for readers, providing crucial information about the manuscript. Here’s a detailed breakdown of its components and formatting requirements:

  • Title of the research paper.

It’s a succinct yet descriptive title that accurately represents the study focus.


The Sociological Implications of Digital Media: A Comparative Analysis”

  • Authors’ names and institutions. 

List all authors and their institutional affiliations vertically.


John Smith

Department of Sociology, San Francisco State University

Jane Doe

Department of Anthropology, Princeton University

  • Running head. 

This is a brief version of the title (60 characters or less) for identification purposes.


Sociological Implications of Digital Media

  • Word count.

The total word count of the manuscript includes all text elements.


Total word count: 3,500 words

  • Title footnote. 

Add in your ASA title page example details such as the corresponding author’s address, grants/funding received, and acknowledgments.


Correspondence should be addressed to John Smith, Department of Sociology, San Francisco State University, email: This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 123456). Acknowledgments to Dr. Jane Doe for valuable insights during manuscript preparation.


The abstract, placed on a separate page after the ASA format title page, summarizes the research, including its purpose, methods, findings, and implications. It should be one paragraph long, containing 150-200 words, and written in accessible language for broad comprehension.

  • Keywords.

After the abstract, list three to five keywords that summarize the main themes of the manuscript. Keywords aid readers find relevant content and should be carefully selected to cover the research focus comprehensively. 


Keywords: Digital media, sociology, interpersonal relationships, cultural dynamics, information dissemination


Ensure all text in the document is presented in a 12-point Arial font and double-spaced throughout, including footnotes. Alternatively, adhere to specific font and spacing requirements outlined by the edition or course instructor.

  • First page.

Begin the text on a new page following the title page and abstract. The first page should feature the title of the manuscript.

  • Subheadings.

Employ subheadings in your ASA paper example to effectively organize your paper’s body. Typically, utilize three levels of headings for comprehensive organization and follow the next requirements:

  • Utilize first-level headings in all caps and left-justify them. Avoid bold fonts and refrain from starting the manuscript with a heading like Introduction.
  • Use left-justified and italicized second-level headings without using bold font. Apply the title case for consistency.
    Social Media and Identity Formation
  • Left-justify and italicize third-level headings, ensuring indentation at the beginning of the paragraph followed by a period. Avoid bold fonts and capitalize only the first word.
    The role of Instagram in shaping self-perception

Footnotes and endnotes

These elements are crucial in academic writing for citing sources, restating thesis statement, and providing additional insights. Choose between both consistently, except for using footnotes for the title page and tables and endnotes for other sections, particularly in sociology journal submissions. Keep notes concise, under 100 words, for clarity. In-text citations should be numbered with superscript Arabic numerals, with corresponding numbers in parentheses for subsequent references. Footnotes should appear at the bottom of the page, while endnotes should be grouped at the end of the paper after the references, organized numerically, double-spaced, and titled “Notes” or “Endnotes.” Each note in your ASA example paper should start with the same superscript number for easy navigation.


Smith¹ emphasized the transformative role of social networking platforms in her seminal work on the societal impact of digital media. Further exploration is needed to grasp its implications on interpersonal relationships and community dynamics.

¹Smith, J. (2020). The Sociological Implications of Digital Media: A Comparative Analysis. Sociology Review, 25(3), 45-67.

In-text citations

These elements of an ASA format example typically include the author's last name and the year of publication, enclosed in parentheses. If you use a direct quote or an idiom example, the page number should also be included. 


  1. When discussing the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships, one study found that “individuals who spend more time on social networking sites report higher levels of loneliness” (Smith 2015).
  2. Another study suggests that “the widespread use of digital media has led to a shift in how individuals consume news and information” (Jones and Brown 2018, 45).
  3. In contrast, recent research by Johnson (2020) argues that “digital media platforms have created new opportunities for political participation and activism.”
  4. The sociological implications of digital media are multifaceted and complex (Miller et al. 2019).


This section begins with the heading REFERENCES and provides a comprehensive list of all sources cited in the paper. It should be Here’s how to format this page:

  • Arrange references alphabetically by the author’s last name. If there’s no author, use the title.
  • List authors’ last names first, followed by their initials.
  • Italicize book and journal titles. Capitalize every word of the ASA heading, except for prepositions, conjunctions, and articles.
  • Include the publication year in parentheses after the author’s name. For books, include the publisher's name and location. For articles, include the journal title, volume number, issue number in parentheses, and page range.

Discover a template of formatting of the ASA reference page:

  • Book:

Smith, John A. 2018. The Impact of Digital Media on Society. New York: ABC Publishing.

  • Journal article:

Jones, Emily B., and David C. Brown. 2019. Social Media Use and Mental Health: A Comparative Analysis. Journal of Sociology 25(3): 345-362.

  • Website:

Miller, Sarah. 2020. The Evolution of Social Media Platforms. Retrieved from

  • E-book:

Doe, Jane, ed. 2017. Digital Media and Society: A Comparative Perspective. Chicago: Academic Publishers. Retrieved from

Adhere to these guidelines for accurate ASA formatting in your document, maintaining scholarly standards. If you need someone write my essay, consider EduBirdie for expert assistance in crafting a well-formatted manuscript that effectively communicates your research findings.

Final thoughts

Understanding how to create an ASA format essay is crucial for students navigating the complex terrain of academic writing, particularly in sociology. Through our exploration of the essentials of this citation style, we have provided you with the foundational knowledge needed to adhere to ASA guidelines and effectively convey your study results.

We understand that academic formatting can be challenging, and you may need extra support when completing an ASA cover page example or any other part of your text. EduBirdie is here to help you craft polished papers that meet the highest standards. Get expert assistance today for your academic endeavors!

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