Skip to Main Content

Citing Your Sources - ASA Style: In-Text Citations

Formatting guidance for American Sociological Association citations.

URL for Quick Style Guide

How to Format In-Text Citations

Citations in the text include the last name of the author(s) and year of publication.

Include page numbers when quoting directly from a work or referring to specific passages.

Identify subsequent citations of the same source in the same way as the first.

Examples follow:


  • If the author’s name is in the text, follow it with the publication year in parentheses:

…in another study by Duncan (1959).


  • If the author’s name is not in the text, enclose the last name and publication year in parentheses:

…whenever it occurred (Gouldner 1963).


  • Pagination follows the year of publication after a colon, with no space between the colon and the page number:

…Kuhn (1970:71).

Note: This is the preferred ASA style. Older forms of text citations are not acceptable:  

(Kuhn 1970, p. 71).


  • Give both last names for joint authors:

…(Martin and Bailey 1988).


  • If a work has three authors, cite all three last names in the first citation in the text; thereafter, use et al. in the citation. If a work has more than three authors, use et al. in the first citation and in all subsequent citations.


  • First citation for a work with three authors:

…had been lost (Carr, Smith, and Jones 1962)

    Later citations in the same document

    …(Carr et al. 1962)


    • If a work cited was reprinted from a version published earlier, list the earliest publication date in brackets, followed by the publication date of the recent version used.

    …Veblen ([1899] 1979) stated that…


    • Separate a series of references with semicolons. List the series in alphabetical or date order, but be consistent throughout the manuscript.

    …(Green1995; Mundi 1987; Smith and Wallop 1989).


    - This information reprinted from the ASA Quick Style Guide PDF document, accessed on July 26, 2011. Style Guide.pdf

    Subject Guide

    Profile Photo
    Sarah Smith
    73 Tremont Street
    2nd Floor
    Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 573-8432