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Sociology Resources: Writing & Citing

American Sociological Association Style Guide

ASA Style

Citing Your Sources

There are two essential parts to citing correctly. The first is citing within the text of a paper, either by using parenthetical references, or footnotes. The second is providing complete bibliographic information for your sources in a bibliography (also known as a Works Cited page or Reference list).

Undergraduates at Duquesne most frequently use one of these styles:

  • MLA - Created by the Modern Language Association, it is mainly used in English and the humanities. The current version is the 8th edition.
  • APA - Created by the American Psychological Association, it is mainly used in Psychology and some of the other Social Sciences, as well as Nursing. The current version is the 6th edition.
  • Chicago Manual of Style - Used in many disciplines. The current version is the 16th edition.

The Duquesne University Writing Center has created very helpful guides to assist you with citing in-text and in bibliographies in MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style. 

There is also a special style used in the discipline of Sociology called ASA, or American Sociological Association, style.

The Purdue OWL offers an online guide to formatting using ASA 5th edition.

Writing in the Social Sciences: Literature Review

Literature reviews are designed to do two things:

1) Give your readers an overview of sources you have explored while researching a particular topic or idea and

2) Demonstrate how your research fits into the larger field of study, in this case, sociology.

Unlike annotated bibliographies which are lists of references arranged alphabetically that include the bibliographic citation and a paragraph summary and critique for each source, literature reviews can be incorporated into a research paper or manuscript. You may quote or paraphrase from the sources, and all references to sources should include in-text parenthetical citations with a reference list at the end of the document. Sometimes, however, an instructor may require a separate literature review document and will have specific instructions for completing the assignment.

Driscoll, Dana Lynn. (2010). "Social Work Literature Review Guidelines." Retrieved from

For more illustrative examples and general guidelines for developing a literature review, check out the Purdue OWL's Social Work Literature Review Guidelines page.

Writing Literature Reviews

Lit Review Examples

Writing for Sociology

Learn about writing with a sociological perspective from this guide from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.