Skip to Main Content

ASA Citation Guide (6th Ed.)



Note: Always follow assignment instructions as these may differ from ASA formatting guidelines. 

Formatting Checklist

Review the following to ensure your paper meets all basic requirements.

Title Page

Title page includes the following:

□ The full title of your paper, centered and in bold. Capitalize All Main Words in the Title.

□ Your full name and affiliation (MacEwan University), and the names and affiliations of any co-authors listed on separate lines, double-spaced.

For student papers, we recommend also including course name, instructor's name, and submission date. Visit our guide on APA formatting for a sample paper with these additional elements, as well as instructions on inserting a running head, if required. 


An abstract page, if required, includes:

□ The paper's title included as a level 1 heading (see below), written IN ALL CAPS.

□ A descriptive summary of the paper that is typically one paragraph and 200 words or less. 

Text of the Paper

Each subsequent page should include:

□ Double-spaced text.

□ Font size that is 12-point serif type face such as Times New Roman.

□ One-inch margins.

□ Pages numbered sequentially in the top right margin, starting with the title page. 

□ Heading levels:

  • Level 1 headings are in ALL CAPS, left justified.
  • Level 2 headings are left-justified and italicized. Capitalize All Main Words in the Heading.
  • Level 3 headings are indented, in italics, and followed by a period. Capitalize only the first letter and proper nouns.
This is a Second-Level Heading
       This is a third-level heading. 

□ In-text citations corresponding to all entries in the reference list at the end of the paper. 

Reference List

The reference list should meet these requirements:

□ References should be included in a separate REFERENCES section at the end of the paper, but before any appendices.

□ Each reference entry should correspond with citations in the paper's text.

□ The reference list should be arranged alphabetically by author last name for each entry.

□ The first line of each entry is flush with the left margin; additional lines are indented five spaces (called a “hanging indent”). 

To create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word, highlight your reference entries and then select the following keys:
- On a PC select: CTRL + T
- On a Mac select: Command + T

Sample Paper

The TriCollege Libraries' ASA Sample Paper (Word) can be used as a template demonstrating formatting requirements in accordance with ASA (6th ed.). 

Creating an Annotated Bibliography in ASA

Annotated bibliographies are a great way to familiarize yourself with literature on a topic prior to writing a research paper.

General Guidelines

  • Annotated bibliographies list reference entries for works alphabetically. Below each entry, a short "annotation" summarizes and discusses the source.
  • Some annotations are merely descriptive, summarizing the authors' qualifications, research methods, and arguments.
  • Your instructor might also ask you to identify the authors' theoretical frameworks.
  • Many annotations evaluate the quality of scholarship in a book or article. You might want to consider the logic of authors' arguments, and the quality of their evidence. Your findings can be positive, negative, or mixed.
  • Your instructor might also want you to explain why the source is relevant to your assignment.

ASA-Formatted Annotated Bibliography (Sample Page)



Battle, Ken. 2007. “Child poverty: The evolution and impact of child benefits.” Pp. 21-44 in A Question of Commitment: Children's Rights in Canada, edited by K. Covell and R. B. Howe. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

           Ken Battle draws on his research as an extensively-published policy analyst, and a close study of some government documents, to explain child benefits in Canada.  He outlines some fundamental assumptions supporting the belief that all society members should contribute to the upbringing of children.  His comparison of Canadian child poverty rates to those in other countries provides a useful wake-up to anyone assuming Canadian society is doing a good job of protecting children from want.  He pays particular attention to the National Child Benefit (NCB), arguing that it did not deserve the criticism it received from politicians and journalists.  He outlines the NCB’s development, costs, and benefits, including its dollar contribution to a typical recipient’s income.  He laments that the Conservative government scaled back the program in favour of the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), and clearly explains why it is inferior.  However, Battle relies too heavily on his own work; he is the sole or primary author of almost half the sources in his bibliography.  He could make this work stronger by drawing from the perspectives of others' analyses.  However, Battle does offer a valuable source for this essay, because the chapter provides a concise overview of government-funded assistance currently available to parents. This offers context for analyzing the scope and financial reality of child poverty in Canada.

Kerr, Don and Roderic Beaujot. 2003. “Child Poverty and Family Structure in Canada, 1981-1997.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 34(3):321-335.

          Sociology professors Kerr and Beaujot analyze the demographics of impoverished families.  Drawing on data from Canada’s annual Survey of Consumer Finances, the authors consider whether each family had one or two parents, the age of single parents, and the number of children in each household.  They analyze child poverty rates in light of both these demographic factors and larger economic issues.  Kerr and Beaujot use this data to argue that

 Adapted from American Sociological Association (ASA) Annotations by Eastern Nazarene College.

Licensed under CC BY-NC | Details and Exceptions