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SOC 1000 - Research Methods (Nasta)

Citation Basics

What are citations?

  • A citation is short way to uniquely identify a published work

What do citations include? 

  • A citation consists of all standard bibliographic elements and includes all information necessary to identify a work.
  • i.e. Title, author, publication date, location, volume, issue, page numbers, etc. 

Why do we cite sources? 

  • To give credit to other researchers and to acknowledge their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism
  • To provide a trail so others can consult the materials you've used / so they can do further reading
  • To provide evidence of your own research 

What should you cite?

  • Facts, figures, ideas, or other information that is not common knowledge 
  • Ideas, words, theories, or exact language that another person used
  • Images, photos, artwork, sculptures, media (i.e. videos, movies, television, podcasts, etc.)

Online Help

The current 5th edition of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Style Guide was published in 2014.  Be sure to always use the most current edition.

Style Guide

ASA (American Sociological Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources in sociology.

In addition to the examples to the left, see these sections of the Style Guide for how to cite other sources in ASA style:

  • A Work of Visual Art (Section 5.7.6, pg. 200)
  • An Interview (Section 5.7.7, pg. 201)
  • A Lecture, Speech, Address, or Reading (Section 5.7.11, pg. 203)
  • A Legal Source (Sections 5.7.14, pg. 205)

For a more detailed explanation of how to use ASA style, see the ASA Style Guide, 4th Edition.

McQuade Library's ASA Guide