Dr Abel Scribe PhD

ASA Sociology

The American Sociological Association (ASA) has produced a nifty little pamphlet (124 pp.) describing the features of their style for authors writing for ASA publications. It has almost nothing to say about how to craft papers for college courses or conferences. It does acknowledge that it closely follows the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), especially in formatting references in what the CMS now calls the author-date style (previously the reference list or RL style).

ASA Style Guide This is good news. The style avoids some of the arbitrary complexity of other popular styles. The Chicago Manual of Style is over a thousand pages, the short version, Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, about 450 pages. Doc's guide, ASA Lite, covers the essential features of the style in just 18 pages .

The style guides of research associations explain how to prepare a paper for anonymous review and publication. Journals usually publish "Instructions for Authors" that explain how to prepare a copy manuscript for submission. These instructions meet the needs of copy editors and typesetters. A paper in this format is not intended to be read, but reviewed and typeset. The ASA Style Guide is an expanded version of these instructions.

What's different?To meet the needs of copy editors and typesetters there are special requirements. For example, in copy manuscripts tables and figures added to the end of a paper, each on a separate page. When you read a published article, a final manuscript, the tables and figures are embedded in the text close to where they are first mentioned. This seems like common sense, but if you are dutiful student and follow a research style guide you'll end up with something only a copy editor will appreciate.

ASA Lite makes the transformation from copy manuscript to final manuscript without compromising the essence of the style.

Pointer  Seriously out of date! The ASA published the second and third editions of their style guide in 1997 and 2007. Now in 2017 an update to ASA Lite is forthcoming. It might be helpful to review the "Instructions for Authors" of an ASA journal for possible changes, especially with references to online sources and page formats.

ASA Style Lite for Research Papers
New for 2010! The new guide to ASA style, ASA Lite (2010), replaces the old Writer's Guide from 2004. It benefits from experience with preparing guides to four other styles, and borrows from them. It is useful to note that ASA style relies heavily on the Chicago Manual of Style (2003), making that text a good complementary reference to ASA Lite.

ASA Style Lite  ASA Style Lite webpage is a concise style guide applying the essential features of the ASA Style Guide (2007) to research papers prepared for for conferences, seminars, and classes.
AMA Style Stat! (PDF)  ASA Style Lite (PDF 180 KB, 19 pp). The PDF version is the version of record, formatted for printing and reference. It includes an appendix on avoiding biased language.

Reorganized and expanded, the third edition of the ASA Style Guide is the first update since 1997. It has expanded guidelines to bring greater clarity and emphasis to issues from previous editions, including new sections on guidelines for preparing manuscripts, guidelines for electronic sources, foreign language and legal usages, conventions internal to the ASA, and a checklist for submission of manuscripts to ASA journals. The ASA Style Guide aims to establish uniformity and consistency in style among ASA publications, to provide an authoritative reference source on style issues for authors who are writing for ASA journals, and to summarize basic issues on effective writing for authors in general.