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Sociology: Writing and Citing

Help with Writing and Citing


Plagiarism is using someone else's work -- their words or ideas -- without giving them credit. Even accidental plagiarism can have big consequences, so you want to be careful to avoid it.

Avoid plagiarism by documenting your sources as you do your research and writing. If you use a quotation or refer to an idea, be sure to keep track of where you found it so that you can cite it properly.


Zotero is a free tool that lives in your web browser and helps you keep track of sources and build bibliographies. See the Zotero homepage to set up an account, or ask us for help!

ASA - Articles & Book Chapters

The basic ASA format for citing an article is:

Author, First Name. Year. "Title of Article." Journal Title volume number(issue number):pages.

Example: an article with one author:

Cortiel, Jeanne. 2018. “Risk and Feminist Utopia: Radicalizing the Future.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 77(5):1353-76.

An article with more than one author:

Lombardi, Caitlin McPherran, Rebekah Levine Coley, Jacqueline Sims, Alicia Doyle Lynch, and James R. Mahalik. 2019. “Social Norms, Social Connections, and Sex Differences in Adolescent Mental and Behavioral Health.” Journal of Child & Family Studies 28(1):91-104.


To cite a book chapter, follow this basic format:

Author, First Name. Year. "Title of Chapter." Pp. (pages of chapter) in Book Title, edited by Editors. Location: Publisher.

Lee, Jenni. 2015. "What Young Women in Tech Really Need." Pp. 173-178 in Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Start-Up Culture​, edited by Elissa Shevinsky. New York: OR Books.

APA - Books

The basic ASA format for a book is:

Author, First Name. Year. Title of Book. Location: Publisher.​

Watters, Ethan. 2010. Crazy Like Us: the Globalization of the American Psyche. New York: Free Press.

For an ebook citation, just add the date you consulted the book along with a stable URL in parentheses.

ASA - Web Sites

For websites, ASA recommends that you cite the page with the URL and access date, along with as many of the elements such as title, author, and publication date as possible.

For example:

American Sociological Association. 2018. "Letter Regarding the Proposed Legal Definition of Sex." Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Retrieved January 28, 2019 (

APA - In-Text Citations

The basic format for a shorter quotation is:

(author or authors year:pages [if you're referring directly to a specific page or pages])

For example:

Causes of insomnia include "a history of stress, recent grief, or mental disorders such as anxiety or depression" (Kahn & Fawcett, 2008:252).

Kahn and Fawcett (2008) note that causes of insomnia include "a history of stress, recent grief, or mental disorders such as anxiety or depression" (252).