Skip to Main Content Saint Mary's Libraries

Citing Your Sources

Why cite your sources?

  • To give credit to authors/researchers/writers and ideas that are not your own
  • Using high quality sources helps support your argument
  • To allow readers/researchers to locate the sources you used
  • To maintain academic integrity and avoid academic dishonesty and plagarism

When in doubt, cite!

  • If you read it and use the idea or a quote, cite it
  • If it is in a research paper, cite it
  • If it is in a reflection paper, cite it
  • If you are using past research, cite it

When in doubt, cite!

Citing properly requires:

1. An in-text citation

When you use the work of another person, you must make note of this in the text. Do this by including an in-text citation which gives a brief reference and helps the reader locate the full citation that you'll include as part of your References list.

2. A list of works referenced

The last page of your paper is typically a list of resources you used/utilized/consulted.

What is ASA?

The ASA style is the predominant style used by the field of sociology. Standards are specified in the ASA Style Guide, published by the American Sociological Association (ASA), which is the main scholarly organization for American academic sociologists.

ASA Examples

Template: AuthorLastName, FirstName MiddleInitial. Year of publication. Name of Publication. Publisher's city and state (or name of country if a foreign publisher): Publisher's Name. Retrieved Date (URL).


Print book, multiple authors: Berger, Peter L. and Thomas Luckmann. 1967. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Anchor Books.

E-book, multiple editors: Blau, Judith and Keri E. Iyall Smith, ed. 2006. Public Sociologies Reader. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Retrieved August 25, 2021 (https://bit.ly/3DaUNx4).

Template: AuthorLastName, FirstName. Year of publication. "Title of Article." Name of Publication Volume Number [don't leave a space between these] (Issue Number): Page numbers. Retrieved date (URL).


Multiple authors, accessed in print: Vergés Bosch, Núria, Leon Freude, and Clara Camps Calvet. "Service Learning with a Gender Perspective: Reconnecting Service Learning with Feminist Research and Pedagogy in Sociology." Teaching Sociology 49(2): 136-149.

Single author, accessed online: Drechsler, Wolfgang. 2020. "Max Weber and the Mandate of Heaven." Max Weber Studies 20(1). Retrieved August 25, 2021 (https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15543/maxweberstudies.20.1.25).

Template: AuthorLastName, FirstName. Year of publication. "Title of Resource." Retrieved date (URL).


Website, organizational author: American Sociological Association. 2021. "Major in Sociology." Retrieved August 25, 2021 (https://www.asanet.org/academic-professional-resources/major-sociology).

Social media source: Social media sources should not appear in the references page. Rather, they should be footnoted in the body text. This footnote should include the page's title and URL.

Need More Information?

See our Citation Styles guide to learn more about citing your sources.