ASA Essay Style Format

What Are ASA Style Papers?

If you are to write an ASA style essay, you need to stick to specific bibliographical criteria. Your paper must comprise the following elements: title page, abstract, in-text quotations as well as a bibliography section.

General Requirements for the Structure

As a rule, the format of your paper must follow the requirements described below:

  • Use a plain font. In general, you are advised to use Times New Roman 12pt with double spacing.
  • Your margins should be of 1 ¼”
  • The page number must be added on the right
  • Add a title page
  • Add subheadings

Title Page

On the title page, write the complete title of your paper, your name and the college you’re attending. Moreover, it’s advisable to add a total word count, which also includes all annotations and citations.


In general, the abstract section is not compulsory. However, in the eventuality that you must write it, you ought to have it on a separate page, right after the title page. The abstract ought to be made of a single paragraph. Regarding word count, write between 150 and 200 words. This part of your essay has the purpose of summing up your study. On the abstract page, add a few keywords (3 to 5).

How to Add In-Text References

  • Provided that the author is already indicated earlier in the essay you should only cite the year of release.
    • For instance: Johnson claims that bad grades dishearten children from studying (2010).
  • If the author is not previously indicated in the text, you also need to add his or her name in the citation.
    • For instance: The idea that bad grades impede students’ willingness to study is transmitted (Johnson 2010).
  • Add the page number after mentioning the year. Between the year and the page number, add a colon, without using spacing.
    • For instance: This is as a result of the narrow grade limits. (Johnson 2010:25).
  • In case a publication has more than one author, you need to include all of them in the citation. Separate their surnames using the word “and”.
    • For instance: The problem here is that a lot of students lose motivation after they’re given very bad grades. (Johnson and Williams 2010:68)
  • In the eventuality that numerous publications quote the same passage or assertion, the author and year of release ought to be set apart using a semicolon.
    • For instance: Bad grades and constant academic failure can completely ruin a student’s ambition and interest. (Johnson 2010; Stevens 2015)

Reference Page

Generally speaking, ASA style essays are very similar to APA style papers, apart from a couple of differences. Take a look at our exemplifications of the way in which you must quote the most recurrent forms of citations:

  • Books: Author [Last, First]. Year of Publication. Title. Country of Publisher: Publisher.
    • For instance: Johnson, Paul. 2010. Educational Methods. London: Elite Publications
  • E-Books: Author [Last, First]. Year of Publication. Title. Country of Publisher: Publisher. Retrieved Month Day, Year {link}.
    • For instance: Johnson, Paul. 2010. Educational Methods. London: Elite Electronic Books. Retrieved April 7, 2017. {link}
  • Journal Article: Author [Last, First]. Year of Publication. “Title.” Journal Name issue #: inclusive page numbers.
    • For instance: Williams, Robert. 2012. “How to Stimulate Students to Study”. Journal of Education #246: 10-12
  • Magazine Article: Author Last, First. Year of Pub. “Title.” Magazine Name, Month Year, pp. inclusive page numbers.
    • For instance: Stevens, Monica. 1999. “General Learning Difficulties”. Washington Post, September 1999. pp. 12-18.
  • Webpage: Author [Last, First.] Date of Publishing. Title. Publisher. Retrieved Month Day, Year {link}.
    • For instance: Anderson, Arnold. 12.05.2011. How to Properly Train Students. Retrieved 07.04.2017. {link}

Reference Page Structure

At the beginning of this section, simply add the heading “References”, without any elements like italics or underlined text. Here are the requirements for listing the citations:

  • Use double spacing
  • Add a hanging indentation
  • Each of the titles you include must be in capital letters (besides particles, articles and connection words)
  • Use an alphabetical order, by the author’s surname
  • Write the full names of all authors
  • Mention EVERY SINGLE AUTHOR who played a part in the research (do not write “et al.”)


If you wish to write your essay in ASA style, you ought to utilize subheadings when structuring the body. Here are the three distinct types of titles you can choose from:

First Level Title

  • As a general rule, write everything in capital letters
  • Add it on the left side of the page
  • Do not use bold, italic or underline

Second Level Title

  • Use italics
  • Capitalize all words

Third Level Title

  • Use italics
  • Do not capitalize anything apart from the initial word
  • Do not use bold, caps or underline


Annotations can be helpful if you want to develop on specific tangents or include additional data to a picture or chart. In ASA style papers, annotations ought to be enumerated in a sequential order across the essay. When adding annotations, use numbers as a subscript.

Still Having Trouble with the ASA Citation Style?

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