Creating an In-Text ASA Citation for a Basic Book
- Find the author’s last name.It should be on the front cover, as well as the title page of the book. You will need this information to create a proper ASA in-text citation.For our example, let’s say our author’s last name is Brooks.
- Place an open parentheses at the end of the sentence you are paraphrasing and add the author’s name.Paraphrasing means to put an idea taken from a source into your own words. ASA citations require that you put the citation information in parentheses. Let’s say that are example paraphrased sentence is:
- “Bookshelves are the best for holding books (Brooks.” Note that there is an open parenthesis at the the end of the sentence, followed by the author’s last name.
- Do not close the parentheses yet because you are going to add more information.
- Find the year that the book was published.It should be on the front or back of the title page. Add this date after the author’s last name, placing a space between the two.Let’s say our book was published in 2003. This means our example would be:
- “Bookshelves are the best for holding books (Brooks 2003.” Note that there is a space between the author’s last name and the date, but no comma (commas are sometimes used in other in-text citations).
- Add the page number that you found the quote on and close the parenthesis.While this is not always required, it is generally best to add the page number that you found your quote on. This will both help you refer back to where you found the quote, and will validate your citation.Let’s say you found your example quote on page 27:
- “Bookshelves are the best for holding books (Brooks 2003:27).” Note that you separate the year and page number with a colon, but you don’t use spaces between the two numbers.
- Also note that the punctuation (in this case a period) is placed outside the parentheses.
- Keep in mind that if you use the author’s name in your sentence, you do not need to place it in the citation.In that case, you include the date and page number right after the name. For instance, you could write:
- “Brooks (2003:27) noted that bookshelves are the best for holding books.”
Making a Citation in a Reference List
- Understand that when you make an in-text citation, you have to include the information on the reference list at the end of your essay.Now that you’ve referenced an outside work in your essay, you need to include the full citation in your reference list or works cited page. The proper way to create an entry on a reference list is described in the following steps.
- Put in the author’s last name, followed by a comma and his first name.While you only use the author’s last name in your in-text citation, you use his or her full name in your reference list citation. Include the first and middle names or initials. You should be able to find the author’s full name on either the cover or title page of the book. Let’s say our author’s name is Kelly D. Brooks:
- The citation up to this point would look like this one: “Brooks, Kelly D.”
- Keep in mind that even if you end on a first name (not an initial), you will follow the name with a period. For example, if the author’s name was Kelly Darla Brooks, your citation would end in a period like this: “Brooks, Kelly Darla.”
- Place the publishing date after the author’s name.Again, this date should be found on the front or back of the title page.You should place a period after the date as you did with the author’s name. Your example would look like this:
- “Brooks, Kelly D. 2003.”
- Add the title of the book.The title can be found on the cover or title page. Don’t forget to include the subtitle (separated out with a colon) if the book has one. Use title case with title, meaning you should capitalize all important words (but not prepositions, conjunctions, or articles unless they begin or end the title). Also, use italics for the title.Let’s say the title of our book is “Book Storage 101” and our subtitle is “The Books We Love and How to Keep Them.”:
- “Brooks, Kelly D. 2003.Book Storage 101: The Books We Love and How to Keep Them.” Use a space after the colon in the middle, and end the title with a period.
- Find the place of publication.This is generally found on the back side of the title page.Use the city and state, especially if the city isn’t a major one like New York or Washington, D.C. Let’s say that your example book was published in Fort Worth, TX. Use a space, then add the place of publication with a colon after it:
- “Brooks, Kelly D. 2003.Book Storage 101: The Books We Love and How to Keep Them.Fort Worth, TX:”
- Add the name of the publishing company.This should either be found on the front or back of the title page (and sometimes can be found on both).Let’s say your example book was published by Cowboy Hat Press; you’ll add a space, the publishing company, and a period to complete the citation:
- “Brooks, Kelly D. 2003.Book Storage 101: The Books We Love and How to Keep Them.Fort Worth, TX: Cowboy Hat Press.”
- Double check with your essay guidelines to make sure that your professor wants the essay written with ASA citations.