Sociology Research Paper Format: Avoiding Common Mistakes

American Sociological Association (ASA) format is widely used in sociology research papers. Now students follow the guidelines of the fourth edition of the format. According to the ASA, special attention should be put on the reference page and in-text citations formatting, as well as on the research paper writing style. However, some mistakes often occur and it is a good idea to check if your work contains the most common ones, namely:

  • The paper does not have a title page.
  • ASA format requires researchers to prepare a separate title page with the author’s name, their address, the title, university affiliation, and the number of words in the paper, including references and footnotes.

  • The abstract is three paragraphs long.
  • It is a good idea to write an abstract, but keep it up to 200 words long. Place an abstract on a separate page and use the paper’s title as the heading. Do not forget to list the key words.

  • The footnotes are in a 10-point font.
  • If nothing else specified, all text, including footnotes, should be in a 12-point font. The space is also the same within the paper.

  • All margins are 1 inch wide.
  • Do not mix various writing formats. ASA requires at least 1 ¼ inch margins on all sides.

  • Subheadings of a first level are used.
  • A typical sociology research paper uses three levels to organize the main body and make it readable.

  • Both footnotes and endnotes are used.
  • It is a good idea to provide additional information or explanation using a note tool, but use either footnotes, or endnotes.

  • The title page has no number.
  • All the pages, including a title page as well, should be numbered.

  • Tables and figures are placed within the text.
  • Tables and figures should be put at the end of the paper. Each one should be written on a separate page. Pay special attention to their titles which should provide enough information, so the reader can get the idea without reading the text and searching the cited references.

  • The text is filled with abbreviations.
  • Abbreviations should be avoided. Write down full headings and spell out every sign in them.

  • Two spaces are used between sentences.
  • One space is used after punctuation marks, not two.

  • The list is numbered with 1, 2, 3.
  • It is recommended to use the following format: (1), (2), (3).

The information above is mainly about formatting a research paper text. If you need information about references page formatting, you should search for another article.



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