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SOCY 122 ASO Section 700: Introduction to Academic Library Research

Citing sources

Throughout the research process it is important for you to keep track of your information sources. Fortunately, many of the electronic databases you will be using offer you the option to download, print or email the citations to the material you find. This is a great way to keep track of the information you're considering.

Citing sources is a key part of your research: it documents what sources you have used in writing your paper and gives credit to an author's work that you have used. It also gives information to identify and retrieve the cited sources.

There are many citation styles available and the preferred style varies between disciplines. Sociology uses the ASA style. Based on the American Sociological Association Style Guide, the Department of Sociology has produced its own ASA Style Guide Style and Reference Guide for Undergraduate Essays. Refer to this Style and Reference Guide for information on how to cite different types of material and how to reference an author's ideas. You will also find a link to this style guide in your SOCY 122 CDS Section 700 OnQ course website.


Plagiarism is a serious offense. Citing your sources is one way to avoid plagiarism. Student Academic Success Services at Queen's has a guide to help you through the writing process and avoid plagiarism.

ASA style guide

ASA Style Guide book cover