A sample sociology paper on juvenile delinquency formatted and cited in ASA style - Guide

The American Sociology Association (ASA) manual is proposed for authors who are involved in preparing manuscripts for publications. This guide will help students or an essay writer who are given the assignment to be done in an ASA style.

Manuscript Format

  • Margin should be 1 inch from all sides
  • All text must be doubled spaced including references and footnotes
  • Font size should be 12 pt. and Times New Roman.
  • A separate title page should be added including the title, author name, word count, and footnotes.
  • If instructed, then on a separate page add a short 150-200 words abstract and start an introduction on a separate page that is headed with a paper title.

In-text Citations

In the ASA style guide, the citation basic form in the text consists of the author's last name and publication year. You should also include the page number if you are quoting directly or refer to some specific passage.

  • If the name of the author is in text, then follow with the year of publication in parenthesis: for example, According to Taylor (2008) depression ………………
  • If the name of the author is not in the text, then enclose the author's last name and publication year in parenthesis. For example, “……. when the experiment was completed (Taylor (2009).
  • If you have to include the page number as well then follow the publication year after the colon. For example, Taylor (2008:19) ….
  • If there are three authors, add last names of all in the first citation in the text and then use et al. If there are more than three authors, use the last name of the first author and et al. For example, (Smith, Taylor and Lee 2008); (Taylor et al.2008)
  • In-text, the quotation should be start and end with a quotation mark.


The first-level headings in ASA format must be capslock and left-justified. The second-level heading must be italicized and left-justified. The third level heading must be indented, italicized, and ends with a period.

Here is a sample college essay on Juvenile Delinquency in ASA format.

“Juvenile delinquency is defined as a crime committed by a young person under a certain age. There are special courts that are set for handling the cases of juvenile delinquency. It is a belief that young people who commit crimes are not aware completely of their actions. This essay will discuss the different reasons that cause a young person to turn to juvenile delinquency.

School problems are one of the major reasons for juvenile delinquency. When a child struggles to learn and his parents are not bothered that child eventually ends in committing some crimes. The family environment during the formative years of a child plays a very important role in shaping the individual’s different future outcomes (Schepers 2016). Those children who grow up in a caring and nurturing family are equipped with prosocial skills and healthy emotional management that benefit them throughout their life. On the other hand, the children who are raised in an abusive and unstable environment tend to have behavioral and poor problem-solving skills. Other than this, the offenders who have histories of adverse childhood experiences such as sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse are very difficult to rehabilitate (Schepers 2016). It has also found in the literature that maternal depression is linked with the negative outcomes of a child. These negative outcomes include neglecting and harsh parenting practices that lead their child to end up with juvenile delinquency (Hoffmann and Dufur 2018).

Having a stable and caring environment for the family is one thing, but giving the child a high quality of care is another. Many studies have focused on the importance of child care and different future outcomes such as cognitive capability and emotional management skills that are important for a prosocial lifestyle. The parents with low socioeconomic backgrounds are usually less educated and do less effort in making their child's future bright (Hoffmann and Dufur 2018). As a result, their children lack the cognitive ability and language development which causes poor school performance. Studies have shown that improving child care quality during the first two years of his life makes a great difference in preventing future problems. Different programs that specifically target preschool children have shown to be very effective in the prevention of crime (Hoffmann and Dufur 2018).

Most of the programs of juvenile delinquency target young person already have delinquent behavior. Multidimensional programs that are family-based have also been proven very effective in creating a positive attitude among juveniles. Parents must focus on developing positive values in their children and give them the motivation to behave positively. It is also a responsibility of the government to provide support to those families with poor financial conditions (Meldrum et al. 2016).

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