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Teaching Sociology

Valdosta State University

Published in Association with American Sociological Association

 Teaching Sociology has moved to an online submission process. Please submit all manuscripts by following this link: Please do not submit manuscripts by mailing or emailing them directly to the Editor.

Guidelines for Papers Submitted to TEACHING SOCIOLOGY

Teaching Sociology publishes several types of papers. The basic distinction is between articles and notes. Generally, articles are longer than notes (about 25 pages long), more analytical, contain an extensive literature review and data analysis. Notes are shorter (usually 15 pages or less), contain a shorter literature review, and present and assess a teaching technique. The distinction reflects the dual purposes of the journal: 1) to provide a forum for analyzing the scholarship of teaching and learning in sociology, and 2) as a forum for the exchange of specific teaching ideas.

Article submissions should be research-based. If applicable to the topic, articles must contain clear evidence of student learning. One major way to show that is through the use of assessment data. Articles are evaluated using some combination of the following criteria:

  1. How useful and original are the ideas presented?
  2. How thoroughly does the author consider implications for the scholarship of teaching and learning in sociology?
  3. How well developed is the basic analytical point?
  4. Is there sociological theory and/or analysis?
  5. How thoroughly and accurately does the author ground the paper in the literature?
    1. Teaching Sociology encourages authors to consider sources outside of sociology – good pedagogy often crosses disciplinary boundaries.
    2. Are there articles in Teaching Sociology that the author also should cite?
  6. How extensively does the author extend previous ideas and bring some intellectual closure to the topic?
  7. In an empirical study, how sound is the methodology and how accurately do the presented results reflect the data? If applicable, how is student success measured and is there evidence that demonstrates that learning outcomes were achieved?
  8. How well written is the paper?
    1. How well integrated is the paper?
    2. How well organized is the paper?
  9. Does the manuscript discuss the social context of the research (e.g., size of classes, content of classes, type of institutions involved, any prerequisites, etc.)? Does the manuscript consider implications of transferring the pedagogical central idea(s) to other social settings?
  10. While not all Article manuscripts submitted for review will involve human subjects, those that do need to include a section in the body of the manuscript which explains any relevant ethical issues related to the use of human subjects. We recognize that not all institutions of higher education have similar ethical policies regarding the use in research of student grades or other data from students without permission. Please briefly explain your school’s policy, so that readers understand it.
  11. Authors should follow the ASA Style Guide, 4th edition and use Arial font, size 12.
  12. Length: approximately 25 pages, including all content, references, and supplemental tables and figures.

While Notes manuscripts need not be as research-intensive as Articles are, they are still expected to contain data and evidence. Notes are evaluated using some combination of the following criteria:

  1. How useful, original, and transferable is the technique, strategy, or idea?
    1. Does the paper discuss the types of classes and institutions where the technique can be used?
  2. How cogently are the ideas and implications presented?
  3. Is the description sufficiently detailed so a reader could easily employ it?
  4. Does the paper say more than "I tried this and I liked it"?
  5. Is there a brief literature review?
  6. Does the author address potential difficulties with the technique and suggest possible solutions?
  7. Is qualitative or quantitative outcome data reported?
  8. How well written is the paper?
    1. How well integrated is the paper?
    2. How well organized is the paper?
  9. While not all Note manuscripts submitted for review will involve human subjects, those that do need to include a section in the body of the manuscript which explains any relevant ethical issues related to the use of human subjects for this manuscript. We recognize that not all institutions of higher educationhave similar ethical policies regarding the use in research of student grades or other data from students without permission. Please briefly explain your school’s policy, so that readers understand it.
  10. Authors should follow the ASA Style Guide, 4th edition and use Arial font, size 12.
  11. Length: approximately 15 pages, including all content, references, and supplemental tables and figures.”

Guidelines for Papers Submitted to TEACHING SOCIOLOGY

for the Conversation Section

Teaching Sociology publishes brief comments, arguments, conversations, interviews, and responses related to a wide variety of issues in teaching sociology. The purpose of the Conversation section is to stimulate lively, thoughtful, topical, and controversial discussion. The Conversation section serves as a forum for an on-going exchange of ideas, arguments, responses, and commentary on issues that present the teacher of sociology with formidable challenges, dilemmas, and problems. Submissions to the Conversation section are refereed.

Conversations are evaluated using some combination of the following criteria:

  1. How useful and original are the author's ideas, arguments, and/or commentary?
  2. How relevant are the author's ideas, arguments, and/or commentary to issues in teaching sociology?
  3. How well do the author's ideas and arguments contribute to an on-going dialogue on issues and dilemmas related to teaching sociology?
  4. How thoroughly does the author consider implications for the teaching of sociology?
  5. How cogently are the ideas and implications presented?
  6. How well developed is the author's basic point/argument?
  7. How well written is the paper?
    1. How well integrated is the paper?
    2. How well organized is the paper?

Application Papers in TEACHING SOCIOLOGY

Teaching Sociology occasionally publishes applications of current research. The purpose of application papers is to make sociological research more accessible to undergraduate students by providing instructors with pedagogical tools for incorporating current research in their undergraduate courses. Application papers present learning activities, discussion questions, and other student-centered learning techniques that can be used in a variety of undergraduate courses. Applications are solicited by the editor.


"Submission of manuscripts to a professional journal clearly implies commitment to publish in that journal. The competition for journal space requires a great deal of time and effort on the part of editorial readers whose main compensation for this service is the opportunity to read papers prior to publication and the gratification associated with discharge of professional obligations. For these reasons, the ASA regards submission of a manuscript to a professional journal while that paper is under review by another journal as unacceptable."

Section II.B4, ASA Code of Ethics


A processing fee of $25.00 is required for each paper submitted, except reviews. (Fees are waived for student members of the ASA.) This practice reflects a policy of the ASA Council and Committee on Publications. During the online submission process, the author will be asked to pay the manuscript processing fee using either a credit card or PayPal. The fee must be paid in order to initiate manuscript processing. Manuscripts that are revisions of papers previously declined by Teaching Sociology, but not revisions of manuscripts for which the previous outcome was a request to revise and resubmit, will be assessed an additional $25.00.


  • Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to Submitting authors are required to set up an online account on the SageTrack system powered by ScholarOne. Manuscripts that are accepted for review will be sent out anonymously for editorial evaluation. Obtaining permission for any quoted or reprinted material that requires permission is the responsibility of the author. The online process permits submission of a separate title page, a main manuscript document, and supplementary files. Authors will be required to pay the manuscript processing fee via credit card at the time of manuscript submission. The author will receive a confirmation of manuscript submission via e-mail. Authors can also log-on to Manuscript Central any time to check the status of their manuscript. Authors will receive an e-mail once a decision has been made on their manuscript.
  • Manuscripts need to be completely blinded before they can be sent out for review. It is the responsibility of the author to accomplish this blinding before submitting the manuscript. If a manuscript is not blinded, the Editor will unsubmit the manuscript and return it to the author and it will not be sent out for review. In order for the manuscript to be completely blinded, please take out all instances of:
    • Names of any/all authors from the entire manuscript.
    • No in-text citations can be included which are written by any of the authors. Instead, say "(Author Blinded)" or some similar placeholder text.
    • Delete all references which are written by the authors or use placeholder text, but do not place them in alphabetical order, which might give hints as to the authors.
    • Blind any other identifiers, such as the name of the school, if it is in the text, footnotes, tables, or figures. Instead, use "Author's Institution" or some similar placeholder text.
  • Formats: Teaching Sociology publishes several types of papers. Generally an article is about 25 pages long, is analytical and/or empirical, and is based on appropriate literature. A note is usually less than 15 pages long, contains a brief literature review, and describes a specific idea, strategy, or technique. Applications are typically 20 pages in length and are solicited by the editor. Teaching Sociology does not accept unsolicited applications manuscripts. Conversations length shall be negotiated with the editor and are meant to encourage lively, thoughtful, and controversial discussion. For more information on these formats, see the "Guidelines for Papers Submitted to Teaching Sociology."
  • Manuscripts are reviewed anonymously. Authors' names, affiliations, and other identifying material such as acknowledgments or personal references should be placed on the title page only, or on other separate pages preceding the text. It is the authors' responsibility to remove all identifying information before submitting a manuscript. Manuscripts not adhering to these guidelines will be returned.
  • All papers should include an abstract of no more than 150 words on a separate page.
  • Manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced (including footnotes, biography, acknowledgments, abstracts, references, indented material, and tables), and paginated. Place footnotes at the end of the manuscript. Margins should be at least one-inch wide all around.
  • Type each table and figure on a separate page. Figures must be prepared professionally. Place acknowledgments, credits, grant numbers, corresponding address, and e-mail on the title page and mark with an asterisk. If you include this information, place an asterisk after the title.
  • Manuscripts accepted for publication are subject to copyediting.
  • Clarify all symbols with notes in the margins of the manuscript. Circle these and all other explanatory notes not intended for printing.
  • Three kinds of footnotes are possible, each serving a different purpose:
    • Content footnotes: Content footnotes are explanations or amplifications of the text. Because they are distracting to readers, an author should include important information in the text and omit irrelevant information. Content footnotes generally will not be allowed.
    • Rather than footnoting long or complicated material, such as proofs or derivations unnecessary to the text, consider 1) stating in a short footnote that the material is available from the author, 2) depositing the material in a national retrieval center and including an appropriate footnote, or 3) adding an appendix. If you use an appendix, the reference in the text should read "(see Appendix for complete derivation)"
    • Number the text footnotes consecutively throughout the article with superscript Arabic numerals. If you mention a footnote later in the text, return to it with a parenthetical note ("see Footnote 3") rather than repeating the superscript number.
  • Reference footnotes: Use footnotes for reference only to cite material of limited availability. Acceptable reference footnotes include 1) legal citations, which should follow the footnote style of "A Uniform System of Citation" (Harvard Law Review Association 1967), 2) copyright permission footnotes, 3) unpublished works, and 4) works in progress.
  • Table footnotes: Table footnotes are appended only to a specific table. Footnotes to a table should be lettered consecutively within each table with superscript lowercase letters.

Revised: September 2009


Teaching Sociology uses the current ASA style for all articles, notes, conversations, and application pieces. At this time, authors should use the ASA Style Guide, 4th edition.


  • Identify each source at the appropriate point in the text by the last name of the author or authors, year of publication, and pagination (if needed). Examples:
    • Glaser and Strauss (1969) discussed the importance….
    • Declining enrollments pose a threat to the faculty (Huber 1985:375-82)
    • Merton (1940, 1945) argues….
  • In the first in-text citation of items with four or more names, use the first author's last name plus the words "et al." List all names only when "et al." would cause confusion. In citations with three or fewer authors, all authors' last names should be listed the first time the reference is cited.
  • When two authors in your reference list have the same last name, use identifying initial, as in in (J. Smith 1990).
  • For institutional authorship, supply minimum identification from the beginning of the reference item, as in (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1986:123).
  • When you cite more than one source, the preference is that authors alphabetize citations within parentheses, as follows:
    • ...issues that both faculty and students are expected to address (DeMartini 1983; Lynch and Smith 1985; Rippertoe 1977).
  • Ampersands (&) should not be used as a substitute for "and" in citations and reference.
  • Names of racial/ethnic groups that represent geographical locations or linguistic groups should be capitalized—for example, Hispanic, Asian, African American, Appalachian, Caucasian.


  • In a section headed REFERENCES, list all items alphabetically by author. If you include more than on item by any author, list those items in chronological order.
  • The reference section must include all sources cited in the text. Name every author in each source; "et al." is not acceptable.
  • Use authors' first names, not first initials.
  • Most page references should be elided (pp. 132-48, pp. 1002-11, pp. 1054-82; except for pp. 102-106, 1101-1108, and the like).
  • List publisher's name as concisely as possible without loss of clarity, as in "Wiley" for "John A. Wiley and Sons."
  • If the item has been accepted for publication but is still unpublished, use "forthcoming" where the year would normally appear; otherwise use "unpublished."
  • Type the first line of each reference item flush to the left margin. Indent any subsequent lines .12 inch.
  • Double-space the references.
  • Do not insert a space after a colon connected with an issue number. Example of correct form: Changes 19(2):200-32.

Examples of correct Teaching Sociology reference format:

Journal article with single author:

Nelson, Craig E. 2003. “Doing It: Examples of Several of the Different Genres of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.” Journal on Excellence in College Teaching 14(2/3):85-94.

Journal article with two authors:

Mauksch, Hans O. and Carla B. Howery. 1986. “Social Change for Teaching: The Case of One Disciplinary Association.” Teaching Sociology 14(1):73-82.

Journal article with three or more authors:

Persell, Caroline Hodges, Kathryn M. Pfeiffer, and Ali Syed. 2007. “What Should Students Understand After Taking Introduction to Sociology?” Teaching Sociology 35(4):300-14.

Book references:

Brown, Charles, ed. 1985. The Joys of Teaching. Springfield, IL: Freewheeling Press.

Brown, Charles. 1989. Writing Programs in American Universities. 8th ed. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Brown, Charles and Lois Dorsi. Forthcoming. The Suburban Campus. Vol. 2. Washington, DC: Bourgeois.

Mills, C. Wright. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press.

Item in edited volume:

Dynes, Russell and Irwin Deutscher. 1983. "Perspectives on Applied Educational Programs." Pp. 295-311 in Applied Sociology, edited by Howard E. Freeman, Russell Dynes, Peter H. Rossi, and William F. Whyte. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Electronic sources:

Brown, L. David and Rajesh Tandon. 1983. “Ideology and Political Economy in Inquiry: Action Research and Participatory Research.” The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Retrieved March 1, 2003 ( /slmono grap .html).


  • First-level heads are capitalized, bolded, and centered.
  • Second-level heads are italicized, bolded, and placed flush with left-hand margin.
  • Third-level heads are italicized, bolded, and indented .12 inch at the beginning of the paragraph. Capitalize first letter only; end with period. Example:

Morality. Within the literature of sociology, social reality is often derived from morality, and social meanings are described as reflexive and moral, serving private and collective ends.


  • Spell out all numbers through nine. Express numbers 10 and up as numerals.
  • Spell out all ordinals through ninth. After 10th, express as ordinals (e.g., 10th, 20th).
  • Spell out "percent." Always use a numeral with "percent" even if it is a number below 10, as in "3 percent."
  • Avoid biased language. For example, use first-year or lower-level students rather than freshmen.
  • Copies of the ASA Style Guide are available at cost from the editorial office and the ASA.
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