A Comprehensive Guide On MLA Vs APA Format

Writing considers being the reflection of your knowledge and writing skills. Different universities have their own writing format. Students are assigned to write in those particular writing styles. There are various kinds of writing styles, such as MLA, APA, and much more. In this blog, we are going to share with you the best ever comparison between MLA vs APA format that will clear all your doubts.

When it comes to writing, the education world depends on strict rules and guidelines. Writing a college writing paper needs to follow a proper format. Usually, in American higher education, there are three ordinary citation styles such as APA, MLA, and Chicago. Their main objective is to give an appropriate citation to make a proper structure of the paper.  

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The Chicago citation style is popular for subjects, like history and economics. In the matter of APA vs. MLA format, everything is not clear or easy for students. They both have similarities as well as differences. There is confusion in the mind of students about which one is right for their writing papers? This blog provides you all the necessary information and clarity on how is APA different from MLA? Before study the APA Vs. MLA, we will discuss citation separately.

What is a Citation?

A citation is used for a formal reference to an unpublished or published source that the researcher/student consulted & took information from when writing a research paper.

It involves the author’s name, publication date, publisher name, year of publication, page number, in case of journals, books, and anthologies (Poems), journal name, edition, or the online sources from where the information is taken. It is important to ignore cheating work and to join reliability in your academic work.  

Difference table of MLA vs APA Format

APA Guidelines That Student Must Know

APA (American Psychology Association)

It begins in the directions of the American Psychology Association. It makes guidelines for journals, articles, publications, and books. APA format was first applied in 1929 to help writers in doing their work in a proper structure.

It also makes a unique style of citations or references. Its main aim is not to confuse a reader but to give broad information with appropriate captions, referencing list, and avoid cheating in work. Usually, APA is used for scientific papers, documents, lab reports. When it comes to academic work, it specifies the standards apply in language. 

Its standards include

  •  Double-spaced lines; 
  • Times New Roman 12, one-inch for all edges; 
  • Upper right some portion of each page has a number + short title of the work; 
  • References/endnotes are also double-space; 
  • In-content references involve creator, publication year, page (Slezinger, 2016, p.6) for direct citations. A paraphrased idea must involve the creator’s name + year (Slezinger, 2016); 
  • Bibliographic order must use in making reference list; 
  • Sequential request for creators;  
  • Creators’ names in references list are mention in recipe Last name + First Initial + Middle beginning; 
  • In periodicals’ titles, just the primary word needs to is capital, no quotes; 
  • The title must be in the center; 
  • Incorporate abstracts for long papers.

MLA (Modern Language Association)

APA vs. MLA concept begins with the history of these styles. The Modern Language Association provides this one for literary research and scientific works in the field of humanities.

The main difference between APA and MLA is that in concern of references or citations, MLA is more definite. The present tense of a verb is commonly used in it.   

It’s standards include

  • Double-spaced lines; 
  • Times New Roman 12, one-inch for all edges; 
  • A bibliographical list of works referred to; 
  • In sequential order request for creators; 
  • Direct in-content references have just name and page, without a comma (Slezinger 242); indirect references have an only page (According to Slezinger (242), advances develop… ); 
  • No additional line-break between references; 
  • Page number with the creator’s name on the upper right corner (Moran 3) articles’ titles are taken in quotes; each word must be capitalized.

Basic Difference Between APA Vs MLA Format

APA ( American psychological association) or MLA ( Modern language association)

both are writing and formatting style. It is used in articles, stories, or academic

essays. In social science, the APA style is used, and in liberal arts or humanities, the

MLA style is used.

This blog explains the difference between both of them:

1 Title page

APA requires the title page whereas MLA does not require a title page.

2 Spacing

Both require a double space.

3  Font/margins

Both are using Times new roman 12 font 1” margins.

4 Headings/ subheadings

Headings and subheadings are both used in APA whereas In MLA it is not recommended but may be required.

5  Direct in-text quotation

In APA, a direct in-text quotation is like (john,2018,p.17), while in MLA, a direct in-text quotation is like (john17).

6 Indirect in-text quotation

In APA, an indirect in-text quotation is like (john,2018), while in MLA, an indirect in-text quotation is like, according to john, this is a controversial case (17).

7 Order of citations

Both are used alphabetical order of citations.

8 Bibliography name

APA mentions bibliography names as references while in MLA it names as works cited.

9 Example( References/work cited)

APA citation example, Addona, V., & Roth, J.(2010). Quantifying the effect of performance-enhancing drug use on fastball velocity in major league baseball. Journal of quantitative analysis in sports,

MLA citation example, Addona, Vittorio and Jeremy Roth. “Quantifying the effect of performance-enhancing drug use on fastball velocity in major league baseball.” Journal of quantitative analysis in sports.

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It’s a wrap-up

APA vs. MLA format- which is preferable?

This question comes to the mind of the students: Which format they must use?

  • In the social science field like sociology, psychology, criminology, etc. APA format is used.
  • In the humanities stream, such as philosophy, religion, literature, politics, etc. MLA format is used.

 Thoroughly, it is entirely based on the situation. If you are doing fictional literature work, then MLA is suitable to use. APA in-text citations seem more appropriate to use because it helps us to track the research chronology easily.

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APA vs MLA: When to use?

We have already discussed that MLA is preferred for the visual arts, literature, humanities, and theatre. On the other hand, APA is preferred for sociology, history, psychology, behavioral, and social science. Now, here a question arises that is when to use these two formats. There are two conditions:

 If you are a student

Students need to learn both referencing citations during academic studies. It does not matter which reference you are using till your teacher would not tell you about it. But it would be better if you ask your teacher before using any of these citations.

If you are a teacher

It is always necessary that the teacher must assign a specific referencing style throughout the academic course. It not only helps the students in an in-depth understanding of a citation but also makes them capable of using a particular style of reference. The use of each reference citation must be taught at the high school level. Apart from this, the teacher must ensure that the reference is used correctly or not. 

It has been seen that the MLA format is being used at the school levels. Students studying humanities usually follow MLA format, whereas those studying science follow APA format for their writings.

Do universities follow these writing styles?

Several universities usually follow these referencing styles, like “University of the People” students follows APA referencing style. There are other universities also that have fixed a particular writing referencing styles. 

Therefore, it would be better to check the course materials before writing a paper. Apart from this, experts recommended that it be helpful to ask your tutors what they need you to use.

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Now from the above discussion, now you know the concept of MLA vs APA format. You can write a paper in any specified format. If you are facing difficulty, then don’t worry. We at help you in your every paper writing, either it is in APA or MLA format.

Arranging can be problematic and challenging work. So to clear the doubt, you can straightforwardly discuss with our professional writers. Get the best essay writing help at nominal charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is APA different from MLA?

Modern Language Association (MLA) is utilized for humanities and arts. It helps the students to divide books categories, citing paintings and other literature. At the same time, the American Psychological Association (APA) is used for technical works that are seen in social sciences. APA format makes technical reports and citing journals.

What is the APA format used for?

APA is basically utilized for the social sciences, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, education, and another field.

Does political science use MLA or APA?

No, political science is not written in MLA format. It is always written in the APSA (American Political Science Association) format.

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