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Academic world is based on strict regulations when it comes to writing, starting with a college essay and up to science publications. Generally, there are three pretty common citation styles in American higher education: APA, MLA, and Chicago. Their main goal is to provide proper citations, avoid plagiarism, create unified paper structure system. Chicago style is used for history and economics, so, it is usually directly offered together with an assignment. When it comes to APA vs MLA, not everything can be as clear or easy for students. They both are very common, that’s why have similarities as well as differences. So how to choose the right one for your assignment and what are key standards for each one? This article has all necessary information to help you master both APA and MLA.
This style originates in guidelines of the American Psychology Association that created rules for journal articles publications and books. It was first established in 1929 to help authors to structure their works, as well as create a unique style of references and citations. Key idea is not to distract a reader, but to provide the most comprehensive text with proper headlines, works cited list, avoid plagiarism. APA is commonly used for scientific papers, documents, lab reports. It also dictates language use standards when it comes to academic works. Its guidelines are being constantly updated to eliminate sexist, racist or intolerant language. You can always use apa citation generator free to save some time.
Difference between MLA and APA starts with history of these styles. This one is provided by the Modern Language Association for literary research and scientific works in the field of humanities. Key difference is that MLA is more detailed when it concerns references and citations. It is also most commonly used in present tense of verbs. MLA vs APA have one more significant difference: the first one is focused on names of authors and treats old sources as well as the new studies. The second one, on the contrary, is focused on year of referenced book or publications, preferably the newest and relevant ones.
Here’s a short table of key differences between formats, so you can easily use MLA or APA.
Times New Roman 12
Times New Roman 12
Direct in-text quotation
(Moran, 2017, p.16)
Indirect in-text quotation
According to Moran, this is a controversial case (16).
Order of citations
Alphabetical for authors
Chronological for works
Alphabetical for authors and for works
Title in caps left aligned, page number right aligned.
On the title page:
On other pages:
Student’s last name and page number right aligned:
Last Name 1
Used as a Title page:
There is no Title page. On the upper left corner:
Heading and subheadings are used
Not recommended, but may be required
Before you decide when to use MLA or APA you need to check assignment – maybe your professor has depicted citation format already. If not, you can choose one on your own. Generally, they differ in subjects they are used to. So whether you need to pick APA or MLA is defined by the field of science you are conducting the research at.
MLA: Moran, Dylan. Greek Theater. Macmillan Group, 2017.
APA: Moran, D. (2017). Greek Theater. London: Macmillan Group.
MLA: Slezinger, Sarah and Julio M. Down. “Cognitive Tools in Children’s Home Education”. American Psychology, vol.37, no.3, 7 Feb. 2015, pp.110-116. University of Michigan Online Library, doi: 11.12007 / tox.30567. Accessed 11 April 2018.
APA: Slezinger, S., and Down J. (2015). Cognitive tools in children’s home education. American Psychology, 37(3), 110-116. doi: 11.12007 / tox.30567.
MLA vs APA format is not an impossible choice, especially when one is writing for a particular subject. However, it may be complicated to apply, as there are so many details that should be followed. Maybe you think that it’s better to use your time and concentrate on the research itself, then you can seek professional help with editing. WestWriters professionals can help you with any citation format and edit your assignment so that it’s a masterpiece. As an alternative, try free mla citation generator at WestWriters on your own. This way you can always be sure that your citations are in the right place.
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