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A Comprehensive Guide On MLA Vs APA Style
  • Oct 2022
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A Comprehensive Guide On MLA Vs APA Style

29th October 2022

When writing essays, presenting presentations or completing other assignments, your college will want you to reference your work, which involves providing credit to the sources from which you obtained the material.

However, you must utilize the referring style allowed by your college, as there are other referencing styles available.

Let's compare APA and MLA, two of the most generally used styles, to see which one you should use in your classes.


Citation Format Confusion

The APA and MLA referencing styles are both well-known and regularly used. As a result, you may be wondering whether universities use MLA or APA.

The quick answer is that both are used. The format you must utilize is decided by the college you attend as well as the courses you take.

While these formats have characteristics that distinguish them, they also have many commonalities that might lead to confusion.

In the following sections, we'll look at some of the similarities and distinctions between MLA and APA so you can tell them apart.


How are MLA and APA Similar?

The most fundamental similarity between the two styles is that they both require all information to be referenced in the reference list after the work. Each reference is likewise alphabetically listed.

Second, all work that is not your unique work must be cited. This is because failing to do so would constitute plagiarism.

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's work without giving them credit where credit is due.

Parentheses are used for referring within the body of the paper in both the APA and MLA formats.

Finally, if you use both styles, your paper should be double-spaced. The reference page is included. All margins should be one inch wide.


What Does MLA Include?

The Modern Language Association developed the MLA style for referring sources in academic writing.

Since then, it has been used in schools, as well as by scholars, journal publishers, and academics in general.

When using the MLA style, the following information is listed in order:

  • Author.

  • Title of source.

  • Title of container

  • Other contributors

  • Version

  • Number

  • Publisher

  • Publication date,

  • Location

When referring to in-text, always include the author's name and the page number. The page number must always be in parentheses.

You have the option of putting the author's name in the same parentheses or putting it in the sentence being cited.


What Does APA Include?

The American Psychological Association created the APA style. This occurred in 1929 when a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and businesspeople met to settle on a style for scientific writing that could be easily read by others.

The APA reference style varies based on the sort of source you are citing.

When using the APA style to reference books, the following information is listed in order:

  • Author

  • Year

  • Title of source

  • Editing

  • Location

  • Publisher

Keep in mind that reference for other sources, such as websites and academic papers, varies.


The Most Significant Differences Between MLA and APA

Other Differences

While the fundamental differences between the two styles have already been mentioned, there are a few more that distinguish them.

When to Use Each Format?

The Modern Language Association devised the MLA format, which is commonly used in humanities and liberal arts schools.

The MLA format is commonly used in majors like literature, visual arts, and drama.

The American Psychological Association devised the APA format primarily for use in behavioral and social sciences.

Psychology, sociology, and history are among the majors that prefer the APA format. Other professions, including communications, use the APA style as well.


1. If You’re A Student

While in school, you may be obliged to learn both referencing styles. However, you should not be concerned about using the incorrect one in assignments because your teacher will tell you which one to use. If they don't, make sure to inquire so you don't make a mistake.


2. If You’re A Teacher

Students in the humanities typically use the MLA format, but students in scientific and research fields typically use the APA format.

In classrooms, the MLA format is frequently emphasized.

Students must utilize the same standardized referencing structure throughout the course.

This is done to make it easier to locate the writer's sources and ensure proper reference.

Students should be taught a referencing style in high school so that they are equipped for referencing in college.



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