Home Blog Citation Styles APA vs MLA - Comparison Between the Formats

APA vs MLA - Comparison Between the Formats

APA vs MLA - Comparison Between the Formats

Do you know what is one of the most stressful parts of writing a paper? It is deciding between the format. Which format is better to use.

Your teachers will be going to assign you assignments from writing essays to research papers to assess how far you can go in writing.

A winning paper needs a lot of research, crafting a strong argument, and citing references that are good enough to support your statement.

When citing the reference list in your paper, you are required to follow the rules of these two most popular formats: APA vs MLA.

1. APA vs MLA - Standard Guidelines

APA style originates from the American Psychological Association, it has defined some rules for journals, articles, books, anthologies and publications. It helps authors to structure their work and add references and citations in a unique way.

APA formatting is completely different from other formats. From layout to choice of words you will have to pay close attention to each and everything.

You can also explore our complete guide of APA format. There are relevant examples that will help you write a winning paper in APA format.

1.1 APA Standard Includes:

  • All lines to be double spaced.
  • 12 Times New Roman.
  • For all margins - One-inch.
  • A number on the top right corner of every page + short work title.
  • Footnotes to be double spaced.
  • Reference list in the bibliography.
  • In-text citations to show the author's name, publication year, page #.
  • Paraphrased idea to add the name of the author and year.
  • Authors in Alphabetical and for work chronological order is followed.
  • The name of the authors in the references list is as follows: Last name + First Initial then Middle initial.
  • The title is centered.
  • Include Abstract for lengthy papers.

1.2 MLA Standards Include:

MLA styles are originated from the Modern Languages Association specifically for scientific work and literary research work in the field of humanities. MLA focuses on in-depth work when it comes to citations and references.

  • All lines to be double spaced.
  • 12 Times New Roman.
  • For all margins - One-inch.
  • A bibliographical list of works
  • For authors and works - follow Alphabetical order
  • Direct citations have only name and page, without a comma
  • Indirect citations have a single page
  • No extra line-break in between citations
  • Page number along with the name of the author on the top right corner.
  • Titles for Articles in quotation marks

If you have decided to follow an MLA in your paper. Then you should read our step by step guide to MLA Format and MLA Citation. It will really help you to understand all the important things about MLA.

2. Five Differences Between the MLA and APA Formats

Here is the list to highlight how these two writing formats are different from each other.

2.1 Authors and Editors

All authors, editors and even the compilers should be cited in the paper of MLA format. In the parenthetical citations, it uses a brief and their entire descriptions right in the list of works cited.

The APA format includes the author, editor, as well as compiler's name in the list of references not in bibliography.

2.2 Bibliographic List

The entries in MLA follow an alphabetical order by the name of the author then title.

The reference list in APA style follows an alphabetical order by author name after work that follows a chronological order.

2.3 Multiple Work - Same Author

Listing multiple works that are by the same author in the paper that follows MLA format, you will have to list down the work in an alphabetical manner.

Only the first listing will contain the name of the author.

The remaining entries to begin from three hyphens, and a period then space, and title name ending with a period.

Listing multiple works that are by the same author in the paper that follows APA format, you will list the work in a chronological manner and make repetition for all the entries.

2.4 Article Titles

In MLA format, titles should be referenced in quotation marks and major words to capitalize.

In APA, it does not contain articles in quotation marks and the first word is capitalized only.

2.5 In-text Parenthesis

In MLA style, in-text parenthesis is used to cite the work.

For example:

  • (Name page # ) such as (Plaut 50)

In APA, the format guidelines are as follows:

  • (Name, Year, page #) such as (Plaut, 1991, p. 50).

3. Which is Better - APA or MLA? - H2

So the question here is; which format is better to use?

  • APA for social sciences fields such as sociology, psychology, criminology, Business, and Nursing.
  • MLA in the field of humanities such as Philosophy, Religion, Literature, Politics, Law, Religion, and Anthropology.

Well, it completely depends on the scenario. If you are writing about fictional literature, MLA is appropriate to use. Because the text citation refers to the information by explicitly mentioning the specific page.

If you are writing short publications such as academic articles then it is better for you to use MLA.

APA in-text citations seem more appropriate to use because it helps us to easily track the research chronology.

3.1 APA Format Example

Below you can find a sample format of APA. Don't forget to check this sample before starting your own paper.

3.2 MLA Format Example

Here is an MLA sample paper for your better understanding.

Get Professional Help

So can you write a paper in your specified format? If not, then don't worry.

We at MyPerfectsWords can help you out with your paper's format, whether it is APA or MLA format.

Formatting can be a tough and tricky task so to clear the confusion, you can directly talk to our expert writers and get a custom essay written in your selected format.

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