The Key Differences between MLA and APA

Introduction

As a student, you would understand that there are different formatting styles; each formatting style has proved its value in various fields. Various academic subjects seldom require different approach and techniques to researching, hence developing works are done in different ways. This is why, as a researcher or a student, it is essential to know which field you are working on, to know the approach to take for the used sources.

MLA and APA are two of the most commonly used writing styles. The APA was developed by the American Psychological Association for students and academics in social science and education. In contrast, the MLA was developed by the Modern Language Association for students and academics in the humanities and arts.

Both styles have some similarities like a brief in-text citation enclosed in parentheses (Find out where to use parentheses) and a full reference of the sources used at the end of the paper. They both also have some of their page formatting to be similar, like font type, font size and line spacing. However, there exist a lot of features that clearly differentiate them.

Here are the key differences between MLA and APA

pointing handIn-text citation

MLA in-text citation includes the author’s last name with the page number where the text was gotten from. However, APA in-text citation consists of the author’s last name and the publication year of the source. If you are quoting a text, then you have to include the page number.

Examples:

Author MLA APA
1 (Moses, 22) (Moses, 2012, p. 22)
2 (Moses and Taylor 22) (Moses & Taylor, 2012, p.22)
3-5 (Moses et al. 22) (Moses, Johnson, & Taylor, 2012, p.22)
6 and more (Moses et al. 22) (Moses et al., 2012, p.22)

MLA versus APA Style

pointing handWorks Cited and Reference List

You are expected to list all cited sources at the end of your paper for both MLA and APA. The page is usually titled Works Cited List in MLA while in APA it is titled, Reference List. Both formats have different ways of citing sources in full, every entry for their full citation must contain the following in this particular order.

MLA APA
Author’s last name. Author’s last name.
Title Date of publication
Container Title
Other Contributors Other Contributors
Version Container
Number Version
Publisher Number
Date of publication Location
Location Publisher

The way each source type is to be cited is different for each source type for both formats. Therefore, only the elements related to the source type should be included in the full citation.

Examples:

MLA

Jones, Tom. Difference between MLA and APA format. Edited by M.O. Moses, 3rd ed., Scientific Editing. 2010.

APA

Jones, T. (2010). Difference between MLA and APA format. (M.O. Moses, Ed.) (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, California: Scientific Editing.

pointing handTitle Page and Header

Papers written in MLA format do not require title pages. However, your instructor may request for one. In place of a title page, MLA requires a four-line heading on the first page of your paper. The heading should be double spaced and left-aligned, it should also list your name, the name of your professor, the course information and the due date of the paper. Followed immediately by the title of the paper, that should be centre-aligned

APA format, on the other hand, requires a separate title page that list the title of the paper, your name, and the name of your institution. All the text should be centred and double spaced

Examples:

MLA

James T. Moses

Professor Taylor

European studies

27 March 2020

The Effect Of Social Media Addiction On The Brain

APA

The Effect Of Social Media Addiction On The Brain

James T. Moses

University of California

MLA vs APA

pointing handRunning Head

MLA and APA formats both require running heads to be included on every page of the paper. However, for MLA papers, the running head should include the Author’s last name and the page number to be aligned to the right. While, APA papers running head is comprised of the title of the paper in all caps and aligned to the left and page number, aligned to the right.

Example:

MLA

MLA vs APA

APA

APA vs. MLA

copyediting by scientists

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

numbers in APA format

Numbers in APA Format

Introduction When you are writing an academic paper or essay, there is a very high probability that you would need to use numbers in your text. For example, having to report numerical information about the demographics of participants or the results of the statistical analysis carried out in the course of the research. Furthermore, writing…
APA running head

APA Running Head – A Clear Guide

A running head, especially in APA style, refers to the short title that usually appears at the top of every page of your paper or essay. Also, the APA running head helps to identify the pages in case the pages of your paper or essay get separated. Plus, in the case of publication submission, it…
apa headings and subheadings

APA Headings and Subheadings

Headings and subheadings are required to help organize and provide structure to papers and essays. APA has guidelines for APA headings and subheadings. An APA paper is typically divided into chapters and sections; each of these chapters and sections is expected to have their own unique headings. Headings are provided to give structure to papers.…
Tables and Figures in APA Format

Tables and Figures in APA Format

Visual materials like tables and figures are needed in a paper to quickly and efficiently present a large amount of information to readers. It is used to assist communication and not a means of using up space or hiding significant results amidst a pile of complicated data. However, there exist some specific guidelines for formatting…
APA format for academic papers and essays

APA Format for Academic Papers and Essays

Introduction If you are not familiar with the APA Format, the formatting rules and guidelines may seem a little daunting at first. Being used to other writing styles like Chicago and MLA, it might take some time for you to getting the hang of writing an APA style paper. Apart from the guidelines for citation…