The American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) have established style guides that represent the two main formats used for formal citation. The APA format is used to guide writing in fields such as business, nursing, social work, psychology, criminology and sociology, and the MLA format is generally used for academic writing in settings such as colleges, universities and postgraduate programs. There are many differences in format requirements between the two styles.
Citation in parentheses
The quote in brackets is the quotation that appears in a work that gives credit to the original source. In the MLA style, the format requires the author’s name and the page number where the cited piece can be found. In addition to these two pieces of information, the APA style also requires the date of publication.
Authors and Publishers
The MLA style requires that the full names of authors and publishers be written on a Works Cited of Bibliography page. However, if there are more than three authors or editors, the MLA requires that only the first three be included and that the others be referred to as “et al”. The APA style requires the full name and only the first initial, but it also requires all authors and publishers to be listed in this format no matter how many.
The MLA style requires that the first letter of each important word in the title of a work be quoted in capital letters. In contrast, the APA style only requires that the first letter of the first word of the title be written in capital letters.
Publisher and place of publication
When referring to the editor of a cited work, the MLA style allows an abbreviated version of the publisher’s name. APA, on the other hand, requires that the full name of the publisher be detailed in the subpoena. When the place of publication is quoted, MLA requires the name of the city, while APA requests an abbreviated version of the name of the state when the city of the publication is not known.
A Works Cited or Bibliography in the MLA style must be formatted so that the first line of each entry is level with the left margin of the page, and all subsequent lines in the same entry are indented. The APA style is opposite to this one, since it requires that the first line of each entry has indentation and that the subsequent lines of the same entry are aligned with the left margin of the page.
The MLA format specifies that the first page number of the appointment must be numbered and that the following pages should be referenced with a + sign. The APA format requires that the first page and each additional of the cited resource be listed.
The publication date is quoted at the end of the reference in MLA format. However, in the APA style, the date is listed below the author’s name.