APA and MLA: Why Do You Need to Use It?

APA and MLA: Why Do You Need to Use It?

When writing an academic paper or research paper, you need to use a specific citation format. This is required to structure the work and make it easy to read. The problem is that often the student needs to choose the appropriate citation format himself.

In addition to the Chicago format, which is commonly used in historical works, there are APA and MLA styles. Both are very popular and have many similarities. Therefore, we decided to collect key differences and examples of the use of each format.

History and Principles of MLA

The abbreviation is declassified as the Modern Language Association. This format is used for works in the humanities, philology, history, and art. This does not affect economics and science. MLA has precise boundaries for adding links and citations, which is why it is used in literary research. When creating footnotes, this format draws attention to the author’s biography, previous works, and new resources.

Rules of using MLA

  • Double spacing between text;
  • Font Times New Roman 12;
  • One inch margins;
  • All authors are written in alphabetical order;
  • Each mentioned work is cited in alphabetical order;
  • The link indicates the name and page on which the information used is located;
  • There is no gap between the quote page;
  • The numbering is indicated in the upper right corner, the name of the artist there;
  • Used literature is enclosed in quotation marks;
  • Title page not required;
  • A page with sources used is named “Works Cited”;
  • Full names are displayed on the “Works Cited” page;
  • Titles are written in the “Title Case” form.

What MLA is used for

MLA is used for literature and philology. These include philosophy, religion, politics, jurisprudence, cinema and theater, languages, history. You can find the MLA format in works on the subject of art and the sciences of the origin of man.

An example of using MLA format

A lot of resources publish dry standards for using citation formats. We went further and prepared examples that will help you understand the guides of each style. Below is an example of the MLA citation style.

“Work Cited

Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1984.”

By the way, instead of the Title page, you need to indicate your name, supervisor, course, date of completion of the study and the title bar. All information should be in the left corner.

History and Principles of APA

The format originates in the American Psychology Association. The association worked on citation standards in books and articles. The style was created to structure work in magazines and books. Thus, readers can get used to a single style of citation and it will be easier for them to understand the information.

APA style principles limit the use of vocabulary, which can be offensive to a group of people. Thus, the style was widely used in the field of scientific work. Unlike the MLA, this style draws attention to the publication date of the quoted book. Preference is given to the newest copies.

Rules of using APA

  • Double spacing between text;
  • Font Times New Roman 12;
  • Each field is one inch;
  • Paper number and abbreviation on all pages;
  • Double spacing for all footnotes as well;
  • Used books or magazines are included in publication year order;
  • If you use a quote, add in parentheses its author, publication date and the page on which it is posted;
  • If you indicate information about the author, write the name and initials;
  • Centered title in the title page;
  • If the work is voluminous, write an abstract with a brief overview
  • Title page required
  • A page with used resources called “References”
  • Titles are written in the “Sentence case” form.

What APA is used for

Since this style was created among psychologists, it is used in works on social topics. These subjects include sociology, psychology, education, business, and criminal affairs. This format is more popular in scientific papers on strict topics.

An example of using APA

We took the same work so that you noted the difference in the citation.


Kundera, M. (1984). The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”

This is an example of the design of used literature.

Main Difference Between MLA and APA

If you are not good at styles, at first glance these two have a lot of common guides. Between the lines, double space is used, the font is the same and some citation rules are the same. Here is the list of differences:

  • APA style quoting indicates the publication date;
  • in the APA style, the word “References” is used, and in the MLA style, “Works are cited” when linking;
  • APA style;
  • MLA does not have a cover page;
  • MLA does not require headers.

Choose the Necessary Style

If your teacher does not insist on using a specific format, you should take it upon yourself. Pay attention to the amount of work, the literature used and the research topic. If you write on a humanitarian topic or art, and the necessary literature is large, think about the MLA format.

However, if you are working with small articles, use APA. Pay attention to current studies with the indicated publication date, as this must be mentioned. Also, look at the research topic. It should concern social work or psychology.

Useful Tips for Choosing the Format

If you are responsible for choosing a topic, it may be difficult for you to determine the best option. Therefore, we have selected step-by-step instructions with tips that will help you to choose the right style.

  • Try writing a piece of paper in each of the formats. Evaluate citation complexity and appearance. Ask a friend or colleague to look at the work and say how convenient it is to read it;
  • Analyze your resources. If most of them are books and old data with an inaccurate publication date, use MLA. This style does not require a publication date;
  • Check out similar works. It will be easier for you to understand the task if you find examples of papers on the same topic as yours;
  • Refer to experts in writing research papers. Our experts will analyze the topic, select the desired format and quotes.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right format can significantly affect your assessment. You must be attentive to detail to correctly quote the author and describe the resources used. Now you have a guide for choosing the right style.

If you do not have time to analyze the work and select the format, contact us for help. We are professionals in writing research papers on any topic. Our specialists have a degree in all popular areas. Be sure that your work will be highly appreciated!

Save your time and contact us right now!

Support image