APA VS MLA: Definition, Formatting, Examples and More!

Among all academic writing styles, two are commonly used: these are APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association). Interestingly, even though they perform similar functions of giving references and ensuring uniformity of referencing format in academic writing, they have different appearances, rules of reference, and usage. We continue to investigate the meanings, formatting instructions, examples, and others common for APA and MLA styles.

 APA Style: APA format helps in the study of the behavioral sciences including psychology, sociology, and education. It is based on preparation for lots of assonance, which directs on sentence cleanliness, shortness, and objectivity. The APA writing style allows the author to prepare the manuscript which contains the sections for papers, a listing of the sources, and a references list.

MLA Style: MLA formatting is the most widely used choice in the humanities, for example, such as literature, language, or culture. It concentrates on presenting a given style that is friendly to all writing research projects in the aforementioned disciplines. The MLA style is among the most commended citation formats dedicated to author-page citations as well as extensive bibliography information.

Formatting Guidelines: APA Format: In APA format, under normal circumstances, but not always, papers follow the following orderings: a title page (there is also the option for a title page if required), a main text body, and a reference page. Furthermore, this body includes headings for a hierarchical content organization, and the sources are written in the text in brackets along with a credit to such sources. APA-style employees hang indent format to citations and abide by the principles of language font, spacing, margins, and page numbers. For further guidance and assistance regarding APA vs MLA switch to professional help Essay Writing Service.


APA Style:


 In-text citation: (Smith, 2019)

 Reference entry: Smith, J., 2019.Title of the article. Journal Title, vol(issue), pages. If you need help doing this, check out the discussion post. DOI or URL


 MLA Style:

 In-text citation: (Smith 25)

 Works Cited entry: The Wealth of Nations John Smith. “X Title of the article.” Journal, vol. 25 (X), no.2, 2019, pp. 20-35.



APA Style:

Gives priority to unambiguity, fairness, and accuracy, while leaving a possibility for neutrality.

• The citations in the paper use the style of the author-date citation in which the author’s last name and the year of publication are included in parentheses.

• Is having an abstract and running head on the title page and using headings in the essay throughout.

• A listing of references at the end of the paper is part of the final text.


MLA Style:

• Looks at how works are presented and the level of detail in the references, usually focusing on the same criteria: uniformity, consistency, and detailed bibliographic data.

• Uses in-text parenthetical author – page cites throughout.

• Annotated Bibliography (p.1): Works Cited – the full citation details for all sources cited.

• Usually, is not concerned with a course plan unless told to do so by an instructor.


Conclusion: Generally, APA is the most preferred reference and citation style in North America, though MLA emphasizes only a specific set of rules. While APA style is mostly used in the social sciences, on the other hand, the humanities including languages and arts would usually use MLA style. The ability of researchers and scholars to communicate their research is also facilitated by the knowledge of their differences. They should also look into how to give sources they use credit properly.