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Difference between MLA and APA

Difference between MLA and APA

When writing papers for school, many students are faced with the task of choosing between MLA and APA formatting styles. Both have their own set of rules, which can make it difficult to decide which one to use. In this post, we will explore the main differences between MLA and APA styles, so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your needs.

What is MLA?

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. MLA style specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in writing. MLA style also provides writers with a system for referencing their sources through parenthetical citation in their essays and Works Cited pages. Writers who properly use MLA also build their credibility by demonstrating accountability to their source material. Most importantly, the MLA format allows writers to attribute sources rather than claim ownership of other people’s ideas. In sum, the MLA format is a respected academic device that helps students identify document sources while they learn how to analyze information critically and conduct research based on reliable evidence.

What is APA?

APA is the American Psychological Association. APA style is a writing style guide that is used by many colleges and universities. APA style is also used by magazines, newspapers, and other publications. APA style is a way of formatting text and citations. APA style is not just a set of rules; it is also a way of thinking about writing and research. APA style is based on the belief that writing should be clear, concise, and easy to read. APA style is also based on the belief that writers should be aware of their audience and purpose for writing. APA style is a set of guidelines that are meant to help writers communicate effectively with their readers.

Difference between MLA and APA

MLA (Modern Language Association) format is commonly used in liberal arts and humanities. MLA style focuses on the author and date of publication. APA (American Psychological Association) format is commonly used in social sciences. APA style emphasizes the date of publication and the author’s last name. MLA uses parenthetical citations within sentences to cite sources, while APA relies on footnotes or endnotes to cite sources. In MLA, the works cited page appears at the end of the paper, while in APA, the reference list appears at the end of the paper. MLA uses brief quotations to support claims made in a paper, while APA uses direct quotations to support claims made in a paper. MLA formatting requires double-spacing throughout a document, while APA formatting requires single spacing within paragraphs and double spacing between paragraphs. MLA recommends using Times New Roman, while APA recommends using Courier New. MLA papers are usually written in 12 pt font size, while APA papers are usually written in 10 pt font size. MLA formatting allows for slight variations in margins, while APA formatting requires 1″ margins on all sides of a document.


MLA and APA are both formatting styles used in academic writing, but they have some key differences. We’ve highlighted the most important ones for you here.

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