The main difference between MLA and APA is the fact that you use one or the other depending on the subject of your writing. Usually, APA is used to cite writings that have a social science focus such as Psychology, Business, the Social Sciences, Economics, Medicine, and Criminal Justice and Law. On the other hand, MLA is often used to cite writings that have humanity focus such as Literature, Mass Communications, and Media. This is about all I knew on the subject so that is where my research came into play. I got all my information from the Purdue Online Writing Lab. From my research I found that there were not a lot of big differences between the two writing styles but instead just a lot of little ones. General Info:
When using Modern Language Association (MLA) writing style the papers text should be double spaced and written in a basic font, such as Times New Roman. Unless otherwise requested, you should only have one space after punctuation marks, including periods. Unlike the APA style MLA doesn’t have a title page, but writers should create headers that numbers each page consecutively after their last name, and is placed in the top right-hand corner of the paper. Write the title in the center of the page. The upper left-hand side of the page should be your name, the course the paper is for, and the date (each on its own line). Citations should be included on a separate page at the end of the essay titled “Work Cited”. When using APA style the first page should be a title page including a byline and affiliation, title, and running head for publication. The top right hand corner of each page should have a one to two word version of your title with the page number five spaces after. The very last page will be dedicated to making any necessary references. References should be alphabetized based on the author’s last name or the first word of the title if no author is given. This page should be labeled “Reference Page” in the center of the page. Citing Books:...
Citations: In text citations are used to give credibility to the author. They are also used to give more specific information to the reader in the Works Citied page if the reader needs it. Usually, MLA requires an author name and page number where the information can be located. An example could be:
* This phenomenon is best referred to as a “cumulative collaboration of evidence” (Pepper 49).
The difference with APA style is that it adds to MLA by including a date to go along with the authors name and the page number. Dates are important when it comes to APA citations because this type of citing deals with social sciences and it helps demonstrate the newness of the work being cited. The newer the information or statistics when it comes to science usually means it is more credible. An example of this type of citation would be:
* This phenomenon is best referred to as a “cumulative collaboration of evidence” (Pepper, 1961, p. 49).
It is good to know the difference between these two types of citing styles especially in college. There are not huge differences but you still need to know them. I have taken many different types of classes ranging from biology, sociology, psychology, english, and a variety of other humanities classes. In each class I have written two or more papers where I have had to use both APA and MLA formatting. You need to know both styles because depending on the teacher or professor you may have to use either one. This project has clarified things for me and will make it a lot easier for me in the future when a teacher asks me to cite either MLA or APA.
"The Online Writing Lab at Purdue (OWL)." Welcome to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL). Purdue University, 1995-2012. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/>.
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