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APA vs MLA Citation: What Format To Use?

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So when you are assigned with your first assignment in academic years, you might be confused which citation format may be convenient if there is no proper citation given. No worries! This paper will provide an essay writer with simple and easy details that he can incorporate in his future projects.

However the world of academia has generally evolved around different citation formats, but in actual APA and MLA are the most popular ones. So whenever the citation is not mentioned, the instructor usually suggests any that seems feasible.

And if you are thinking what do both stand for? Which disciplines use which citations? Or if you are wondering about your preferences: APA vs MLA? Wait no longer! This article will provide you with a deep analysis of both formats, and also a depiction of which is the better one.

APA Standard Guide

  1. Title: Center, with the same font as the rest text, following the full name of the writer
  2. Font style: Times New Roman
  3. Size of the font: 12 pt
  4. Page margins: 1- inch
  5. Line spacing ratio: 2.0 (double)
  6. Header: Title of the page with a page number (Education 4)

MLA Standard Guide

  1. Title: Center, bold, with the same font as the rest text
  2. Font style: Times New Roman
  3. Size of the font: 12 pt
  4. Page margins: 1- inch
  5. Line spacing ratio: 2.0 (double)
  6. Header: Last name of the author with a page number (William 2)
  7. Indentation: Left-indent

MLA versus APA: A Comparative Analysis

MLA APA
Font size/ format and Page Margins 12, Times New Roman, 1” 12, Times New Roman, 1”
In-text citation (with page numbers) (David 20) (David, 2017, p.10)
Bibliography title References
David, C. (2017). Illiteracy and Unemployment: The Economic Forum
Works Cited
David, Cowell. Illiteracy and Unemployment. The Economic Forum, 2017
Sequence of citation Alphabetical and systematic Alphabetical and systematic
Starting page As a title page:
Title of the work Name of the student Academic Institution
On the top left corner:
Full Name Instructor Name Subject taken Date mention
Headings Both are applied As per requirement

Which is most preferable?

Before answering that question, let’s discuss some features. When you have to publish your literary work in bulk, then MLA is most preferable. It is because the in-text citation exclusively mentions the page number, so the reader can reach it conveniently. Whilst, when you have to go with minimum publications, like academic articles, journals then APA citation is appropriate. It is because the in-text citation includes the year of publication, which makes it easier for the researcher to trace the sequence of the findings.

Preferences according to the disciplines

Before going into deep thinking which format to be used, just check if your tutor has assigned any? If not, then you are free to choose one from both. Let this info here provide you with a little distinction for your better understanding.

  • APA is more specifically used for social sciences, like psychology, criminology, business administration, sociology, etc.
  • MLA is appropriate for humanities, such as history, literature, law & politics, anthropology, religion, etc.

Concluding remarks

Although it will still always be up to you that which format would be preferable. However, the purpose of elaborating the differences and the disciplines was just to provide you with a better understanding of the particular area of interest.

However, there are a lot of subtle differences that students often tend to forget. In such a case, it's a good idea to get your work proofread by a professional who could pick out any formatting errors and fix your document for you before submission. Thankfully, an online essay writing service is available that does just that.

Good luck!

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