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  Home > InfoWrite > Research and the Research Paper > MLA vs APA Style: An Overview
 

InfoTrac College Edition

MLA vs APA Style: An Overview

College instructors generally require that you follow a specific method of presenting and listing outside sources. Refer to "Crediting Sources" for guidelines for citing sources. Students often confuse two of the most common styles -- MLA and APA

10/16/2003
MLA APA
developed by Modern Language Association developed by American Psychological Association
used in English, language, and literature courses used in social sciences such as psychology and sociology
List of sources called "Works Cited" or "Works Consulted" (to list works used but not cited) List of sources called "References" or "Bibliography" (to list works used but not cited)
Sources alphabetized by last name or title Sources alphabetized by last name or title
Sample book: Sample book:
Jones, W. (1998) Chicago. New York: Putnam. Jones, W. (1998) Chicago. New York: Putnam
Sample Article: Sample Article:
Abrams, Jane. "New Cities." Time 21 Jan. 1998: 3. Abrams, J. (1998, January 21). New cities. Time, 3.
Parenthetical notes used to cite quotes and paraphrases: include author's last name and page number in parentheses. If author's name is given in the text, only the page number is needed in parentheses. Parenthetical notes used to cite quotes and paraphrases: include author's last name and date in parentheses. If author's name is given in the text, only the date is needed in parentheses. For a direct quote, add the page number at the end (after the period).
Some view Chicago as the city of the future (Jones 12). Some view Chicago as the city of the future (Jones 1998).
Jones views Chicago as the city of the future (12). Jones (1998) views Chicago as the city of the future.
Jones stated, "Chicago is the city of the future" (12). Jones (1998) stated, "Chicago is the city of the future." (p. 12)

For full details about each style refer to the official manuals:

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 4th edition

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From The Sundance Reader, Third Edition, Web Site by Mark Connelly.