American Psychological Association (APA) and Modern Language Association (MLA) are inherently formatting techniques or styles that are used in academic essays, reports and papers (Cooper, 2016). MLA is in most cases used in humanities and liberal arts whereas APA is predominantly used in the fields of social sciences. Consequently, both APA and MLA adhere to 1-inch margins on all sides, 12-point font and double-spaced pages.
A paper that has been formatted using APA format has four parts including references, the main body, abstract and the title page. Mostly, abstracts consist of between 150 to 250 words. It provides a detailed overview of what is contained in the paper such as the research topic, research problem, research questions, methods that have been used, analysis and conclusion (Cooper, 2016). Contrastingly, a paper that has been formatted using MLA format does not have a different title page and or abstract. Its main parts are the body and the works cited page.
APA-formatted documents or papers have headers on the top of each page encompassing the title page (Cooper, 2016). Their page numbers are positioned on the flush right whereas the title of the paper is stationed on the flush left. The title page captures the title of the paper, the name of the author and institution affiliation. On the other hand, an MLA-formatted paper utilizes a header that is positioned on the left side of the first page that captures date, course, name of the instructor and name of the author.
Other pages have headers on the right side that includes page number and the last name or the surname of the author (Cooper, 2016). In terms of in-text citation, MLA relies on author-page format as contrasted to APA that author-date format. In APA, the last page that enlists sources is titled ‘References’ as contrasted to MLA where the last page is titled ‘Works Cited.’
- Cooper, M. (2016). Differences Between APA and MLA Writing Styles. Leaf Group Education. Available at https://penandthepad.com/differences-between-apa-mla-writing-styles-1316.html