Referencing is an essential aspect of academic writing. Every person should have a clear concept regarding the differences between each of the referencing styles, including the difference between MLA and APA. When a student gets enrolled in a university, he is made to study different subjects and topics from the field of study chosen by him. He has to attend lectures, do self-study, appear in various examinations and writing assignments. When it comes to writing assignments, the professors want the assignments to be well-structured and have well-researched content. He expects the students to follow the required format and search for different peer-reviewed articles, journals, websites, government reports, etc. A student cannot simply take content from any of the sources without giving it the due credit in his assignments. Referencing is a technique through which the students can provide due credit. But who will teach these students how to reference a source; there are no separate lectures or tutorials. Some professors guide their students about referencing styles, but it is not enough to train the latter on every minute details. There are many referencing styles, and each of the assignments comes up with one of these styles. The present blog will eliminate the confusion of students with regards to the difference between MLA and APA. We have chosen these two styles due to their excessive usage in the field of academics so let’s begun and explore the difference.
MLA style of referencing and formatting
MLA is an abbreviation of modern language association of America. It is a professional body for scholars studying language and literature. The purpose of this association is to promote the study and teaching of language and literature. The MLA style of referencing is quite common in assignments related to humanities. So a student studying humanities must be aware of this style. The style is usually applied while writing literature, or describing a theatrical work of art. Like any other referencing style, MLA also comes up with a unique citations style. Usually, the last page of any assignment has a heading, ‘Reference’ but if you are tasked with MLA referencing format then the last page will have a heading, ‘Works Cited’.
Let’s explain this referencing style with some examples:
“The strength of the company depends upon the type of service provided by it during the pandemic situation’’ (Grover 38).
The above statement is supported by the citation (Grover 38), Grover is the author’s last name, and 38 is the page number. MLA style of referencing does not include the year of the reference; instead, it includes page numbers.
Grover, Samson. Coping with pandemic related issues. Springer, 2020. Print.
The above is the entry that will be made in the Works Cited page. The MLA style of referencing includes the last name and the first name of the authors. No initials are used in this referencing style. Grover is the last name followed by the first name, the name of the book, the publisher name, year and the word print which signifies that it is available in the print version. The name of the book has been italicized.
MLA style of referencing has a unique feature of indentation of all entries in the Works Cited page. The above reference had less information, so there was no scope of indentation, but let’s take another example to understand this feature:
Grover, Samson. Coping with pandemic related issues. Journal of Management and Justice, 56.4 (2020): 43.
With the above example, we hope that you have understood about indentation. You can also note one thing in the above reference that the source’s entire name has not been italicized. Reference has been taken from a journal, and as per MLA guidelines, name of the journal should be italicized. In the above example, the Journal of Management and Justice is the name of the journal.
But if in case there are two authors then the name of the first author will be reversed but the name of the second author will be included in the normal order that is the first name followed by the last name.
When a reference has a number of authors, there are some referencing styles that ask the term, ‘et al.’ to be included with the first author’s name. Et al. is a Latin word signifying, ‘and others’. In the case of the MLA style of referencing, the term et al. is to be used when a reference has three or more authors. The term et al. signifies the contribution of other authors as well. Once you have entered the last name and first name of the first author, you can use the term et al. A period comes after the word et al. and the reference would look like the one mentioned below:
Grover, Samson, et al. Coping with pandemic related issues. Journal of Management and Justice, 56.4 (2020): 43.
APA style of referencing and formatting
APA is an abbreviation of modern American psychological association. It is a scientific organization consisting of psychologists from the field of science, education, medical, consultants, students, etc. This association aims to provide benefit and improve the lives of the people living in society. In the year 1929, an article was published in the Psychological Bulletin, which laid the foundation of APA style. The APA style of referencing is quite common in assignments related to social sciences, education and psychology. The last page of an assignment following APA format will have, ‘References’ or ‘Reference List’ as the last heading.
Let’s explain this referencing style with some examples:
“The strength of the company depends upon the type of service provided by it during the pandemic situation’’ (Grover, 2020).
The above statement is supported by the citation (Grover, 2020), Grover is the author’s last name, and 2020 is the year. APA style of referencing includes the year of the reference. Page numbers are not necessary to be included in the citations, but it can be included if the volume of the source is large. If in case page numbers are included, then the citation will have the below format:
“The strength of the company depends upon the type of service provided by it during the pandemic situation’’ (Grover, 2020, p. 38).
Grover, S. (2020). Coping with pandemic related issues. Springer.
The above entry will be made in the References page. The APA style of referencing includes the last name and the initials of the authors’ first name. S is the initial of the first name preceded by the last name then the year, name of the book and the publisher name. The name of the book has been italicized.
Like MLA style of referencing as mentioned in this difference between MLA and APA blog, APA style also has the feature of indentation of all entries in the reference list. Let’s take an example to understand this feature:
Grover, S. (2020). Coping with pandemic related issues. Journal of Management and Justice, 56(4), p. 43.
In the above example, the journal’s name and the volume have been italicized as per the APA guidelines.
As mentioned in the previous section of this blog on difference between MLA and APA, et al. is used in APA style of referencing but with a difference. It is not used in the reference list rather in the in-text citations section. As per the APA 7th edition guidelines, et al. is to be used when there are three or more than three authors in a reference.
Page format difference between MLA and APA
There are some obvious differences between the two formats which will be discussed in the below section.
In both the formatting styles, double space is used in line and paragraphing sections. A margin of 1 inch is left from all sides of the paper with a 12 font size. The text can be easily read in both styles. When a page is formatted as per the APA style, the following points should be noted:
When a page is formatted as per the MLA style, there is no requirement of any title page or an abstract. The following points should be noted:
MLA page format
APA page format
The difference between MLA and APA can also be seen in the formatting of the title page. In APA, the title page has all the details of the student and the university whereas in MLA, there is no title page and the first page of the document includes the details about the student and his university.
Details to be filled on the title page under APA format are at the centre of the page whereas details to be filled on the first page of a document under MLA format are at left side of the page.
The page header difference between MLA and APA is also obvious. Under APA page number comes at the right hand of the paper, but under MLA, the page number and the name of the student come at the right hand of the main page.
There is running head difference between MLA and APA; the former has running head appearing on the left side of the title page, which follows all pages whereas MLA does not have a running head.
Referencing difference between MLA and APA
The first difference between MLA and APA referencing format is the heading of the page, which includes the references. Under APA format, the page listing all the references is signified as References or Reference list whereas MLA lists all references with the heading, Works Cited.
The second difference between MLA and APA referencing format is the format of the author’s name. Under APA, last name of the author is followed by initials of his first name and the middle name whereas, in MLA, the last name of the author is followed by the first name. Complete name is used in MLA and if in case there is more than one author, then the author’s second name is written in the normal order.
The third difference between MLA and APA referencing format is the usage of et al. Under APA format et al. is never used in the reference list whereas et al. is very much used in MLA format when there are three or more than three authors in a reference.
The fourth difference between MLA and APA referencing format can be found in the citation style. APA uses the author’s last name, the year and page number if required, whereas MLA uses last name of the author and the page number, there is no inclusion of year.
The fifth difference between MLA and APA referencing format is the usage of the connector between two or more authors. Under APA ampersand and used in the reference list and in the in-text citations whereas in MLA, the word, ‘and’ is used in the in-text citations and references.
The sixth difference between MLA and APA referencing format is the placement of the year in the references. In APA the year comes after the author’s name and before the details about the source whereas in MLA year comes at the end of source details followed by page number.
The seventh difference between MLA and APA referencing format is the usage of parenthesis. APA uses parenthesis in its Reference List entries whereas there is no usage of parenthesis in the entries mentioned on Works Cited page.
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Although we have tried to explain each and every difference between MLA and APA referencing format, there are a lot more differences that could not be explained in this blog. These differences are based upon punctuation marks, which is also an important aspect of each referencing style. In order to know all the minute details, you can contact Totalassignmenthelp.com. The team will help you in formatting your assignment paper and guide you with the correct referencing and citations entry. We have experts who can work upon any referencing style, be it APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, AGLC, footnotes and bibliography, Oxford, etc.
We can provide the sources as per your demand, and it will be formatted as per the latest guidelines of the particular referencing format you are looking forward to. The accuracy in referencing and citations style will save you from being charged with any kind of plagiarism or dishonesty. We hope that the present blog on the difference between MLA and APA referencing format will make you confident whenever you sit down to write an assignment following MLA or APA format.
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