For academic writing purposes, many institutions have set a certain format for their respective fields. That certain format is approved by every country and, thus everyone follows that format. The reason why a single format is followed is that when all the people will follow the same format of writing in a particular field of work then the uniformity will remain maintained.
Thus, before referencing any format, it is important to know if that format is followed worldwide or not. APA and MLA references are two globally followed formats for two different fields.
APA vs MLA
The main difference between APA and MLA is that in the case of the APA referencing, the format is followed in the field of behavioral sciences, such as psychology and social sciences. While on the other hand, in the case of MLA reference, the format is followed in the field of humanities for literature and scientific work.
APA stands for American psychological association. As the name also suggests, the format reference is majorly concerned in the field of psychology. Thus, when writing journals, books, research papers, articles, and other such things, it is important to follow the APA format reference.
On the other hand, MLA stands for modern language association. As the name also suggests, the format reference is majorly concerned in the field of language and literature. The verb citations that are done in case of MLA format reference are kept in the present tense.
Comparison Table Between APA and MLA
|Parameters of comparison||APA||MLA|
|Full form||American psychological association||Modern language association|
|Field associated||Psychology, physics, chemistry, biology, geology||Language, literature, anthropology, political science, sociology, arts, humanities|
|Format of citation||The format of citation includes the names of the author along with the date.||The format of citation includes the names of the author along with the page number.|
|Source page||The source page as per APA referencing is named as ‘References’.||The source page as per MLA referencing is named as ‘Work cited’.|
|Paraphrase||The first word includes the last name of the author and the second word includes the initials of the first name of the author.||The first word includes the last name of the author and the second word includes the first name of the author.|
What is APA?
APA or also known as the American psychology association format reference is a set of instructions or guidelines that should be followed while publishing any material in the field of psychology. It guides the people on how to write a book, or article or journal, or any other such thing and explains the formatting of the same as well.
The APA format reference explains the precise use of headings, subheadings, paragraph structures, referencing the cited work, and other such things. It helps the person write and format the material that is to be published in such a way that it becomes not just easily readable, but easy to understand as well.
Though APA format referencing is majorly used in the field of psychology, it can also be used in other fields of sciences as well. Some of the fields where APA format reference can be used in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and other such fields of science.
What is MLA?
MLA or also known as modern language association is a set of instructions or guidelines that is followed while writing any material which is to be published concerning the field of language and literature.
When an author is writing any book, journal, article, or any such thing in the field of literature and language, it is important for that author to follow the MLA format reference. It, not just brings uniformity to the material written but also makes it easy to comprehend.
Though MLA format reference is mainly used in the field of language and literature, it can also be used in several other fields. Some of the fields where MLA format reference can be used are anthropology, political science, sociology, arts, humanities, and other such fields.
Main Differences Between APA and MLA
- APA format reference is concerned in the field of behavioral sciences and social sciences. While on the other hand, MLA format reference is concerned with the field of humanities in terms of literature and scientific work.
- APA format reference includes a title page, abstract, paragraphs, and then lastly list of cited references. On the contrary, the MLA format reference includes only paragraphs and the list of cited references.
- The APA format has a separate title page which includes the title of the project and details of the author. Whereas, in the case of MLA format, there is no separate title page for the project. Instead, the title of the project is included on the first page of the work.
- In the case of APA format reference, the first letter of all the important words and the title are written in capital letters. While on the other hand, in the case of MLA format reference, only the first letter of the title, subheading, and nouns are written in capital form.
- The in-text citation in case of APA format reference is written with the last name of the author along with the year and page number. On the other hand, in the case of MLA format reference, the in-text citation is written with the last name of the author along with the page number.
Though both of the format referencing are used for their respective fields and have several different dissimilarities, they have some similarities as well. Both APA format reference and MLA format reference have the same writing style.
That is to say, both the format references mention to follow Times New Roman font, 12 font size, double-space between lines, and one-inch margin should be left on both sides of the page.
It is always recommended to follow the respective format reference while writing and formatting any material as well. This helps the material gain more of global recognition once it is published since the material which have format reference are the ones which are accepted by most of the organizations.