Guide on the Usage of APA & MLA Styles

APA & MLA Styles

Each student has to be ready to accept the fact that during the studying process it is impossible to escape from such an assignment as writing research papers, which will occur often and will have to be done without excuses. Be ready to deal with scientific works, thesis, term papers, and less scary tasks as essays and case studies on different topics, which, by the way, have to be written and formatted according to the academic standards. What are these standards, how and when to use them, read below.

The most common academic writing styles are considered to be APA & MLA styles.

APA or American Psychological Association style is widely used for research papers on psychology and sociology and was created to simplify the reading comprehension of scientific texts in 1929. APA style is specific in terms of the peculiarities of its formatting. A student has to learn or consult with the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Writing a research paper in APA style, pay attention to the following basic things:

  • APA style consists of title page, summary of the work (abstract), introduction, the undertaken methods of study, results, discussion of the results, references and citations, and a supporting piece called appendix. Remember, APA style includes citations section (sources you actually referred to throughout the text), not bibliography, which is all the literature you consulted with to investigate a certain question.
  • All the text is double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 pt Times New Roman font.
  • Page numbers starts from the title page.

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  • While citing, place the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number if it is a quote (without the page number if paraphrase) in parenthesis with commas.
  • According to the number of levels of headings in your paper, each level will have its look. The headings of the first level: centered, upper and lowercase heading. Second level: flush to the left margin, italicized, upper and lowercase heading. For detailed information, consult the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Instead, MLA or Modern Language Association style is predominantly used for research papers on liberal arts and humanities. The general guide on the usage of MLA style includes the following characteristics:

  • No cover page is required. Instead the title is centered on the first page and the name of a student is written at the upper right corner.
  • 1 inch margins, no extra spacing after paragraphs, 12 pt usually Times New Roman font.
  • Page numbers in the top right of every page (consult with your instructor whether to omit the number on the title page).
  • While citing, place the author’s last name and the page number of the source you refer to in parenthesis without commas. For detailed information, consult the eighth edition of MLA Handbook.

Learn the peculiarities and differences between two commonly used APA & MLA styles to avoid confusions and misunderstandings of formatting of these styles during the studying year. 


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