APA Format or MLA Format
Which One To Use?

If you ever need to write essays, term papers or professional research papers, chances are you will be required to use one of two main format and style conventions; APA or MLA. These are the two most widely used paper formatting standards used in the English language.

Based on the clickthrough behavior of the more than 250,000 individual visitors who came to my Writing Help Central website last month, of those looking for format/style info, 53% were looking for APA help and 47% for MLA help; giving APA the slight edge. To learn more about these two standards, keep on reading…

Most academic and professional research papers are required to use some sort of standardized guidelines governing the style, format, and referencing of sources. The two major standards that have evolved over the years as the leading guidelines are those of the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

So, if you are required to write any type of academic or professional papers, it is likely that you will be required to adhere to either APA or MLA standards.

Both APA and MLA organizations publish thick manuals that detail the specific conventions to use when writing papers using their respective formats. Due to the evolving nature of these guidelines, both organizations periodically issue updated versions of their standards manuals every few years. These are lengthy and somewhat technical manuals that exceed 400 pages in length and can be difficult to wade through.

One of the most difficult and confusing tasks when finalizing a paper is compiling what is widely known as a "bibliography". In fact, almost all academic and professional research papers are required to have an annotated bibliography. The term "bibliography" is often used as a generic term referring to some sort of list of "information sources" to be included at the end of a paper or article.

APA and MLA each have different ways to compile and present a bibliography in a paper, so it is important to check into the specific formats for the standard that you are required to use. Interestingly, neither one of these two writing standards actually refers to its "list of sources" as a "Bibliography". MLA calls it a "List of Works Cited" and APA refers to it as a "Reference List".

Because there are so many people looking for this APA and MLA information online, when I set up Writing Help Central a few years ago I spent the time and effort needed to study these two standards so that I could simplify them as much as possible and produce some pages that summarize the key guidelines of each one You can check out those APA and MLA summary pages via the following link:

(C) Shaun Fawcett is Webmaster of two of the most visited writing-help websites on the Net and is the author of numerous "how-to" books on everyday practical writing for home, business and education. His Instant Home Writing Kit with real-life templates is a leading resource on how to write a wide range of business and personal documents including: business letters, personal letters, resumes, reports, e-mails, essays, etc.

Copyright © writinghelp-central.com. All Rights Reserved.
[Home] [Letters] [Resumes] [APA] [SEARCH] [COURSES] [MLA] [Writing] [About] [Contact]