MLA vs APA- What Are The Differences In Format And Citation

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You will agree with me that you need to settle for a citation style when writing academic papers strictly. There are three prime citation styles in the academic world; MLA, Chicago, and APA. Through these citation styles, students avoid plagiarism while availing credit to other scholarships. There’s usually an MLA vs APA debate, however, the Chicago citation style is customarily used by economics and history students, and it is directly assigned.

Nonetheless, when it comes to MLA vs APA, students tend to face multiple hardships more so in noting the differences in format and citation. MLA and APA styles are somewhat similar, though with noticeable differences. This post will help you understand the format and citation of differences between MLA vs APA.

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History of APA Style 

In 1929, APA (American Psychology Association) created a citation guideline to help authors create structured citations for their works in books, journal articles, and other academic publications. The American Psychology Association was eyeing on introducing a unique referencing and citation style. Today, APA style is commonly used for lab reports, scientific papers, and documents. 

APA Standard Guidelines

  • ⦁ An abstract is necessary for lengthy papers and publications
  • ⦁ You need to center the title of the paper
  • ⦁ Reference list observes the bibliographic order
  • ⦁ Lines need double-spacing
  • ⦁ You are to use Times New Roman font style with a size of 12
  • ⦁ Double-spaced footnotes or endnotes
  • ⦁ Author’s name, publication year, and page are required for in-text citations
  • ⦁ When paraphrasing an idea, you should include the author’s name alongside the year of publication
  • ⦁ First words of the periodical’s titles are capitalized
  • ⦁ Alphabetical order is ideal for authors while works from the same author to follow a chronological order
  • ⦁ In your reference list, the author’s name starts with their last name followed by their first initial and middle initial (Jordan K.G.)

An example of an APA format

Vacation Debate



Vacation Debate

I think that the American worker is less motivated to embrace a vacation time because their vacation time is not long enough. In France, for example, an employee can take a 30-days’ vacation. Hence, the American worker is not motivated enough to assume the vacation since an average American worker gets only 2.6weeks of a vacation in a year. Additionally, the American worker is ‘overburdened’ in that they have much to do. Krueger & Mueller (2012) calls this as ‘workload demand.’ Such a worker feel the urge to accomplish the work and they do not have time to apply their vacation days. Additionally, such workers feel the obligation to perform hard (due to job security) and some workers take their job so seriously that they see a vacation as a threat to their positions. It should be noted that the US does not have mandatory paid leave by the government and the vacation time is left to the pleasure of the individual workers. This is not seen in France where a sick person has to leave for a vacation to get healed.

I think that the US workers mostly do not take all of their allotted vacation time (even if they may lose the benefit) because of financial constraints. Despite the US having a solid economic footing, finances have increasingly become an aspect for the American worker who has not taken a vacation in 6 months (Coy, 2012). For instance, an employee finds it hard to have finances to take a family whose wife is unemployed on a vacation. Most workers in the US feel that they cannot afford a trip.

If many jobless are spending around 2 hours/day looking for work as some research indicates, unemployment negatively affects work motivation due to the presence of psychological implications such as anxiety, depression, low levels of self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts. When such a person gets jobs, he or she is unlikely to take a vacation. These types of workers are seen trading off the vacation days not only to get more money but also to cement job security (Kwoh, 2012). However, I would spend my days if unemployed by improving my skill set to ensure that I raise my criteria that employers are looking for when hiring. This is to ensure that I would not stay long before getting a job, which would ensure that I would take a vacation when working.


Coy, P. (2012). The Leisure Gap. Bloomberg Businessweek.

Krueger, B., & Mueller, A. I. (2012). Time Use, Emotional Well-Being, and Unemployment: Evidence from Longitudinal Data. American Economic Review. 594–99;

Kwoh, L. (2012). More Firms Offer Option to Swap Cash for Time. The Wall Street Journal.

History of MLA Citation Style

The most noticeable difference between MLA vs APA styles are their history. MLA was introduced by the Modern Language Association for scientific and literary research in the Humanities faculty. MLA style is overly detailed as compared to APA. MLA style doesn’t have biasness on old and new studies or resources but focuses on the authors’ names and their publications or work. 

MLA Style Standard Guidelines

  • ⦁ Times New Roman font style with size 12
  • ⦁ One-inch margins
  • ⦁ Alphabetical order for both authors and works (where one author has more than one work or publication)
  • ⦁ No line-breaking between citations
  • ⦁ The title of the article or work is in quotation marks and every word being capitalized
  • ⦁ There is no comma between the author’s name and page number for direct in-text quotations 
  • ⦁ All lines must be double-spaced

An example of an MLA format





International and Supranational Organizations

The other countries who did business with the United Kingdom will have to pay higher costs of shipping. If one does business with the United Kingdom the cost of transportation will be higher on their side since the country no longer belongs t the European Union. With the closure of negotiation for trades of agreement then the rate of trade will go up. This will also drive up the tariffs which will in turn drive the cost of goods coming from the United Kingdom to be more expensive. The rates of unemployment for counties whose citizens work for the United Kingdom will go up. The United Kingdom is well known for employing of skills of labor among nations in the European Union. As a result of them backing away from the Union, the ability of immigrants entering the country will be much harder than it was previously.

The vote has had detrimental effects on the economy of the United Kingdom. This is due to the decline of foreign Investments. The high cost of trade has discouraged international investors from investing in the United Kingdom. Being a part of the single market was good for the export business and it had attracted many investors in the country to carry on with the export business. Due to the many uncertainties that are involved in the exit and the investors now prefer to wait and see the impact it leaves on the economy.

Citizens vote to opt out of the European Union because they believe that it allows immigrants into the country to take away their jobs and opportunities. This surprised politicians because it was their believed that the country’s economy was doing quite well while they remained in the Union.

Work Cited

Crafts, Nicholas. “The Impact of EU Membership on UK Economic Performance.” Political Quarterly, vol. 87, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 262–268. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/1467-923X.12261.

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MLA vs APA Format

Between APA and MLA, which one is better?

The majority of students are always debating on which citation style is best between APA and MLA. Both styles are imperative, and you are to select one based on the use scenario. Generally, APA is always ideal for short publications, while MLA serves extensive or lengthy publications justice. MLA style is specific on the citation page, which works for in-text citations, unlike APA, which mentions the work and year of publication. 

When should you use MLA or APA?

The nature of your assignment helps to dictate when to use APA or MLA. There are instances when your professor depicts a specific citation format for a particular assignment. Nonetheless, where a citation style isn’t depicted, you should always be at liberty to select either MLA or APA. 

The field of your study also dictates the citation style you settle for. While writing a Humanities faculty paper, you should never use the APA style as it is designated for Social Sciences. Therefore, ensure to designate MLA citation for Language, Literature, Theatre, Law, Politics, History, Philosophy, Anthropology, Religion, and Arts research and academic papers. APA style is ideal for Sociology, Psychology, Education, Social Work, Business, Criminology, and Nursing papers or projects. 

When writing your academic paper, you are always at liberty of choosing the citation style, suiting your paper, and content. Nonetheless, many students find the application of these citation styles quite hassling. Therefore, you are to understand the above standard guidelines and format differences, which enable you to follow the strict details for each style. In your academic paper, formatting plays an imperative role, and you must never overlook it whatsoever. Therefore, ensure to master the art of differentiating between MLA vs APA citation styles. 

When do I use MLA format?

This style is reserved for writers and students preparing manuscripts in various humanities disciplines such as foreign languages and literature.

Should I use APA or MLA for science?

APA style is used in psychology, education, and sciences, while the MLA style is for the humanities.

What is the proper MLA format?

A proper MLA format should have one inch for the page margins, double-spaced paragraphs, and a header with the author’s last name, and a page number one-half inch from the top of each page.

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