APA vs MLA Style: Differences to know about these referencing styles


There are possibly so many writing styles available to make your content looks more attractive and engaging for the customers. You must have sometimes noticed that APA and MLA are among many different writing styles that are sure to get you the unique styles for the content. But more or less, both of these writing styles are similar. In the citation pages, APA and MLA are very similar. But if you get to focus on the birth of them, then you are sure to find several differences in them. If you are unable to find the distinct differences between APA vs MLA Style, then here is the place that will help you mark them and write the citations perfectly.

The primary point of distinction between MLA and APA regarding their writing style is the former in which the citations get written. It is sure to come to your attention when you apply both techniques for writing different sources. Since we already mentioned that the styles are mostly similar, we can say that the distinctions are subtle to analyze quickly.

Overview of APA and MLA Styles

MLA stands for the Modern Language Association. It is for those studying in the field of Arts and Humanities. The citations help you break down and quickly understand the books, art, literature, paintings, and many more in the same field of study. On the other hand, APA is the short form using for American Psychological Association. Social science involves a range of topics and related matters. With the increasing number of issues, there is rise in number of technical things. With APA’s introduction, formatting styles have made it easy to cite the technical reports, journals, etc. More, the question is that why do we need to mention the differences. It’s because if you are aware of such differences between APA and MLA, writing citations will become a piece of cake as it helps in improving academic grades. Given below are the distinctions which will help you choose wisely.

How does the Title of the Citation create a distinction?

The citation title in any of the papers, either using MLA or APA, quickly creates a distinction point. In simple terms, the work cited page in the citations and papers which get written in MLA further provided. But on the contrary, APA papers have three formats that get labeled and described with the help of references. The similarity between the titles is that they get written in the center on the top of the page. But do remember that the APA formats’ contacts are always found with double spaces between them. Keeping these differences in mind in terms of their titles, you can easily select the required format of either APA vs MLA Style.

Every author has their own needs and requirements. So it different from an author to author about the choice of the formats for writing the citations. Moreover, every author incorporates the styles of formatting in their unique ways as well. If you wish to mark the difference between APA and MLA, you can indeed check out and analyze the styles used by different authors in their citations.

Difference b/w APA and MLA

APA vs MLA Style: In Terms of writing the Name of the Author

In Modern Language Association, the format consists of the first name and the last name. But in the writing sequence, the character has a last name, and then it should write the first name. To take an instance, register the name Milton Ray. It includes Milton (the last name) and then writes Ray (the first name). But again, the format can vary as per the number of authors there are. To separate the names of two authors, we make the use of the conjunction and. In case there are more than two authors, you can mention ”and others” after writing the first author’s name.

If we take about APA format for writing the name of the author, you need not write the full name. All you can do is write the last name and then simply the first letter of the first name. For example, the term is Ray Milton. So in case of writing this name in citation following APA format, you will note it as Milton, R. Further, in case there are more than two authors, Ampersand uses to separate the names. But another category has less than twenty authors. In such a case, commas are present after every word.

APA vs MLA Style: Distinction on the basis of Study

The topic is something which is also going to decide the style of format that you will use. It creates another point of distinction for APA and MLA. The science fields generally take up the APA styles of formatting. The science subjects include social science, physical science, natural science, and many more. But on the other hand, MLA uses the styles of formatting for writing essays on subjects based on the arts field. The issues included are- humanities, cultural matters, topics related to history, literature, human society, arts, and many more. Hence, we can say that the case you choose for the research is undoubtedly a basis you can take while deciding the APA or MLA formatting style.

APA vs MLA Style: In terms of Citations

Citations are usually of two main types. One is in-text citations, and the other is simple citations. Under in-text citations, the distinction is based on the page number. In APA style, we write the last name, the year of write up and then the page number. To take an example- Ray, 2021, pg. 12 and so on. On the opposite side is the MLA style of citation writing. Under this format, the year gets excluded. The name of the author comes and then simply the respective page number. It will show as Ray 12 and so on.

When it comes to the simple citations, the title gets included, and the rest of the difference remains the same. The first name’s initial letter gets written in APA while it is the full name in MLA.

APA vs MLA Style: In terms of Usability

The more commonly used style of formatting is that of MLA. In other words, the high schools use more MLA styles than using the APA formatting. But if we talk about the college or university level, then both formatting styles get equally used. APA has its suitability and usability in the technical things more. The scientific work should carry out with the help of APA itself. The primary reason for using the authentic style of formatting is that it makes the citations suit their respective field of study. Understanding things according to their styles becomes more accessible by choosing the correct option from APA or MLA.


To conclude the statements, we can say that both formatting styles are equal and similar, more or less. But what makes them different is their unique styles and formats. They have the title in the center of the page, but the way it gets written differs. So, choose wisely between APA vs MLA Style while writing your following citation paper.

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