Many people use the Modern Language Association (MLA) referencing technique and American Psychological Association (APA) documentation format in scholarly writing. Basically, the mastery of each style may be aided by knowledge of the specific features that differentiate one style form the other. Citing in APA format and MLA style plays the same role in academic essays. However, they can be quickly discerned through two main features, which have special characteristics: in-text citation format and reference list.
In-Text Citation APA Format and MLA Style
Citing in APA format employs a different form of parenthetical in-text citation rules in comparison to the MLA citation. For instance, the rules for the APA citation is based on the author-date format. In this case, an author-date in-text citation comprises of the author’s last name and the publication date. Additionally, citing in APA format encourages authors to provide page numbers for each citation. Also, it is compulsory for direct quotes. The APA style citation consists of the author’s surname, date of publication, and a page number with each element separated by a comma. Conversely, the MLA in-text citation conforms to the author-page format. In turn, each piece of cited information is accompanied by a parenthetical in-text citation that contains the author’s surname and a page number separated by a single space.
Reference List in APA and MLA
Each documentation style has a unique title for the reference list provided at the end of an essay. Basically, people list sources in the APA reference page. In a case where they use only one source citing in APA format, writers write the title in its singular form but maintain the same style. However, they title the reference list in MLA formatted papers as “Works Cited.” If authors use only one source, they put sources on the MLA Work Cited. Hence, the title of the reference list is one of the obvious distinctive features of using sources.
The general appearance of each reference list entry is different for citing in APA format and MLA referencing style. For instance, the first element after the names of the authors or an equivalent substitute is the date of publication. People place it in parenthesis. In this case, the APA format reference page prioritizes the publication year because it allows easy association between the in-text citations and corresponding entries. On the contrary, the title of the source is the second most crucial element in the MLA format Works Cited. In turn, disciplines that use the MLA style give the titles of the source more significance than other elements. Thus, the order of elements is another feature of the reference list that is useful in distinguishing MLA and APA formats.
Conclusion on Citing in APA Format and MLA Style
The reference list and in-text citation formats are useful in identifying the documentation style used in an essay. In-text citations for citing in APA format uses the author-date structure while those in the MLA style adhere to the author-page format. In turn, both documentation styles have exclusive titles for their reference lists. Moreover, the MLA and APA referencing techniques have peculiar arrangements for the elements in reference list entries.