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MLA vs. APA: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on February 5, 2024
MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) are citation styles, differing in format, citation rules, and title page requirements.

Key Differences

MLA is commonly used in humanities and liberal arts, emphasizing authorship in citations. APA is preferred in social sciences, focusing on the date of publication in citations.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024
In MLA, in-text citations include the author's last name and page number. APA citations, however, require the author's last name and the year of publication.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024
MLA format does not typically require a title page, often using a header on the first page. APA format usually includes a separate title page with the title, author’s name, and institution.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024
The Works Cited page in MLA lists references alphabetically by the author's last name. APA's Reference page also lists sources alphabetically but includes the author's initials and the publication year.
Harlon Moss
Feb 05, 2024
MLA uses the term “Works Cited” for the bibliography section, while APA uses “References” for its list of cited sources.
Harlon Moss
Feb 05, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Used in

Humanities, liberal arts
Social sciences
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024

In-text Citations

Author's last name and page number
Author's last name and year of publication
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024

Title Page

Not typically required
Includes title, author's name, institution
Huma Saeed
Feb 05, 2024

Bibliography Title

Works Cited
References
Aimie Carlson
Feb 05, 2024

Format of Citations

Author's last name, first name
Author's last name, initials; publication year
Aimie Carlson
Feb 05, 2024
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MLA and APA Definitions

MLA

Uses a simple approach for first-page header information.
The MLA header includes the student's name, instructor's name, course, and date.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

APA

Features in-text citations with author and year of publication.
APA citations help identify the currency of research.
Harlon Moss
Jan 25, 2024

MLA

Features parenthetical in-text citations with author and page number.
MLA citations make it easy to locate the source page.
Huma Saeed
Jan 25, 2024

APA

APA format includes a separate title page and a References section.
The APA title page contained detailed information about the author.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

MLA

MLA format includes a Works Cited page at the end.
All references were listed on the Works Cited page as per MLA guidelines.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

APA

APA emphasizes date of publication in citations.
In APA, the year of publication is crucial for in-text citations.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

MLA

MLA emphasizes authorship in its citation format.
In MLA, the focus is on the author's last name for citations.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

APA

A citation style commonly used in social sciences.
The psychology paper was formatted according to APA guidelines.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

MLA

A citation style used primarily in humanities.
The essay on Shakespeare was formatted in MLA style.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

APA

References are listed with the author's last name and initials.
The APA References page included the author's initials and the publication year.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 25, 2024

APA

A title used for male clergy or saints in the Coptic Church.
Sara Rehman
Jan 25, 2024

FAQs

What does MLA stand for?

Modern Language Association.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024

Is MLA used for science papers?

Typically, no. It's more common in humanities.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024

Does MLA require a title page?

No, it typically uses a header on the first page.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024

What information is on an APA title page?

The title, author's name, and institution.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024

Can APA be used in literature reviews?

Yes, especially in social science literature reviews.
Janet White
Feb 05, 2024

How are MLA in-text citations formatted?

Author's last name and page number.
Janet White
Feb 05, 2024

How are APA in-text citations formatted?

Author's last name and year of publication.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 05, 2024

How is a book cited in APA?

Author's last name, initials. (Year). Book title. Publisher.
Harlon Moss
Feb 05, 2024

What does APA stand for?

American Psychological Association.
Huma Saeed
Feb 05, 2024

Are URLs included in MLA citations?

Yes, for online sources.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024

How is a book cited in MLA?

Author's last name, first name. Book Title. Publisher, Year.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 05, 2024

Is the abstract required in MLA?

No, MLA papers typically don't require an abstract.
Janet White
Feb 05, 2024

Is the abstract required in APA?

Yes, for longer research papers.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 05, 2024

Does MLA use the Oxford comma?

No, it's typically not used in MLA.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 05, 2024

What is the bibliography called in MLA?

Works Cited.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024

What is the bibliography called in APA?

References.
Harlon Moss
Feb 05, 2024

Are URLs included in APA citations?

Yes, especially for online journal articles.
Harlon Moss
Feb 05, 2024

How are journal articles cited in MLA?

Author's last name, first name. "Article Title." Journal Name, volume, issue, year, pages.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 05, 2024

How are journal articles cited in APA?

Author's last name, initials. (Year). Article title. Journal Name, volume(issue), pages.
Janet White
Feb 05, 2024

Does APA use the Oxford comma?

Yes, especially in lists in the References section.
Sara Rehman
Feb 05, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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