APA vs. MLA
Although there are many different styles in which research projects may be written, the primary two that are used at LVA are APA and MLA. This page is intended to give you an overview of the differences and provides links for more in-depth information.
ResearchMania: Battle of the Writing Style Titans!
Use this interactive tool from Scribbr to compare citations in APA and MLA
Side by Side
The differences between APA and MLA at times are small and other times quite extensive. Below is a table showing some of the differences between the two formatting styles.
Used in psychology, the sciences, and the social sciences (business,criminology, cultural studies, economics, education, hotel administration, linguistics, nursing, social work, and many more).
Used in the liberal arts and humanities (English, foreign language, literature)
One-inch margins on all sides
Double spaced throughout
Times New Roman font 12 point
One space after punctuation
Commas, semi-colons, colons, periods
No spaces after periods within abbreviations
Page numbers in upper right corner
No cover/title page
Header with last name and page number
A half inch from the top and in the upper right corner of every page
(Taylor, 2018, p. 23)
(Taylor & Kotler, 2018, p. 23)
(Taylor et al., 2018, p. 23)
(Taylor and Kotler 23)
(Taylor et al. 23)
Begin on a separate page
Double space all citations
Don't skip lines between citations
Called a Reference page
Use the author's first initial instead of their full first name.
Use sentence casing for all titles except journal, magazine, and newspaper titles (which are in title case like MLA). After capitalizing the first letter of the title, every other letter is lowercase.
The exception here would be if there is a subtitle. Then the first letter of the first word would be capitalized.
Proper nouns (like a name or a place) should still be capitalized.
If a source came from one of the library databases, APA does not ask for the name of the database in the citation. Instead, APA format wants the DOI (digital object identifier) included, if available.
Clinton-Lisell, V., Kelly, A.E., & Clark,
T.D. (2020). Modeling e-textbook
tools or encouraging reading from
paper: What are the effects on
medium choice and textbook use?
College Teaching, 68(4), 221-227.
Called Works Cited
Spell out the author's first name in your Works Cited page.
Use title casing for titles. This means that every word in the title is capitalized with the exception of minor words (a, or, an, the).
If a source came from one of the library databases, MLA always wants to know which database you found the source in.
Clinton-Lisell, Virginia, Alison E. Kelly,
and Travis D. Clark. "Modeling E-
Textbook Tools or Encouraging
Reading from Paper: What are the
Effects on Medium Choice and
Textbook Use?" College Teaching,
vol. 68, no. 4, Oct.-Dec. 2020, pp.
221-227. MasterFILE Premier.
To get the full depth of the different style manuals, you can check them out from the library or peruse any of the resource links below.
Most of the resources that are available to students will create a citation for inclusion on the Reference or Works Cited page of your writing project. if you need to create your own, links to two citation builders are below as well.