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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.
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Write Right!

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.


mla style center.png

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

    • a.m., p.m.

Title Page

  • Cover/title page

  • 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

In-Text Citations

(Taylor, 2018, p. 23)

(Taylor & Kotler, 2018, p. 23)

(Taylor et al., 2018, p. 23)

1 author

2 authors

3+ authors

(Taylor 23)

(Taylor and Kotler 23)

(Taylor et al. 23)

Source Pages

  • Begin on a separate page

  • Double space all citations

  • Don't skip lines between citations

  • Hanging indent

  • Alphabetical order

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.

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Helpful Videos

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