Foundational Knowledge: MLA, APA Style

Stay on trend with stylish citations

Derby Roan, Copy Editor

In Composition I, students learn to write in MLA (Modern Language Association) style, a skill which most built on from high school. The more foreign style to most is APA, or American Psychological Association, style. These two methods of citation (and many more) were developed so that researchers in a given field could easily find the researcher’s reference material.
So, why can’t everyone just use the same style?
MLA and APA are designed to focus on different aspects of research. MLA is typically used in the humanities, where people are valued, hence the use of the authors’ full names in the citation. Research fields are more likely to use APA, as it focuses more on data, as can be seen by the prominence of the date in its citation format. Simply put, each different type of scholar wanted his own style, tailored to highlight what he sees as important.
Other styles include Chicago Style, which has a notes and bibliography organization and is preferred by the humanities, and Associated Press (AP) Style, used by newspapers like the one you’re reading right now.

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