General Differences between MLA and APA

by Stephen on January 6, 2013 · 12 comments

Many students ask for a list of the main differences between MLA and APA. Please see below. This list was obtained from Bellevue University’s Writing Center.

The main differences between MLA and APA are as follows:

TypeMLA FormatAPA Format
Date:The date follows the publisher in the citation and is not in parentheses.The date follows the author and is in parentheses.
Author’s Name:The author’s full name (first and last) is spelled out.The author’s last name is spelled out and the first name is reduced to initials.
Capitalization:All major words in the title are capitalized and the title is underlined.Only the first word of the title, the first word of a subtitle, and any proper nouns (like names) are capitalized. Everything else is lowercase. Also, the title is written in italics.
Source Page:The source page is called a “Works Cited”.The source page is called a “References”.
In-Text Citations:MLA uses the last name of the author and the page number.APA uses the last name of the author and the date.
MLA does not uses commas to separate the material, or p. pp. before the page numbers.APA does use commas and, if a page is mentioned, uses p. and pp.

Differences between MLA and APA Examples:

MLA: (Burns 101)
APA: (Burns, 1999, p. 4)

Here are two comparison examples:

Klaphake, Elizabeth. My Life as an English Professor. Bellevue,
Nebraska: Bellevue University Press. 1999.

Klaphake, E. (1999). My life as an English professor. Bellevue,
Nebraska: Bellevue University Press.


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tonya Elms April 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

APA has a few things that will be hard for me to remember, like the year in the second place, not cap all words, putting the wed site.

2 Kalu isaac August 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm

This is really interesting, but what of a work cited by a cooperate authors in the same year?

3 Austine Boakye Gaskoni December 7, 2013 at 6:15 am

Very interesting.

4 Cosy February 9, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Thanx it’s helpful to my studies.

5 Zoubir May 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

Thank you for your helping

6 Tochukwu July 30, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Tnx for the one provided, but what about Chicago style of writting.

7 Lauren September 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Thank you!

8 Charway james Niiclient September 28, 2014 at 10:10 am

Things very clear. Thanks.

9 Lucy gembe November 21, 2014 at 3:07 am

Thank you so much it has helped me

10 Yung_Sezzy November 25, 2014 at 11:39 am

Aye Thanks

11 Vicks January 23, 2015 at 6:55 am

Really came in handy…tnx for your help

12 olumide February 26, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Thanks….it helps me alot

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