Differences between MLA and APA

MLA (Modern Language Association)

  • Author-page method of citation.
  • Created for scholars in English composition and literature.
  • Author’s full name on first mention.
  • Use of the “right” language for the audience being addressed.
  • Present tense verb in signal phrase vs. past tense.
  • Medium of publication designation (ex. Print, Web, etc.).
  • Many purposes for writing and research.

APA (American Psychological Association)

  • Author-date method of citation.
  • Created for researchers in the social sciences.
  • Authors’ last names only.
  • Objective tone, scientific writing.
  • Economy of expression.
  • Past or present perfect tense verb in signal phrase*.
  • DOI (digital object identifier) or document number.
  • Two purposes for writing and research.

* Present tense is used “to discuss implications of the results and to present conclusions”

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Posted in APA Style, MLA Style, Writing

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