Answered Essay: Consider specific fields of study use writing styles like MLA or APA format. What are the advantages for a field of study or discipline using a uniformed writing style format?

Consider specific fields of study use writing styles like MLA or APA format. What are the advantages for a field of study or discipline using a uniformed writing style format?

Expert Answer


A binding component of document preparation for students, professional researchers, or writers in general, is attributing credit to sources cited in the writing process. To provide a universal and convenient means of ‘giving credit where credit is due’, many formatting styles have appeared overtime through various organizations such as the ones mentioned in the title. The main function of both styling guides, APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association), is to provide a uniformed format for creating work-cited and reference pages as well as utilizing in-text citations.

A comparative analysis of APA amd MLA are given below:

Title pages

MLA does not require a title page while APA does. The title page for APA should have a ‘running head’ (this should be indented with 1 inch margins on both sides). MLA does require the students last name as a running head for other pages though and the APA requires a three-word-title running head for all other pages after the title page.

In-text citations

APA follows an author-date system of citing sources while MLA uses an author-page number system. Both require parenthesis for in-text citations though the author’s name may be given inside a signal phrase rather than within the parenthesis. Likewise, MLA requires for the first and last name to be mentioned initially for sources while APA requires the last name only.

Footnotes & Endnotes

For MLA in-text, parenthetical citations are preferred over footnotes. And similarly for APA footnotes and endnotes are discouraged. But in some cases explanations are needed or required by authors and in that case they may be implemented. Noteworthy differences are that MLA requires a sheet called ‘Notes’ before the works cited paged for its endnotes and APA refers to this same page simply as ‘Footnotes’.


Both styles require page numbers for direct quotations though the definition of short and long quotations differ. Short quotations for MLA, for instance are four lines or less while with APA short quotations are considered to be 40 words or more.

Additional documents

Due to the scientific nature of many APA style papers and reports, additional documents such as abstracts are required (but may not be upon your instructor’s request). The MLA does not require abstracts but you may find them at times as well as an appendix (for APA as well).

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