Q. What's the difference between APA and MLA citation styles?
APA style and MLA style both give rules for citing sources.
But they are used by different academic disciplines.
APA (American Psychological Association)
- Nursing, Business, and some social sciences are adopting it.
MLA (Modern Language Association)
- Literature; Languages
- Most of PCC's Writing courses.
Differences: In-Text Citations & Listing Works at the End
Garcia (2008) found that language on Twitter is evolving, due to pressure to be both concise and
emotional. However, a later study saw no such evolution (Armstrong, 2020).
Armstrong, M. T. (2020). "Twitter-induced language change reconsidered." Journal of Language
Change, 2(1), 20-28, https://doi.org/10.1002/s16802-006-9001-2
Garcia, L. (2018). "Darwin on Twitter: How language evolves online." PMBTLA Quarterly, 30(4), pp.
Linda Garcia concludes that the language used on Twitter is evolving. She notes the simultaneous
pressure to be concise and to be emotional (16). However, a later study saw no such evolution
Armstrong, Mark T. "Twitter-Induced Language Change Reconsidered." Journal of Language
Change, vol. 2, no. 1, 2020, pp. 20-28. 10.1002/s16802-006-9001-2.
Garcia, Linda. "Darwin on Twitter: How Language Evolves Online." PMBTLA Quarterly, vol. 30, no.
4, 2018, pp. 12- 22. Academic Search Premier, 10.1007/s18802-006-9007-4.
Other Noteworthy Differences
Examples: (See above)
In APA, the date always appears as the second element, both in references and in in-text citations.
In MLA, in-text citations do not include the date. In works cited entries, the date appears near the end.
Example: Jennifer A. Townsend (as listed on the source)
APA reference begins: Townsend, J. A.
MLA works cited entry begins: Townsend, Jennifer A.
APA article title: A nation transformed: What green energy means for Ghana.
MLA article title: "A Nation Transformed: What Green Energy Means for Ghana."
Citing page numbers
APA requires that in-text citations include page numbers (or another locator) every time you quote a source. But when you paraphrase or summarize, this is optional.
MLA requires that in-text citations include page numbers (when available) every time you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a source.
For more information, see these research guides:
Note: all the sources used as examples above are fictitious.