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Review Of The Most Popular Essay Formats (APA, MLA, Chicago)

  1. MLA Recommendations 
  2. APA Recommendations 
  3. Chicago Recommendations 

What is MLA?

MLA stands for Modern Language Association, it’s a group that was founded in 1883 to establish the importance of humanitarian sciences. The goal of that group is to evolve the studying process, to give both pupils and professors a structure to work effectively. Needless to say that an establishment like that would have its way of doing things, and special ways of formatting. Apart from basic writing guidelines and norms, their style is used to cite sources within a number of liberal arts. The focus on the accountability of using other material will protect you from plagiarism accusations. It will also give your essay an academic look! To format your paper up to the latest standards, you can look up for samples in the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook.

List of Formatting Recommendations According to MLA

  • We are ready to provide you with the list of the most prominent rules established by the association!
  • Usage of 8.5 x 11 paper
  • 12th size Times New Roman font is required
  • Double-spacing in your entire essay
  • One inch margin from every side of the paper
  • One space after punctuation marks
  • Half-inch indents from the left side made by Tab
  • Text alignment to the left side
  • Page numbers belong in the top right corner, next to your last name
  • The heading is placed in the left top corner, and you must write down your full name, name of your study instructor, your educational class and the date of paper revision
  • The essay title should be placed in the center of the page and shouldn’t be different from the following text from a visual standpoint
  • Title page isn’t necessary
  • “Works cited” is the last and the most crucial page of your essay, and it should be formatted like regular pages of the paper

8th Handbook edition massively simplified the citation and also provided students with recommendations instead of a strict code they need to oblige to. Every edition somehow simplifies the process for us, which is a big plus! To cite the source in MLA style, you need to put the author’s name where his surname is mentioned first, then write down a title of the source, city, publishing facility and date, website address (if needed) and a day when you gained the used information. You’re asked to write down the pages using a hyphen to cite the pages in a more efficient manner. Website and book sources are typed using italics, while quotation marks are left for the periodical articles.

What is APA?

APA style or American Psychologist Association style emerged forty-six years later after the MLA format rules. This style’s rules were designed to ease the apprehension of scientific writings and their components. Unlike MLA, APA is focused more on the social and scientific sides of the educational programs and because of that it has distinctive features. There are no citations in this format – there are only references.

Some differences are apparent between the two popular formatting guidelines, but uneducated pupils won’t see much contrast when comparing them. In their defense, the approaches are pretty similar. Both ask us to apply the same spacing and indentations, and also to give used sources their due in the main body of the paper. APA style gets more statistics and tables due to being brought up by business managers and anthropologists, it is mostly used in psychology essays for a consistent form that will enable professors and pupils to understand material better. It’s easier to look over the paper that was written using a legitimate pattern!

List of Formatting Recommendations According to APA

  • Knowing the factual regulations of this guideline type will help you out greatly in studies, as it is very common in colleges and universities.
  • Same margins, font, spacing as in MLA style
  • The paper should consist of four segments: a title page, short and informative abstract, adequate main body, and regulated references
  • The “running head” is what differentiates the APA style, it’s placed on every page of your work, followed by the page number in the top right corner
  • You are asked to type the words “running head” only in the title page, and type it in all capitals
  • The title should be placed above the center and feature your surname plus the name of the facility where the research took place
  • When composing an “Abstract”, center the main word without quotations under the “running head”
  • In your indent-free two hundred and fifty worded abstract you are welcome to explain what exactly you have written about, what measures did you take to make progress in the research, what questions you’re ready to answer at the moment and even present your early thoughts to captivate the reader
  • A tag system is used in this style to help readers find your work faster, for that you are asked to put keywords in Italics after the indent and list the most relevant words in order
  • In the main body, you kick off with an intro under the running head
  • The following sections should be named Method, Results and Discussion, each subtitle centralized and bolded
  • In-text citations don’t include page numbers like MLA style does, they only mention the author’s name and the year of publication
  • References get their designated page and entries are mentioned in the alphabetical order, giving readers the author’s name, year of publishing, sourced material and a possible weblink

What is Chicago Style?

CMOS or Chicago Manual of Style was introduced in 1906 and has two citations systems. This style is laser-focused on precise citations and is mostly regarded as the editor’s Bible. History themed essays are most commonly formatted using the Chicago style, as they are extremely reliant on sources and require the researcher to put any piece of the data under the magnifying glass. This style is also applied to literature and art related essays.

A Notes-Bibliography system allows students not only to cite the sources without much effort but also add their own comments into the mix. The Author-Date system is as basic as one can be, and is used mostly in social sciences. Footnotes and endnotes are vital for both! Every time you insert the information from the source, you must add a new entry to the last page. There are no less than seventeen editions of the manual! That shows us that this is one of the most updated, detailed and respected style guides ever!

List of Formatting Recommendations According to Chicago Style

The general CMOS layout has similar guidelines as MLA and APA styles, also using 12 point size of Times New Roman, double spacing, and one-inch margins. Title page looks somewhat different from the formats we revised earlier! Title of the essay topic is placed a third down the page, then there’s your name in the middle, course number, and also information about the instructor (same distance from the bottom of the page). Your surname and page numeration in the top right corner again, but no numbers on the title page! As Chicago Style is all about the references, we need to learn how to format them correctly!

  • When adding footnotes, you must mention author’s name, title of resource, list of publishing organization, name of the publisher and date when it was last edited
  • When you get a superscript you should revert it to a regular size, with one space between the entries in a situation where you have more than one footnote
  • If you have numerous footnotes from the same source, you are given a green light to shorten up the citation using only the author’s name, the source, and page number or by using “Ibid” abbreviation and noting pages
  • Footnotes can be converted to endnotes, and they start from the author’s first and last name, an italicised name of the material, publication info, and number of the page where the data was found
  • Bibliography section is separated from the rest of the essay and has a hanging indent
  • Book entries of the bibliography are starting with the last name, a comma, and a first name. Unlike in notes, continue with the material name and use periods to break up info items
  • The journal entries of the bibliography are presented in the same fashion, with the name of the source placed in quotation marks
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