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APA 7 vs MLA 8 - A Detailed Analogy of Two Referencing Styles

APA 7 Vs MLA 8 - Two Referencing Styles

It has often been observed that students have queries on ‘APA vs MLA’. Moreover, they also wonder, “Why is referencing required?” Well, referencing is essential to prove that your academic paper is legitimate. When you cite sources, it means that you have borrowed someone else’s work to validate your arguments.

Related: How To Write An Academic Essay - Student’s Guide

In this blog, we will take a detailed look at APA vs MLA, so that you are able to differentiate between the two most widely used referencing styles in the world.

Where are APA and MLA Used?

Are you wondering, “What is the APA and MLA writing style after all?” then the facts mentioned below would be quite informative for you.

  • APA, short for American Psychological Association, is an author-date style of referencing, used for formatting essays and other types of writing.
  • MLA, short for Modern Language Association, is another standard format for essays and research papers. In general, MLA is an author-page method of citation.

The next thing you may ask is that "When to use the APA vs MLA style?” or “In which academic papers are APA and MLA applicable?” If you must know,

  • APA citation is used in disciplines like Nursing, Criminology, Sociology, Business and other domains associated with Social Science. It is predominantly used in countries Down Under and in the USA.
  • MLA citation is used in subjects like Philosophy, Arts, Language, Politics, Law, History and other branches of Humanities. It is used worldwide, especially in the USA.

Now that you know about the basics of APA vs MLA, let us explore further.

How to Differentiate Between APA and MLA Citation Styles?

If you abide by the APA or MLA guidelines, there are notable differences in how you format the entire academic assignment paper. Take a look at the following table:


MLA Citation

APA Citation

Bibliography Name

The referencing page is known as ‘Works Cited’

The referencing page is known as ‘Reference List/References’

Order of Citation

Alphabetical order is maintained for authors and works

Alphabetical order is maintained for authors, while Chronological order is maintained for works


· Student's Last Name is right-aligned

· Page Number is right-aligned

· Title is left-aligned

· Page Number is right-aligned

First Page

If you are following MLA citation style, there is no Title Page. You just have to specify the following aspects in the upper left corner

Ø First and Last Name

Ø Professor

Ø Class

Ø Date

Ø Title

Ø Text

If you are following APA citation style, then the first page is the Title Page. Here you must specify:

Ø Title

Ø Name

Ø Academic Institution

Table 1: APA vs MLA in Research Paper and Assignment Formatting

Thus, you will be able to differentiate between the APA and MLA writing styles by taking a look at the above mentioned aspects in the academic papers. In the following section, we will take a look at the APA vs MLA format differences along with relevant examples.

Related: How To Write My Essay: 8 Foolproof Tips To Capture Readers Attention

APA 7 vs MLA 8 Citation Formats and Examples

Most students are unable to cite their sources as they are unaware of the formats. In this section, we will study the APA vs MLA citation styles (as per APA 7 and MLA 8 norms) in details by taking a look at a few of the sources. The APA vs MLA bibliography examples are also mentioned along with format so that you can cite your sources properly the next time you write an academic paper.

1. E-Book


Format: Last name of the author, First Initial. Middle Initial (Year published) Title of the book Publisher. DOI or URL

Example: Gibson, A. L., Wagner, D., & Heyward, V. (2018). Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription, 8E. Human kinetics.,+Ann+L.,+Dale+Wagner,+and+Vivian+Heyward.+Advanced+Fitness+Assessment+and+Exercise+Prescription,+8E.+Human+kinetics,+2018.&ots=7h8Bd_RkI0&sig=6pKmcW9UvJl2xfPGYkUdHBZuZ_E&redir_esc=y


Format: Author's last name, first name.“Title of the chapter or section.” Title of the e-book Translated by or edited by First name Last name, (if available) vol. number, Publisher, Year of publication, page number, Title of Website URL

Example: Gibson, Ann L., Dale Wagner, and Vivian Heyward. Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription, 8E. Human Kinetics, 2018, 56-61 Google Books,+Ann+L.,+Dale+Wagner,+and+Vivian+Heyward.+Advanced+Fitness+Assessment+and+Exercise+Prescription,+8E.+Human+kinetics,+2018.&ots=7h8Bd_RkI0&sig=6pKmcW9UvJl2xfPGYkUdHBZuZ_E&redir_esc=y

2. Journal


Format: Last name of the author, first initial of the author, author’s middle initial (date of publish). Title of the article. Name of the journal Volume (Issue), page number (s). http:// (URL)

Example: van der Hoek, L., Pyrc, K., Jebbink, M. F., Vermeulen-Oost, W., Berkhout, R. J., Wolthers, K. C., ... & Berkhout, B. (2004). Identification of a new human coronavirus. Nature medicine10(4), 368-373.


Format: Surname of the author, first name of the author "Title of article"Title of journal Version (if applicable) Volume or issue number. Publication date, page numbers URL

Example: van der Hoek, Lia, et al. "Identification of a new human coronavirus." Nature medicine 10.4 (2004): 368-373.

3. Website


Format: Surname of the author, first initial of the author (Publishing Date) Title of article URL

Example: Walcott, T. (2018, August 29), “The Change in Pressure System Around the World” https://www.


Format: Surname of the author, First name of the author "Title of Article ”Title of the website,Name of the Publisher, Date of publication, URL

Example: Walcott, Tricia. “The Change in Pressure System Around the World” ScienceEverywhereT, SHM Media, 29 Aug. 2018,

4. Blog Post


Format: Author’s last name, first initial of the author. (Date posted) Title of the blog post, Title of the Blog, URL

Example: Hernandez, A. (2019, February 14)Fake News Circulation and its Prevention, Media4U.


Format: Surname of the author, first name of the author. "Title of Post"Blog Name, Publisher (if it is different from the name of the blog), Date of publish, URL (omit //)

Example: Hernandez, Anthony “Fake News Circulation and its Prevention” Media4U 14 Feb. 2019

5. Video/ Film


Format: Author, A. A. (initials) [Screen Name] (Date of Publish)Title of Video [Video File] Retrieved from:

Example: SpaceJouneyNow 2018 March 28 Quasars, Neutron Stars, Supernova [stages of stars] Retrieved from:


Format: Creator’s last name, first name. “Title of the film or video.” Title of the website,role played by the contributors and their first name and last name, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Date of Publication, URL.

Example: SpaceJouneyNow. “Quasars, Neutron Stars, Supernova” Youtube, commentary Jonathan Webb, 28 Mar. 2018,

6. Newspapers


Format: Surname of the author, First Initial of the author. Second Initial. (Date of Publish). Article title: Subtitle. Newspaper Title, page range. URL [if viewed online]

Example: Henson, T. (2018, December 4) “Fishermen Asked to Clear Coast: Cyclone Approaching in44 Hours” Lyten Press


Format: Surname of the author, first name of author, "Title of the article" Title of the Newspaper,First name Last name of any contributors (if available) Version and Numbers (if applicable) Publication date, Location (Page numbers, if available) Title of the database URL

Example: Henson, Thomas “Fishermen Asked to Clear Coast: Cyclone Approaching in44 Hours” Lyten Press 4 Dec. 2018, Newspaper

Hopefully, you have an idea on APA vs MLA citation formats. Moreover, you have an insight on how you should cite different sources as per the APA or MLA guidelines. Now, it will be easier on your part to write the academic papers such as essays, reports, case studies and research papers following the standard norms of APA or MLA.

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