Style Guides Overview (MLA, APA, and Chicago)


Do you wonder what exactly MLA, APA, and Chicago styles are? They are all different styles of essay formatting and ways to cite sources. Formatting refers to how your paper will look, and citing refers to giving credit to your sources.



MLA

MLA Style Guide on Purdue OWL


What does MLA stand for?

  • Modern Language Association

What kind of classes use MLA?

  • It varies, but most humanities classes (English, History, Political Science) use MLA, but always check with your Professor.

What are the features of MLA?

  • In-Text Citations

  • Parenthetical ( ) In-text citations are cited with the author’s last name. Example: (Vang).

  • If there’s a page number, cite the number too. Example: (Vang 33)

  • Formatting

i. One-inch margins all around.

ii. Double-spaced

iii. On the top left corner, in this order: Your name, your Professor’s Name, Class, and Date

Example:

Johnny Suh

Professor Lee English 1A 3 February 2021

iv. In the top right header, in this order: Your first and last name and page number. Example: Johnny Suh 1

v. Times New Roman Font, in 12-point size

vi. The end of your paper will have a Works Cited page

Additional MLA Resources



 

APA

APA Style Guide on Purdue OWL


What does MLA stand for?

  • American Psychiatric Association

What classes use APA?

  • It varies, but most sciences, (Biology, Psychology, Sociology, etc) use APA, but always check with your Professor.

What are the features of APA?

  • In-Tex Citations

  • Parenthetical ( ) In-text citations are cited with the author’s last name and year, such as (Vang 2014).

  • If you have previously mentioned the author in the sentence, you can just cite the year (2014).

  • If you’re quoting a source with page number, cite the page number too. Example: (Vang, 2014, pg. 25)


b. Formatting

i. One-inch margins all around.

ii. Double-spaced

iii. Running head: your title on every page of the paper

iv. Depending on your professor’s requirements, APA formatting includes a title page. 1. In this order: Title, your name, college name, course, Professor’s name, date.

Example: The Benefits of Beginning A Post-Secondary Education at Community College



Johnny Suh Reedley College


English 1A


Professor Lee


February 3, 2021

v. Please make sure to double check with your professor when it comes to cover pages and its contents. Sometimes, professors don’t require a cover page and may want you to just add this information to the first page of your essay. They may also want you to add their name. ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PROFESSOR, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

vi. Typical APA requires headers for each body paragraph. These headers would be centered before the beginning of each body paragraph. However, always check with your professor to see if this is a requirement!

Example. The Structure of DNA

The structure of DNA is called a “double helix”…

vii. Times New Roman Font, in 12-point size viii. At the end of your paper, you will have a References page.


Additional APA Style Resources




 

Chicago

Chicago Style Guide on Purdue OWL


What classes use Chicago?

  • Usually, classes related to humanities use Chicago such as Art and History.

What are the features of Chicago?

  • In-Text Citations with footnotes

i. Chicago style uses footnoting. This will look like, “In Demian by Herman Hesse, the author discusses the struggles of growing up and discovering oneself.[1]” On Microsoft Word, this footnote can be added by) clicking on the References tab at the top, and clicking “Insert Footnote.” This will add the number to the end of the sentence and to the bottom of the page. The citation at the bottom of the page

ii. The footer at the bottom will be formatted similarly to a Works Cited page, but it’s not exactly the same. For example, “Herman Hesse, Demian, (New York, Neeland Media, 2013), 30)


b. Formatting

i. One-inch margins all around.

ii. Double-spaced

iii. Depending on your professor’s requirements, Chicago formatting uses a cover/title page.

1. In this order: Title, your name, class name, and date. Example: The Benefits of Beginning A Post-Secondary Education At Community College

Johnny Suh English 1A February 3, 2021

iv. Please make sure to double check with your professor when it comes to cover pages and its contents. Sometimes, professors don’t require a cover page and may want you to just add this information to the first page of your essay. They may also want you to add their name. ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PROFESSOR, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

v. Times New Roman Font, in 12-point size

vi. New paragraphs are indented.

vii. Add the end of the paper, you’ll add a References page.


Additional Chicago Style Resources




This article was originally published on January 17, 2018 and revised Feb 2021.










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