Published on January 9, by Shona McCombes. Revised on April 8, The APA manual published by the American Psychological Association is mostly used in social science and education fields. However, citations look slightly different in each style, with different rules for things like title capitalization, author names, and placement of the date.
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The academic world likes things to be uniform, because uniformity means faster communication. The format preferred by the Modern Language Association, MLA, is mainly for subjects in the humanities: history, literature, etc. The format preferred by the American Psychological Association format, APA, is for social science-oriented subjects: psychology, criminology, etc. These are citation styles, i.
There are very often disputes around the two types, and sometimes students have difficulty distinguishing between the two formats. Both styles have existed for a long time. Most students and researchers consider styles straightforward to use, but they are so similar that it is impossible to correctly do the task.