Differences and Common Features of MLA and APA

Differences and Common Features of MLA and APA

Academic writing involves the use of a variety of formats. However, MLA and APA are the most popular styles. They are used in many sciences and have a number of similar and distinctive features.

Science Field

As you know, MLA can be used in almost all humanities, while the application of the APA format has a narrower focus. This style is most often used in the areas that study public life (for example, law, sociology, pedagogy, psychology, etc.).


Citations can be formatted differently in these two styles. For example, if you are creating a document in the APA format, you need to specify the year of publication in brackets next to the author's name. The MLA style, in turn, does not require an indication of the year of publication.

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Writing an abstract is an essential component of creating an essay in the APA format, while the presence of an abstract is not necessary when writing an article using the MLA style.

Page Numbers

Using the APA style, the author is obliged to number all pages of the paper, including the title page. The MLA format does not have such a requirement. You only need to specify your name in the upper right corner of each sheet. In addition, unlike the APA format, you do not need to create a title page in MLA. All information about the author of the work and the time of its creation must be placed above the text of the paper itself.

Tables and Figures

Writers often use tables, charts, graphs, figures, and pictures in their papers. Each style has its own specific rules of such essay formatting elements. For example, the table number and its name need to be written in one line (in the APA style), while the title should be in italics. When creating an essay in the MLA format, you must write the number of the table in one line, and place its name in the next one.

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