A Comparison of MLA and APA
In-text parenthetical citation:
MLA: Parenthetical citation in MLA style must include at least the author's
name. It should also include the page number if a specific page is cited,
and a short title if more than one work by the same author is listed in
the Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
Example 1: "In 'Escaping the
demon,' a story about mental illness, the protagonist's point of view is
portrayed through a mosaic style which the narrator refers to as "looking
at life through broken glass" (Williams 12).
Example 2: "Abrams succinctly outlines
his version of the history of literary criticism prior to the Renaissance
through the metaphor of the mirror "representing reality unblinkingly (98)."
Example 3: "One writer has characterized
the effect of computerization on the human psyche as spiritual saturation
(Gergen, "Social Saturation," 45).
APA: Very similar to MLA. APA in-text citation must include at least the
author's name; also, the year of publication (with letters for multiple
sources published the same year [1989a, 1989b]), and the page number, designated
as p. 123. APA uses more commas to separate blocks of information than
Example 1: Hoffenstreich's first
book (1995) was a masterpiece of threaded narration.
Example 2: Studies by Self and Hilligoss
suggest that "students' revision skills and commitment actually decline
with word processing" (1993b, p. 33).
Example 3: However, a recent biography
of Yeats (Mariani, 1997) revealed that the poet was dysfunctional.
Both MLA and APA include the same basic information:
* = applies to journal articles
Title of book/article
Year of publication
Place of publication
MLA: Author's name. Title. Place of publication:
publisher, year. Notice that the year is the last item, and that it is
not used for parenthetical in-text citation. University presses are abbreviated
UP, as in Oxford UP. Hanging indent. Journal article titles are placed
inside double quotation marks.
Smith, John. Deconstructing Colonialism: the discourse of
the Empire, 1837-1898. Bloomington, IL: Illinois Wesleyan
Rosenberg, Arthur. "Is there a text in
this universe?" Studies in Teaching College Astrology, 12 (1997):
APA: Author's name. Year of publication in parentheses.
Title. Place of publication: publisher. University presses are not abbreviated.
Hanging indent. Remember that works by the same author published in the
same year are designated 1998a, 1998b, and are ordered alphabetically.
Journal article titles are not put in quotation marks. Author's first name
Smith, J. (1998). Deconstructing Colonialism:
the discourse of the Empire, 1837-1898. Bloomington, IL: Illinois Wesleyan
Rosenberg, A. (1997). Is there a text
in this universe? Studies in Teaching College Astrology, 12, 221-242.
See the MLA's
website for correct electronic source citation style. But in general,
here's what should be included:
publication date. This would be either the date the
page was created or last modified, AND the date of access. (So each citation
should have two dates.) If the website is a digitized version of a print
source, the date of the print source can be included as well.
URLs. These should always be included, and should
be demarcated with angle brackets, as in <www.mla.org>. Break long URLs
after a forward slash.
pages. Cite page or paragraph numbers if available.
organization. The organization sponsoring the site, or to which the
individual belongs, should be listed.
versions. Which version or edition of an electronic source is very important
and should be included.
Gray, Paul. "Paradise Found." Time
19 Jan. 1998. 5 Feb. 1998. <http://www.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/1998/dom/980119/cover1.html>.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Ed. Internet Wiretap.
1993. 15 Jan. 1998. <http://www.cs.cmu.edu/People/rgs/sawyr-table.html>
Chadima, Steve. "Re: Businesss as Poker." E-mail to Leonard J. Rosen. 14
Nostroni, Eric. "Collaborative Learning in a Networked Environment." Online
posting. 8 Sept. 1997. Electronic Forum. 9 Nov. 1997. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Richardson, Lea. Online debate. "The Politics of Recycling." 16 Aug. 1997.
EnviroMOO. 16 Aug. 1997. <telnet://enviro.moo.greenearth.org:42557.
"Industrial Revolution." Concise Columbia Encyclopedia. CD-ROM.
Redmond: Microsoft, 1994.
See the APA's
website for electronic source citation style (http://www.apa.org/journals/webref.html).
APA style follows the style for print sources closely. Open with author,
date, and title. Then follow with a denotation of the type of electronic
source, and follow up with the URL or the source location information.
NCTE. (1987). On writing centers. [CD-ROM]. Urbana: ERIC
Clearning House. Silver Platter.
Keegan, J. (1999). Normandy: The invasion conceived, 1941-43. In
Encyclopedia Britannica [Online]. URL http://normandy.eb.com/normandy/week1/buildup.html
Dice, R. (1998, June 15). Web Database Crash course--Lesson 1
[WWW document]. URL http://www.hotwired.com/webmonkey/98/24/index0a. html?tw=frontdoor
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