Which format to use when writing?


Over time, numerous writing styles have emerged with each writing style having different guidelines and requirements. While it appears like all these styles differ in format, it is plausible to note that the author may choose a certain writing style such as APA, MLA or Chicago while in some instances, different universities require different writing styles.


writing style



APA stands for American Psychological Association where authors, who cite a lot of social science, sources use. Originated in 1929, APA establishes a simple set of procedures and rules that extensively help in codifying the components of scientific writings. In essence, these procedures increase the ease of reading. It is evident that APA as a writing style consists of guidelines which the authors observes to ensure consistent and clear presentations of written materials. This concerns the uniform use of elements such as the selection of headings, abbreviations and punctuation, presentations of statistics and numbers and citations of references. In APA, the first page is the tittle page including the affiliation, the name as well as the running head for publication. A notable feature in APA is the in-text citation which bears the name of the author of a source and its date in year. Some essays written in APA may require an overview or abstract. In the same breadth, headings are not required and if they are used, they should be centered.


MLA is the Modern Language Association. It is a writing style mainly used in papers written with humanities and liberal arts sources. In essence, MLA writing guide was found in 1883 by teachers and scholars who sought to promote the study and teaching of language and literature. The style used the basic forms and the text is always double spaced, Unlike APA, MLA does not have a title page and in text citations require the authors surname and the page number of the source.


Chicago uses double spaced texts without blank lines between each paragraph. Originating in 1906, this style incorporates the rules of grammar and punctuation. In other words, it presents two basic documentation systems of author date as well as notes and bibliographies. With regard to this, it is worth to note that the style requires basic font with the writer having the choice of underlying or using italics for emphasis. Instead of in text citation, Chicago uses footnotes. In other words, this style opts to using bibliographic notes. In this case, the professor determines if they would use footnotes or end-notes.


The benefits of using each writing style over the other is based on the discipline, the university and the discretion of the author or professor. In college, the primary aim for using standardized reference format is so that researchers and other academic readers can easily understand the syntax and check the citations easily. With varying expectations in the academic disciplines, it is important that certain writing styles are used over the other depending on the basic information, academic field and emphasis on different elements of a source when referencing to other previous researches.

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