Citation Style

If you’ve ever written a research paper, you know how important proper citation is. But with so many citation styles to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. In this article, we’ll compare APA and MLA citation styles to help you choose the right one for your next paper.

Citation Styles Overview

Citation Style

What are Citation Styles?

Citation styles are sets of rules and guidelines that provide a consistent way of citing sources in academic writing. The purpose is to ensure proper attribution and allow readers to locate sources easily.

  • APA and MLA are widely used in different academic disciplines.
  • APA is common in social sciences (psychology, sociology, education), while MLA is used in humanities (literature, philosophy, history).

Brief View of MLA Citation

In MLA, in-text citations include the author’s last name and page number. The works cited page lists all sources in alphabetical order.


  • One author: (Smith 45)
  • Two authors: (Smith and Johnson 45)
  • Works cited entry for a book:
    Smith, John. _The Art of Writing_. Penguin Books, 2021.

Brief View of APA Citation

In APA, in-text citations include the author’s last name and year. The reference page lists all sources with author’s name, date, title, and publication information.


  • One author: (Smith, 2019)
  • Two authors: (Smith & Johnson, 2019)
  • Reference entry for a book
    Copy codeSmith, J. (2021). _The Art of Writing_. Penguin Books.

Other Citation Formats

Apart from MLA and APA, there are formats like Chicago, Harvard, Vancouver, and IEEE. Each has specific guidelines for citation.

How Do I Choose Which Citation Style is for Me?

Consider the requirements of your instructor and the conventions of your field of study. MLA suits humanities, while APA is common in social sciences. Consult your instructor or librarian if unsure.

Benefits of Citation

Citation is crucial for academic writing, offering benefits like credibility, transparency, and avoiding plagiarism. It allows you to build on existing research, showcase expertise, and avoid legal issues.

Final Words

In this article, we’ve discussed the importance of citation in academic writing and explored two of the most commonly used citation styles: MLA and APA. We’ve also touched on some other citation formats and highlighted the benefits of citing sources in your work.

As mentioned earlier, writers can use Blainy.com to write in APA and MLA formats easier. Blainy.com is an AI writing assistant that can help you create papers in MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, as well as provide you with an awesome AI auto-complete feature to help you overcome writer’s block.

Sign up for Blainy.com today and take advantage of its powerful writing tools to improve your writing skills and save time in your research and writing process.

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