Choosing The Right Dissertation Format: MLA Vs APA

There is no real wrong or right dissertation format to write your papers in but if your professor requests one or the other you need to do what he asks. Between these two formats there are some differences as well as similarities:

Differences

MLA Format:

  • This format is mostly used for the Humanities such as Theatre, Art, English and Literature
  • The sources at the end of your paper are called “works cited”.
  • The works cited use the last name, first name
  • In the cited works, this format wants the page number listed at the end.
  • Quotes that are longer than 4 lines should be Blocked and indented 2 tabs over

APA Format:

  • This format is usually used for the social sciences such as Sociology, Social Work, and Psychology
  • The sources at the end of your paper are called “references”.
  • The works cited use the last name, first initial.
  • In the cited works, this format wants the year to be placed that the material was published
  • Quotes that are more than 40 words are indented only one tab (5 spaces)

Similarities:

  • Both of the papers use double spacing in all parts of the paper including the works cited or reference page.
  • There is a hanging indent in the citation.
  • Use any legible font such as New Times Roman
  • Font size is 12 pt.
  • Use only one space after each period of every sentence.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph by ½ inch
  • If you are using long works of quotations, use italics
  • If you use any information at all from other sources, it must be listed in the works cited or reference page.
  • If you use any information at all that is not your own words, it needs to be cited.
  • If you are doing any kind of citation within the body of the article, you need to use parenthesis around the citations.
  • In both the works cited and the references pages, the citations need to be listed alphabetically.
  • Quotes are used with transitions and are done smoothly.

Both of these citation formats can be used to create your dissertations. Your professor may request you use a different type than suggested here and you should always use what he requests. Make sure you check the resources for the proper format for the title pages as well.

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