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Research paper formatting guide for students

Format of a research paper for any of your college disciplines can be both MLA or APA. When a professor assigns you to submit a paper in any of those two styles, this means you are to draw up and present the pages of your work according to the specific format rules. This page is created to give you guidelines on research paper format examples and present two different ways of formatting - MLA and APA, distinguish their peculiarities, so that you could format your page correctly as necessary. Keep in mind that beside the guidelines stated here, your professor could provide you with some of the specific and additional instructions to be followed.

Research paper formatting - what differs MLA style from APA?

To outline format for research paper one should know general differences between MLA and APA styles. We've made up the following list to help you get through and illustrated both formats with examples. The differences are as follows:

  1. Date.

    Unlike APA, the date in research paper MLA format should be put like that:

    APA format: Put the date after the author in the citation within parentheses.

    MLA format: Put the date after the publisher in the citation without parentheses.

  2. Author's Name.

    Author's name in APA format for research paper is to be put differently either:

    APA format: Spell out the last name of the author and reduce the first name to his/her initials.

    MLA format: Spell out both the first and the last name of the author.

  3. Capitalization.

    Research paper format MLA uses some distinguishing rules to capitalize the words:

    APA format: You can capitalize only the first word of the title and a subtitle along with proper nouns, for example, names. Besides, you should write the title in italics.

    MLA format: Capitalize all the major words only and underline the title.

  4. Source Page.

    APA research paper format is also distinguished by the source page name:

    APA format: Name the source page as "References".

    MLA format: Name the source page as "Works Cited".

  5. In-Text Citations.

    By the way, pay attention to citations outlining:

    APA format: Include the author's last name and put the date.

    MLA format: Include the author's last name and the number of the page.

Take into account the following:

MLA research paper format should not include any commas in order to separate the material or reduction like p. pp. before the numbers of page.

Research paper in APA format should include commas and reduction like p. or pp when a page is mentioned.

Compare the examples of two styles below:

MLA: (Dixon 101)

APA: (Dixon, 1998, p. 7)

MLA: Jessup, Eddie. My Life as a fictional Professor. Toronto, Canada: Toronto University Press. 1999.

APA: Jessup, E. (1999). My activity as an English professor. Toronto, Canada: Toronto University Press.

That's it!

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