It goes without saying, when it comes to student research or any kind of study or even reports that need information from other sources, there is nothing worse than plagiarizing. There is nothing worse than not having to cite where, who, what and when your information was taken from. As it is not an easy task for the author and their work to be easily taken and used as your own. This is why when doing research, it is always best to cite the sources you took out from. The only problem would be, there are two kinds of formats that can be used, and it is not always as easy to know which one should be used and, using the wrong format may have dire consequences. But not to worry anymore, there is a way to know which of the two formats to use. As we know there are two types and they are APA and MLA. To know which one to use, you should scroll below now.
To start off, we know that in research, study or thesis research, there is always a certain format, pattern or style that needs to be followed. We do know that there are two types of formats and each one has its own unique format to be used for. The APA format which stands for American Psychological Association and the MLA format which stands for Modern Language Association. The difference between these two formats is that APA is mostly used for social sciences, psychology and sometimes if not almost always technological research. As for the MLA format, this is usually for under the branches of Humanities, Literature, Language and and Academic Writing. In addition to that, the MLA format concerns itself more on the grammatical side of writing, as mentioned above this format is mainly used by Humanities and Academic Writing. So its focus is on grammar, punctuation, spelling especially when writing citing your sources.
Just like the APA format, the MLA format has its own fair share of elements. Each one compromising the unique uses that make up the MLA format. Of course there may be some parts of the elements that may be similar to that of the APA format, but not all of the elements of the APA format would be used or would be made for the MLA format. Here are your elements below.
When we mean an inch of margin between text and paper, we mean that it is common to have an inch of margin for the whole paper or the whole page. You must also add another inch of margin before you enter your text. As this format requires the correct margin and the correct spacing. When you plan on writing another paragraph, the same format should be followed. Applying the one inch margin between text and paper throughout your research should be best. It goes to show how elegant and sophisticated your block of texts would turn out.
Unlike the first one, that needed an inch on all four parts of the paper before placing the paragraph, this element states that when you write a different type of paragraph, the indentation between paragraphs must at least be half an inch. As necessary for every single paragraph being written out. Unlike its counterpart the APA, the MLA has a distinct type of indentation and this type of format is very particular with every single margin and indentation. Every single thing must be followed according to how it has been placed.
For the font size of an MLA format, it must not be lower than 12, as this is the standard size for both formats. The font style that is recommended is Times New Roman, but the font style Verdana can be used for special reasons. This reason may be for those with issues for sight. However, if there are no issues whatsoever, the recommended font style should be followed.
Of course do not forget to add the most important part of your research paper, the main body of your study. When adding it, follow the format of the MLA format still. Your paragraphs must follow the guidelines if you choose this style. Remember, everything in the MLA format would basically follow the rules, this includes the punctuation, the grammar and the margin. Everything has to be in order for it to be recognized.
As we know that the location of the page numbers must always be placed below. At the right corner of your paper along with your last name. However, this can be optional, as this usually depends on your professor. But the general majority, the page number should always be placed in the lower right corner of your paper.
Last but not the least, always remember that your citation list is important. This is simply one of the most important parts and without your citation list, your whole research would be flagged down for plagiarism. Your citation list should also follow the MLA format just as the rest of your research should be doing. For the citation list, the format is listing the surnames of your authors followed by their full names and sources in alphabetical order.
We have gone through the basics of MLA format, now it’s time we know how to use this format when we wish to cite or wish to use the quote coming from the information and research that has been done. Here are some good tips to know when you plan out on quoting and citing for your research or for your study.
Citing sources, start by writing down the last name of the author or authors. Followed by their first names and the books or their works that you are using as quotations or writing them as your main source of information. If it so happens that the last names of the authors are the same, you should still follow the alphabetical order of their last names and see to it that their first names are also in alphabetical order.
When adding the links to your sources, avoid abbreviating anything or cutting out what may have been in the IP address. All you simply need to do is just to write what had been placed when you clicked on the link. Taking away any other letter from the link may make your link void. To avoid any of this, let it be. Your link must be placed below the name of the author.
Whether you are citing the author in your sources or within your writing, do not forget to add the year of publication. This is important and necessary for both the research and your sources.
After every author’s name, add a small indentation. This way, it would not be too difficult for other people to seek out the name of the citations you mentioned in your research. It is also part of the format, so do be careful how you write all this down.
Unless it is very needed for your main focus on your research to quote what has been said by the author, having to quote them word for word should be avoided. Even if you cited the source of the quote, it would still look as if you simply copied it down and use the exact words to explain your research. But as much as possible, if you are able to paraphrase your work, you should avoid quoting and paraphrasing what the author says.
The acronym MLA stand for Modern Language Association. This type of format is often used by teachers or academic scholars when doing their work or research.
When using this format, as much as possible avoid having to quote or use word for word what the author may have stated that serves a purpose for your research. Paraphrasing is the better option, but if quoting is the only option you believe can help you with research, do so as long as you still cite the author and the year of the article being published.
MLA format is mainly used by students, academic scholars and those that fall under the branches of education and humanities. The APA format however, the only ones able to use the format fall under social sciences including psychology and technical.
Remember this, when you use formats for research regarding literature or you are told by your professor to do research that falls under the branch of humanities, always ask first if you should use MLA format or APA format. As your professor has more of an idea as to what format to use. However, always remember to use the correct corresponding elements for each format as they differ in style and use.