Answered By: Elaine M. Patton
Last Updated: Sep 10, 2015     Views: 2

The style guide published by the American Psychological Association is referred to as APA style. You're likely to told to use it for papers written for psychology and sociology classes.

There are two major distinctions from the likely more familiar MLA style:

  • APA papers consist of 4 parts: title page, abstract page, the paper itself, and the references page(s).
  • In-text/parenthetical citations also include the year, e.g. (Smith, 2009, p. 15) compared to MLA's (Smith 15).

References also differ from MLA style in a number of ways in terms of formatting and what information is provided. You can refer to our APA Reference Guide to see how citations should be written, and the How to Format... document will show you a bird's eye view of an APA paper with instructions on how to get the formatting correct.