What is the difference between MLA, APA, Chicago and other citation styles?

MLA, APA and Chicago are three of the most commonly used citation styles at TCC.

Most academic disciplines and professional technical programs have one preferred citation style. All styles attempt to accomplish the same thing:

  • Providing the writer (you!) with specific instructions for the physical layout of a paper

  • Providing rules for how to convey information about properly including ideas that are not the writer's (your) own, called "citing"

...but each handles the details a little differently. 

The Library‚Äôs citation page has handouts on APA and MLA styles that are focused on TCC resources.



APA Information

"APA style" is the citation style guide used in health and social sciences.




MLA Information

  • MLA style refers to both the physical appearance of your paper (type size, margins, running headers, etc.) and to the way you cite your sources, both in text and in your bibliography
  • Ensures consistency
  • Includes elements such as:
    • selection of headings, tone, and length;
    • punctuation and abbreviations;
    • presentation of numbers and statistics;
    • construction of tables and figures,
    • citation of sources both in-text and in a Works Cited page;
    • and many other elements that are a part of a manuscript.
  • You will collect the same information you would for an APA style bibliography (author, title, title of journal, date, etc.), but arrange it in a slightly different manner.
  • Remember than many of the Library's databases will provide an MLA citation that you can cut and paste.


Chicago Information

"Chicago style" originated at the University of Chicago Press and is used today by many historical journals and some social science journals.

"Turabian style" is closely related to the Chicago style, but it has some differences geared towards student publications.

Many people refer to the two citation styles collectively as "Chicago/Turabian style."


Who can help me with this? 

Reference Librarians (Library, Bldg 7)  253.566.5134

Tutors in the Writing & Tutoring Center (Bldg 7, 2nd floor) 253. 566.6032


Article ID: 35775
Wed 8/23/17 4:56 PM
Thu 4/22/21 10:09 AM