If your field of study requires some elements of written assessment or academic papers, then you need to understand the different types of formatting styles that could be potentially used when writing this type of work.
In this article, we will take a look at the most common formatting styles. We will show you which formatting style is best suited to which discipline, and we will give you some examples of how to format your citations and references when using each of the different formatting styles.
We will also explain how you can format your academic papers using some of the online apps available, but also some of the down-sides of using this type of automated approach.
1. American Psychological Association – APA style
If you are studying any of the social sciences – sociology, psychology, medicine, or social work – you need to prepare your academic writing following the official guidelines set out by the American Psychological Association.
This style of writing is generally the format used when writing journal articles or books, as well as setting out the format for citations in the field of social sciences.
You will find a detailed outline of all the requirements of the APA style in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association – this is the published version of the style guide that documents APA style. The underlying principle of this style of writing is to aid reading comprehension, for clarity of communication, and to assist word choice that reduces any bias in language.
The history of the APA style can be traced back to 1923. Since then, the style guide has been regularly updated and republished to reflect the changing requirements of the academic language.
One of the key features of the APA style is that it requires you to list ‘references’. The format of the references when you are using the APA style of writing is quite specific. For example, there are specific requirements in terms of the spacing of your margins – not just the top and bottom margins, but also the side margins of your paper – all of these should be set at one inch. Throughout your paper, you should set the line spacing as double-spaced. The size of your text should be at least 10-point, and you should use a standard font – Arial or Times New Roman are recommended. When it comes to pagination, use continuous pagination – that includes the references section as well as the title page. Page numbers should also be included, and these should be placed flush to the right of your page, within the header section. Throughout your paper it’s important to use headings – for sections and sub-sections – these should be formatted so that they are clearly differentiated from your body text.
2. Modern Language Association – MLA
This style of formatting is most commonly used in the study of Humanities – art, English, theatre, history, geography, and philosophy.
The MLA Style Manual has been created by the Modern Language Association of America. It was first published in 1985, although the history of this style of writing can be traced back to papers first published in 1951. In particular, the MLA style of writing is designed for secondary and post-secondary students and their teachers.
One of the key features of the MLA style of formatting is that instead of listing ‘references’ you should list ‘works cited.’
Academics familiar with the MLA style of formatting have written that some of the errors that they encounter most frequently from students include, failure to order references alphabetically when required, confusing different styles of writing – such as MLA and APA and blending the two styles of academic writing, forgetting to include the place of publication in the citation, and incorrectly applying the formatting rules to aspects such as underlining, italicising, and use of quotation marks.
3. Chicago Manual of Style – CMS
The formatting required according to the guidelines set out in the Chicago Manual of Style is primarily used in the study of the humanities – art, English, theatre, history, geography, and philosophy. It’s particularly popular in for those students studying literature but is also seen in some history courses and general arts courses.
This style guide was first published in 1906, by the University of Chicago Press. Today, it is one of the most widely used style guides in the United States.
The CMS style of formatting is also used in traditional book publishing and academic publishing, so if you are doing post-graduate writing, this is a style of formatting that you need to be familiar with.
One of the advantages of the Chicago style is that it offers writers a choice of several different formats, and even allows the mixing of different formats. The overall aim of the Chicago style of writing is that the end result is clear and consistent.
Turabian is another style of formatting that can be found in use across all subjects and disciplines.
Turabian is the commonly used term for a publication titled A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations – a style guide for academic writing that was first published by the University of Chicago Press. The name of this style is drawn from the name of the original author – Kate L. Turabian. It was first published in 1937.
There are a lot of similarities between the Turabian style and the Chicago Manual of Style. The main difference is that the Chicago Manual of Style is designed for work that is going to be published, whereas the Turabian style is more focused on academic and research writing for assessment purposes.
Online Apps for Formatting Assistance
Formatting is the kind of skill that you may think should be able to be addressed through a technological solution. There are indeed a number of apps available, all with different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to formatting for academic writing. Some of the most popular apps that are available for use by students include: AccelaStudy, Dragon Dictation, Trello, and Freedom
While this type of online app can seem like a simple way to ensure that your formatting complies to the assessment requirements of your college or university, these apps aren’t sophisticated enough to capture all the subtle nuances of the formatting requirements for academic papers. If you need assistance with your formatting, you are best advised to see, the support of editing services provided by qualified specialists such as CheapEssay.net who can ensure that your work is delivered at the standard required.
It is important to remember that when you are writing academic papers for the assessment component of your studies, how you present your ideas and information is just as important as the conclusions and data that you are presenting. Learning how to analyze and present in an objective and professional tone is an invaluable skill for whichever career direction that your studies may take you.