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How to Tell the Difference Between AMA, APA, Chicago & MLA Format

This is a breakdown of the differences between 4 citation styles used at Trine that is meant to be used for quick reference. For more detailed information, consult one of the official resources listed below. Always be sure to follow your professors’ instructions.

AMA

APA

Chicago

MLA

Which subjects generally use this format? Health Sciences Psychology, Sociology, Education Technical Writing, Engineering, History, Government Literature, English Composition
Where can I find citation and style guidelines? The AMA Manual of Style (10th edition) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition) The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition)
What should my margins be? 1 inch 1 inch 1 inch 1 inch
Where do I put my title? Title page, centered toward the top of the page Title page, centered toward the middle of the page AND top of the first full page of the paper Title page, centered toward the top of the page Centered on the line after the heading on the first page
Where do I put my identifying information? Names, Affiliations and E-mail addresses centered on title page toward the middle or bottom Name, affiliation and contact info on title page, centered toward the bottom of the page Name on the title pageCourse name, instructor, and date submitted at the bottom of the title page Heading with Name, Professor’s name, Class and date in month day year format (academic papers)
Do I need an abstract? Abstract on title pageKeywords on title page Abstract No abstract No abstract
What goes in the header and footer? No header/footer guidelines; refer to publisher or professor’s guidelines Paper title (up to 50 characters) in all capital letters to the left; page number to the right(Different for title page) Page number in the header on the right Last name and page number in the header on the right
What should the section headings in my paper look like? No specific rules for headings Specific rules for first 5 levels of headings (See APA Style Guide) No specific rules for headings No specific rules for headings
Where do my tables, graphs and images go? Tables and figures integrated into the body of the paper. Tables and figures integrated or in appendix. Tables and figures integrated into the body of the paper. Tables and figures integrated into the body of the paper.

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