Get the Latest Updates Regardless of which style you are using, it is imperative to get the most recent version of the guidelines to ensure your paper is as accurate as it can be.
Each of the sources have updated their guidelines multiple times over the years, so working with the current standards is goal one.
Typically, you are going to use one style for most of your classes and communications, but there is certainly the possibility that you'll need to know how to use any one of these three common styles.
The good news is it is not hard to get up-to-speed on any one of them and use them properly.
APA and MLA are the most common styles to use, but CMS is not unheard of - just not as common for undergrads.
Properly Citing Sources In A Research Paper So Important
CMS is commonly used in traditional book publishing and academic publishing situations, so if you are doing post-graduate writing, it is good to know.Many of my students might complain about it, but the ones that succeed are the ones who are actively trying to use citing resources to their own argument's advantage." Common MLA Mistakes APA students are not the only ones who have common mistakes in formatting - as evidenced by the following insight offered from Dr.Margaret Walters of Kennesaw State University, where she and her students have used primarily MLA guidelines in their writing, editing and literature classes. Walters has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate level writing courses at Kennesaw State University for over 15 years. Walters said, "The most common problems I see with MLA style occur in the writing, meaning the text itself, not the bibliography or Works Cited...though there are often some problems to address there, too.In the text, the most common problems are: "Students get it right most of the time," Dr. "I think the underlying problem is an unwillingness to use the style sheets, handouts, or even the MLA handbook.If they use the resources offered, most students are not going to struggle to meet the guidelines." Both Dr.Giving others a chance to review and compare your work under these established guidelines enables your instructors to better see the work on its own merits, opposed to getting sidetracked by technical inefficiencies.You MUST follow the rules like every other student: this is not an area where you want to stand out for doing things your own way.For a quick reference, you can also use the handy visual aids created by Capital Community College on MLA and APA styled papers: ( or look at the MLA vs.APA comparison chart created by the University Writing Center at Appalachian State University.Walters and Professor Long advise students to use strong and verifiable resources to make your formatting job easier.Both instructors advise checking out the OWL (Online Writing Lab) Resources offered by Purdue in addition to the links to the sites listed above.