What’s the Difference Between the Styles: Chicago and MLA

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Mixx] [Reddit] [Twitter] [Email]

Posted on January 4th, 2011

No matter if you are enrolled in a traditional or online class, you will most likely be required to write at least one or two essays in order to complete your program. And while you may be accustomed to simply writing a bibliography page to cite your sources, because of the increased cases of plagiarism some college professors are now expecting you to do much more to prove that your words are actually "your words." This may include adding inside citation, footnotes or even attaching photocopies of your evidence to the back of your essay. How you cite your sources however will deal mostly with whether you a required to write an MLA or Chicago-style essay. Generally your professor will let you know which style he or she prefers, but just so that you know what each style consists of, continue reading below.

If you are enrolled in a history or humanities course, you will most likely be required to write your essay in Chicago style. When formulating a Chicago style essay it is required that you have a separate title page. Your title of the essay will be placed directly in the middle of your page, typically in a font no larger than 20. Your name, course title, the name of your professor and the date will be placed near the bottom of the page in that particular order. You will then be required to number all of the pages.Take note that although the title page is technically the first page, do not include a "1" at the upper right hand corner. Instead, just place a "2" on the upper right hand corner of the second page. If you are working in Word, typically all you have to do is change the settings on the header and footer options and it will resolve this issue for you. Speaking of footnotes, Chicago style requires them for citation purposes. Footnotes, or sometimes called endnotes, are numbers that are placed next to your evidentiary support within the text. Those numbers are designed to direct readers to a brief reference of the source that is located at the bottom of the same page with the coinciding number. A more detailed explanation of the source should be added in numerical order on a separate page that can be located at the end of the essay.

English and literature professors on the other hand typically require their students to compose essays using the MLA style. You do not need a title page when writing an essay in MLA. Instead, the student's name, course title, name of the professor and date are entered in the upper right hand corner of the first page. The tile of the essay is generally added a few spaces underneath the date. Page numbers are also attached at the upper right hand corner of each page, but the students last name is generally attached. For example, it should look like the following: (lastname 1) or (lastname 2) etc. When it comes to citation, you can either say "according to Matthews (insert rest of sentence) then add the page number from the book where the info was retrieved in parenthesis, or just state the info and then in parenthesis put the author and page number that the info was retrieved from. It should look like this: (Matthews, 25). A separate citation page in alphabetical order is also attached to the end.

Leave a Reply