Distinguishing Bibliography Formatting Requirements for Different Sources

The major styles of writing research papers are MLA, Chicago and APA. These three styles determine the styles of the paper, and the design of the bibliography.

MLA style

In this style, the margins are set at one inch from the end. The page numbers are at the top right and an inch down. The accepted font is 12 pt. times new roman font, with double spaces. The writer should not justify the text. The first lines of the paragraphs are often indented by half an inch. The style also requires blocks f text quoted from someone to be indented by an inch. The reference list is arranged alphabetically. When listing authors, the name should be included. If there are more than three authors, the writer has a choice and can include them all or use et. al. the first letter of every word of the title should be in capital, with complete works in italics and segments of completed works in quotations.

APA style

In the APA style, the font is also times new roman, with one inch margins. The writer should not justify the text and should use double spacing for all the lines. The items on the reference list should be arranged alphabetically, with the last name of the author. For those items in the list with no author, they are filled according to the first significant word in the title. If no author is given, the title should be followed by a date. Sometimes the author may not be provided, but the organization they write for can be used as a corporate author. For websites, if possible the writer should include the date and month of the publication. If it is an online source of a hardcopy document, the formatting should be the same as that of the hardcopy one.

Chicago style

The Chicago style is preferred by many in the field of humanities. It is famous in literature, history and arts. The style is unique, because it provides information about the references and bibliography entrances in notes at the bottom of each page. The source citations are brief in the text, by the last name of the author, and the date of publication. Newspaper and magazine articles citations are within the text cited in a running manner. The biggest attraction of this style is the two pronged approach, with the notes and the normal author-date approach.