If you don’t have the faintest idea about what APA, MLA and Chicago mean in writing a term paper, do not worry for you are not alone. Most students never encounter such terms until they are asked to do a research paper or thesis that should follow one of the formats mentioned previously. Each format varies in some aspect of writing the paper from large to small details that include margins, font size and even page numbers.
If you are required to follow one type of formatting for your paper then secure a copy of the guidelines for your specified format. It is important to know the specific details that each format requires because a wrong format can mean low marks for your term paper.
Here is an overview of the different format and what makes them different from one another:
The APA guidelines require that margins should be set at 1” for all sides (top, bottom, left and right), font used should be limited to Times New Roman or Courier and Arial for tables and also specifies double spaced lines all throughout. In the APA format the title page is always the first page. It also specifies that top headings should be centered on the page and should never be in all caps, plus each major section should appear in a new page and the tables and figure should appear in the back part of the paper.
This format differs only from APA in some details. The title page is not required in MLA and it requires that tables and figures should appear close to the text that it is related to. The guidelines in fonts, margins, page numbers and spacing are the same as that of the APA format.
The Chicago style also requires the title page is designated as the first page. A page number should also appear on the right hand corner of every page starting with the first one. Double spacing is required and margins are also set at 1” for all corners. This style only accepts Times New Roman size 12 as the font.
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