You’ve got a 10-page research paper due at midnight. Which style are you supposed to use? So many choices: MLA, APA, Chicago, Turabian, AMA and even AP.
Here is a quick guide to the writing styles.
Modern Language Association: MLA for short. Good, dependable and plain. Like a pair of Converse and blue jeans, MLA is the staple of your college career. Well actually, MLA is more akin to slippers and sweats if we’re being honest with ourselves.
American Psychological Association: APA. Stepping up your game, this one is a bit more sophisticated. Think Sigmund Freud, then couches, then how you’re slumped in a couch #strugglebussing a term paper; that’s APA. God bless you, we will be praying for you.
Chicago Style: Welcome to the “real world.” This is college after all. We personally haven’t used this style before, but we’ve heard it’s used for some sort of theological writing and something about footnotes. If the Chicago style is anything like Chicago . . . we also wouldn’t know.
Turabian: People keep saying this term to us like we’re supposed to know what’s going on… But we just sit there and nod like we know what’s happening, much like when you’re in your 8 a.m. after staying up all night writing your paper.
American Medical Association: AMA. Imagine doctors, messy handwriting and long technical words like ibuprofen and hyper-caffeinated. This style is complicated, much like a doctor’s medical jargon.
Then there’s the Associated Press: AP style. Hipster. AP is the hipster of the English language. Every person in communications and journalism classes knows the pain and struggle associated with AP style. All the rules learned about grammar, ain’t right no mo’. Italicized book titles? Nope, they go in quotes. Oxford comma? Nope, do not even think about it. Pretty much anything you thought you knew… is mainstream, and you won’t find it with this style.
Style is important: every magazine out there will tell you that. Denim on denim? Do not even think about it. AP style on a College Writing paper? Wrong. MLA on a 400-level psychology class? Ehh, do you enjoy failing?
Choose your style wisely. Well, you don’t really choose the style, your professor does. Take some time to get to know it better. Take your writing style out on a date and get some coffee, maybe buy a pastry with those leftover warrior dollars. Then pray it is in God’s will for you two to write this paper.
You got this. Days, weeks, months of procrastination have led you to this point. Take a breath, get a hot beverage, get comfortable (not too comfortable) and let the words flow. Just remember the words of T-Swizzle: “Never go out of style.”