Essay Writing: Chicago Style vs. MLA style

Regardless of your major, chances are you will be required to write numerous essays throughout your college career. While in high school a bibliography page was all you needed to verify sources, most college professors expect you to do far more, most in the efforts to prevent plagiarism. Your professor will most likely tell you what format he or she prefers for essay submission, but the majority will either select MLA or Chicago-style formats. So that you are prepared when the time comes, look below for some differences between the two styles.

Chicago Style. Most history and humanity professors require this style. The very first page is the title page. The student’s title is placed directly in the center of the page; the student’s name, subject, name of professor and date of submission go directly underneath the title. The page numbers are placed in the upper right hand corner of each page, but a page number is not included on the title page. Citations come in the form of footnotes. These footnotes, or sometimes referred to as endnotes, are located at the bottom of each page and make a brief reference to sources. Full references are placed in alphabetical order on a separate page.

MLA Style.Most English and literature professors require their students to use the MLA style. Whereas the Chicago style requires a title page, the MLA style does not. Instead, the name of the student, the subject, the name of the professor, and the date of submission are placed on the far top left hand side of the first page. The title of the paper is centered and placed directly underneath the date of submission. Page numbers are also placed on the upper right hand corner of all the pages, but the student’s last name is also next to the page numbers. Inside, citations do not come in the form of footnotes. Rather the source’s last name and the page number from where the information was obtained from is placed in parenthesis. For example, an inside citation may look like this: (Richardson, 12). A separate citation page will give more detailed information, including the author’s first name, title of publication, page numbers and publisher information.

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