There are many essay formats used in academic writing. Different disciplines have different ways of formatting that are recommended. Students are always asked to adhere to the formatting guidelines of the style that is recommended for their disciplines. It is always important for students to understand the formatting styles used by a given writing format for their projects to show merit. The commonly used writing formats include APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago or Turabian. The choice of format always depends on the discipline of study be it social studies, history among others.
To begin with, APA which stands for 'American Psychological Association' was designed to be used in psychological papers. However, the format is nowadays used in disciplines such as business, education and social studies among others. This form of writing uses in text citations that is parenthetic. These in text citations refer to the reference list at the end of the paper. The reason as to why this format is used in most scientific disciplines is simply because research dates are important in scientific publications. The dates convey how recent or historical the materials used for the research are. With the APA style, the readers can focus on the content of the paper since there are few unfamiliar with texts. In APA style, the writers work is to show the readers how credible the research is (Hayot, 2014). This is because this type of style explains and gives proper guidelines on addressing clarity and how to avoid biases. APA recommends that a writer uses simple and plain language that is not confusing to the targeted audience. .
Secondly, the other widely used fort is MLA which stands for 'Modern Language Association'. MLA mostly focuses on the Humanities discipline such as the arts, English, and music. It is similar to APA only that it uses the list of works cited. The literature focuses on where the information cited can be found as compared to the year as in the case of APA.