When to Use Certain Editing Styles

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Familiarizing yourself with certain editing styles can help you know when they are appropriate to use. Editing styles refer to the unique ways papers are formatted. You’ve definitely used some of the more common styles in school and other areas of life. Here are some of the most popular editing and styles; this is where and when they should be used.

MLA: The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing

MLA formatting is typically used in English Literature and academic related work. This editing style is prominent in high school classes such as English, University courses, and literature related career paths. This manual has been around since 1985, and is now one of the most used editing styles in writing. It consists of your name, teachers name, class, and date on the top left corner. MLA papers must be double spaced and written in a higher formality, excluding all conjunctions and slang words (unless derived from a quote or intended for a meaningful purpose). Quoting is a huge part of the MLA editing style. There are a multitude of rules and guidelines to follow when quoting. For example, major novel and or book titles must be italicized, and smaller works within a piece are placed in quotations. Currently, there are 9 editions of MLA. “If you are a student, I recommend practicing your MLA formatting. This is the most common editing style used throughout your academic career, recommends Ariel Blanchard.

APA: The Publication Manual of the American Psychology Association

APA formatting is used for psychology papers. This manual was developed in order to create consistently within papers and research in the psychology field. The American Psychology Association founded APA style back in 1929. This editing style is favored most in the behavioral and social subsets within psychology research. Unlike some of the other popular editing styles, APA is certainly more simplified and straight to the point. It is also used in some business work for convenience and a clean, professional layout. Though this format isn’t used for a vast majority of papers, it’s still important to familiarize yourself with it anyway. If you are going into the psychology field, practice APA all throughout post secondary. APA is a wonderful editing style and isn’t limited to certain situations.

Chicago Style: Chicago Manual of Style

Chicago Style or CMS for short is popular amongst the arts, literature and history niches. This editing style is primarily used during the publication of books. This guide has been around for over a century since it was released in 1906. Knowing how to use Chicago Style is crucial for several reasons. The first reason is if you are interested in writing your own books in the future. Through reading books, you can identify elements of Chicago Style, and mimic the format if you choose to create your own work. If you are wanting to be an editor or publisher, even if it’s a side gig, being well versed with Chicago style is an asset. This style is a powerforce amongst the other editing styles used today. It covers a plethora of editing techniques such as citation, grammar, diction, and overall format.

AP: Associated Press

AP or Associated Press is an editing style that often confuses editing style amateurs. This is due to the style having a similar name to AP formatting (used in AP class responses) and APA for Media Law (AP Stylebook). This style is used in an abundance of career fields. The journaling, marketing, broadcasting, business, and other media based industries use the AP editing style. The Associated Press wasn’t officially published until 1953 despite it being used years prior. This style is not too complex due to the nature it’s used for. AP was created to save up space in the media industry on physical paper and now online.

These are the four most popular editing styles used in the modern era. Learning about them will guide you in your future writing experiences.