Mon. Oct 18th, 2021
5 Most Popular Writing Format

5 Most Popular Writing Format

When looking at the different types of writing formats, it is important to remember that a format is different from a style. There are 4 writing styles: expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative. A writing format is not the pronoun voice that is being used either. It is the citation style that is being used within the structure of the writing.


What is a citation? It’s a way of giving credit to people who have offered their own creative or intellectual work for a writer to make their key points. Not only does this prove that a writer has done their research, but it also helps to eliminate a common form of plagiarism that is in today’s writing efforts.

5 Most Popular Writing Format

5 Most Popular Writing Format
5 Most Popular Writing Format


There are 5 major writing formats to be considered.


  1. APA

Initially created in 1929, the APA style was created by the American Psychological Association. It offers three kinds of information to be included in the text body of the composition. The last name of the author, the date of publication, and if necessary, the page where the information was found are all placed within parenthesis after the information which was sourced from it.


This means a citation would look like this: (Smith, 2016, p. 22). Any direct quote from the text being sourced must be given a citation. If the information offered was taken from the source, but not directly quoted, then the citation typically appears after the information offered.


  1. MLA

This writing format is often used when referencing language or literature but is also useful outside of the humanities subjects as well. This format features parenthetical citations as well, but they are often quite brief. In some forms, MLA may allow a writer to only cite the last name of the author, although a work cited page would be required for the direct source. The page where the information is found may also be included in the citation.


This means a citation would look like this: (Smith) or (Smith 22). There is one exception to this rule and that would be if the source is quoted in a different publication. Let’s say Smith was quoted in another book by Jones. The citation would look like this: (qt in Jones 22).


  1. Chicago

This format was originally published by the Chicago University Press in 1906. Its goal is to use rules of punctuation and grammar that are common in US English. You can choose citations that are either notes and bibliography or author and date. In the first style, a footnote that corresponds to the actual reference would be used. In the second style, an in-text citation would be required that is similar to other formats.


The citation would look like this: (Smith 2015, 22). Otherwise, the number of the source in the bibliography list would be noted next to the text, much like you see on a Wikipedia page, but without a hyperlink to the bottom of the page.


  1. Turabian

This writing format was created by Kate L. Turabian and is designed more for students who are writing research papers, dissertations, and theses. It’s often included in the Chicago format because they are identical. Turabian made a few slight modifications to the format so that notes can be used instead of a parenthetical citation that modifies the flow of the text. The author-date citation is also allowed under this format.


It’s the actual bibliography formats that are focused upon in this style. From Twitter posts to blog entries to chapters in books, everything is covered. A complete citation guide is available online for further reference.


  1. IEEE

This writing format also uses the Chicago style as its foundation. The in-text references are also similar to what is found in the Chicago style. What is different is how the citation references are formatted in the bibliography. Certain abbreviations are allowed in this format that is not typically allowed in others, especially when using conference technical articles as source materials. National can be abbreviated to “Nat,” annuals to “Annu,” and proceedings to “proc” under this format. It also permits writers to use 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so forth instead of spelling out the word [i.e. “first”] when necessary.

Subhangee Guha

Break the Newz.

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