APA vs. Chicago Citation Style, Which One To Choose?

Did you know that more than 85% of people can write? However; not all of them are familiar with the art of writing. Being able to learn to compose, form sentences, convey the message, support your points, and use the appropriate diction are a few of the elements that add quality to any content. Moreover; when it comes to academic writing or research paper writing then the rules become even stricter. From learning how many references for a dissertation needs to getting to know the difference between mla vs apa vs chicago; there are many things that have to be considered while writing academic projects.

Citation addition is one of the most important elements of academic writing in which the reference to the original source is given. The reference is obviously added that is relevant to the content. Giving credit to others for their creative and intellectual works that you used to support your research can be done through citations. In addition to that; it can be used to track down specific sources for which different writing styles apa mla, etc are used. Typically, a citation can include the;

  • Author’s name
  • Date
  • Location of the publishing company.
  • Journal title or DOI (Digital Object Identifier).

No matter; whether it is apa style vs chicago or any other referencing style, the importance of citation addition cannot be denied, especially when research paper writing is concerned.

  • Acknowledgment of Sources:

    Citations acknowledge the sources of information utilized in your work and provide due credit to their original authors. It exhibits both academic honesty and regard for property rights.

  • Avoiding Plagiarism:

    Accurate citations aid in avoiding plagiarism. Plagiarism is unethical and can have serious repercussions, such as academic sanctions and reputational harm.

  • Supports claims:

    Citations offer proof and support for the assertions you make in your writing whether you use apa style vs Chicago, or any other. Citing reliable sources enhances the validity and reliability of your work.

  • Enables verification:

    Verification is made possible through citations that allow readers to check the accuracy of the data you have presented in your writing by going back to the original sources. This openness fosters confidence and guarantees the accuracy of your work

  • Demonstrates research skills:

    Citing sources correctly demonstrates your capacity to undertake in-depth study and interact with the body of literature in your profession. There might be some apa style and chicago style similarities but each style has a different style. It illustrates how well you comprehend the topic and your intellectual debate.

  • Nurtures academic community:

    Citations support the development of the academic community by linking your work to the larger scholarly discussion. You participate in the current academic conversation and enhance your knowledge by using references from earlier studies.

  • Gives context to ideas:

    Citations give readers more context and background knowledge. It enables them to research similar subjects and deepen their comprehension of the topic.

  • Fosters collaboration:

    Collaboration is encouraged and ideas are exchanged across the academic community when other scholars’ work is cited. It recognizes the group efforts made by academics to further knowledge.

Comparison between APA vs. Chicago style:

Two of the most commonly used citation styles in APA and Chicago writing style. MLA writing style is also quite popular in academic papers but our center of attention is going to be APA and Chicago writing style. The following comparison between the two writing styles will give a clear picture to the researchers:

  1. Literal meaning- APA vs. Chicago style:

    The acronym of APA stands for American Psychological Association while CMS stands for Chicago Manual Style of referencing. Conducting research and then adding the citations according to the accurate referencing style might be somewhat difficult but in such cases,dissertation help UK or assistance from professional writers can give you ease from your academic load.

  2. Formatting- APA vs. Chicago style:

    APA is commonly used in social sciences, such as;

    1. Psychology
    2. Sociology
    3. Education
    4. Business

    It follows a more straightforward and concise format, with a focus on clarity.

    APA style employs in-text citations with the author’s name and publication year.

    The reference list appears at the end of the document that is arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name.

    The reference list entry includes the;

    1. Author’s name
    2. Publication date
    3. Title
    4. Other relevant publication details

    As long as the formatting of the Chicago manual style is concerned; then it goes as:

    CMS is utilized in various disciplines, including;

    1. History
    2. Literature
    3. Arts
    4. Humanities

    It is more flexible and allows for more extensive use of footnotes as well as endnotes, which provide bibliographic information.

    CMS uses footnotes or endnotes for in-text citations. When using footnotes, a shortened citation format is included, followed by a detailed citation in the footnotes section.

    The bibliography appears at the end of the document and contains all sources cited throughout the paper, listed in alphabetical order.

  3. In-text citations- APA vs. Chicago style:

    1. In APA, in-text citations use the author-date format, with the author’s last name and the publication year enclosed in parentheses.
    2. When citing a direct quote, the page number is included.
    3. For multiple authors, the citation includes all last names for the first citation and “et al.” for subsequent citations with three or more authors.

    On the other hand; the format of Chicago style citation goes as:

    1. Chicago style uses footnotes or endnotes for in-text citations. These notes contain the full citation information for the source.
    2. Subsequent citations of the same source can use a shortened citation format.
    3. Unlike APA, CMS does not use “et al.” for multiple authors but lists all authors’ names in the footnote or endnote.
  4. Bibliography/ reference list- APA vs. Chicago style:

    APA style utilizes a reference list at the end of the document. It is where all the sources are cited in the paper and are listed alphabetically by the author’s last name.

    The reference list entry includes the author’s name, publication date, title, and other relevant publication details.

    However; when it is the bibliography section of the Chicago Manual of Style, then;

    1. CMS employs a bibliography rather than a reference list.
    2. The bibliography is arranged in alphabetical order, with full publication details for each entry.
  5. Writing style- APA vs. Chicago style:

    1. APA has a more structured and standardized writing style.
    2. It uses headings and subheadings to organize the content.
    3. APA discourages the use of first-person pronouns in academic writing.

    While using Chicago manual style; one has to,

    1. CMS allows for a more narrative and descriptive writing style.
    2. It may include a table of contents, especially in longer works.
    3. CMS generally allows the use of first-person pronouns if necessary for clarity or emphasis.


  1. What is Chicago-APA writing style?

    The Chicago manual style with the documentation of the Author-Date system is known as the Chicago APA style. It is mostly used in the disciplines of social sciences and natural sciences.

  2. Which style is better APA or MLA?

    It is not about which writing style is better rather it is about which referencing style is preferred for which discipline. So; APA is preferred for social sciences while MLA is used for literature discipline.

  3. Does Oxford use APA?

    No! The University of Oxford does not use APA style as its primary citation and referencing format. Oxford typically uses the Oxford referencing style or the Harvard referencing style.

  4. Is APA a Harvard style?

    No! APA and Harvard referencing styles are not the same. They have different citation formats and guidelines for referencing sources.

  5. Do universities use APA?

    Yes! Many universities use the APA style as one of the accepted citation and referencing formats for academic writing. However, the specific style used by universities can vary depending on the discipline.