MLA vs Chicago: Difference and Comparison

A Citation is a reference mentioned in an intellectual piece of work about the source of information used in it. The main purpose of using citations is to avoid plagiarism and to provide validity and strength to the information used by the author.


Education Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to education

1 / 10

What is the name of the famous Greek philosopher who taught Alexander the Great?

2 / 10

What is the study of languages called?

3 / 10

The purpose of the evaluation is to make a judgment about educational...

4 / 10

What is the highest degree that can be earned in a university?

5 / 10

What is the capital of the country France?

6 / 10

When should a teacher and a pupil hold a case conference?

7 / 10

What is the study of the physical universe called?

8 / 10

Which of the following is NOT one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

9 / 10

Who wrote the novel "Great Expectations"?

10 / 10

What word, taken from German, names the traditional first formal year of U.S. schooling?

Your score is


Citations are used in Books, Journals, Newspapers, Websites, Roleplays, Poems and Interviews.

There is a specific format or way to write citations. Various citation styles are introduced to ensure a proper format for the citation. Every style has an inbuilt set of rules and conventions for writing citations.

A citation style is chosen according to the discipline, author, publisher, or reader. Some commonly used styles are Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), and Chicago.

The MLA and the Chicago citation styles are two of the most preferred styles of writing citations by Colleges, Professors or Instructors. There are some similarities between the two citation styles.

MLA and Chicago styles contain an equal size margin size on all sides of a page, and even the font type and size are the same.

Key Takeaways

  1. MLA and Chicago are academic citation styles that format and document sources in research papers and essays.
  2. MLA is commonly used in humanities and literature, while Chicago is used in history, social sciences, and some humanities fields.
  3. MLA uses in-text citations and a Works Cited page, while Chicago uses footnotes or endnotes and a Bibliography.

MLA vs Chicago

MLA and Chicago citation styles are common in academic writing. MLA is primarily used in the humanities and contains in-text citations, including the author’s name and page number. Chicago style is often employed in history and social sciences; it includes footnote or endnote citations and a bibliography.

MLA vs Chicago

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonMLAChicago
Discipline MLA style is used in English or literature-related papers. Whereas the Chicago style is used in History and Humanities.
Title pageIt does not need a title page. A title page is necessary.
Citation style Footnotes are not used for the citations. Citations are mentioned in the footnotes at the end page.
HeadingDouble space should exist between one section’s end and the heading. The heading should be written in the left corner and a new line.
Thesis statementIn MLA, the thesis statement should acknowledge the title of the topic. There is no thesis statement required in Chicago.
Bibliography The bibliography is mentioned on a new page. A separate bibliography is not required. It can be mentioned at the end of the page.

What is MLA?

The MLA citation style contains in-text citations that direct towards the source of information used. It follows the Modern Language Association Handbook. The handbook works as a guide for creating MLA citations.

The latest edition of the handbook has brought a standard format for all types of sources. This helps in saving time and, as a result, allows the scholars to focus more on their research instead of this.

Another update in the handbook includes the addition of containers, which provide the location of the source.

MLA style is used for writing papers for English or literature-related topics. First, there is an inch margin line on all sides of the page. The student’s name, subject code and submission date are mentioned on the left side of the first page.

There is no need for a separate title page. The Author’s last name and the page number are mentioned in parentheses. The bibliography is provided on a new page. Also, there is a Works Cited page where a complete source reference is listed.

The works cited page must be arranged alphabetically and full information about the cited sources. This contains all the quotations, titles, containers or summaries. The Author’s name is mentioned first.

Then comes the Title of the source, which should be within “quotation marks” (in case of a substantial work) or in Italics (if the work is independent).

And at last, the Title of the container, Name of editors/translators, Number of the book, Volume, Publisher, Publication Date, Location and Optional elements of the work is mentioned one after the other.


What is Chicago?

The Chicago citation style structures written works and reference information sources.

It focuses on the Chicago Style Manual (CMOS), which is a guideline for styling, quoting, proofreading and editing. It is used to create various genres and formats of novels, stories, and blogs.

Chicago style is based on Turabian’s structure of citations but slightly differs from it. There are two formats used in Chicago style, the “Notes and Bibliography” and the “Author-Date”.

Notes and Bibliography format is preferred for writing History and Humanities based papers, whereas the Author-Date is preferred for social sciences and science papers.

After choosing the preferred format, an inch margin line is constructed on all page sides. Then the title page containing the student’s name, subject code, topic name etc., is created.

Author-Date uses in-text citations and a bibliography, while Notes and Bibliography use footnotes in which bibliography and citations are maintained at the end of the page.

The following manual contains all types of editorial styles, punctuations to be used, quotations, and table formatting. However, the latest edition has revised some styles and citation formats. It is very important to remain up-to-date with the manual.


Main Differences Between MLA and Chicago

  1. MLA is used in English, while Chicago is used in History and Humanities.
  2. A title page is needed in Chicago but not in MLA.
  3. Footnotes for citations are used in Chicago but not in MLA.
  4. In MLA, the thesis statement is important, while Chicago does not need one.
  5. The bibliography is mentioned on a new page in MLA, whereas, in Chicago, it is mentioned at the page end.
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!