Most high school and college classes require that students use Modern Language Association, American Psychological Association or "Chicago Manual of Style" guidelines when writing an academic paper. Each style is used for a different academic area. MLA style is used for languages and literature, APA is used for science and Chicago is used for the humanities. When including a date in the text of your paper, you must follow the guidelines for the style appropriate to your subject.
Review your course syllabus to determine which style guide your instructor requires. Contact your instructor if the information isn't listed and ask what style is acceptable.
If you're writing in MLA style, list the date, month and then year. Do not use commas. For example: 14 March 1985 or March 1985.
If you're writing in APA style, list the month, date and then year. Insert a comma after the date. For example: June 15, 2005 or May 2004.
If you're writing in Chicago style, list the month, date and then year. Insert a comma after the date. For example: June 15, 2005 or May 2004.
- You can find hard copies of the style guides at most public libraries.
- Be aware that you need to format dates in bibliographies differently than dates appearing in text. Refer to the appropriate style guide for further direction on how to create bibliographies.
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