MLA: A term describing guidelines used for writing and preparation of research papers or manuscripts and which stands for Modern Language Association of America. MLA has two principle styles, that is, the MLA handbook for writers of research papers and the MLA style manual and guide to scholarly articles. The key difference between MLA and other styles of writing is that it recommends works or sources citation be referenced within the paper as opposed to footnotes or chapters. It is divided into three sections, the overall paper format, in-text citations of sources and works cited list. This style involves mainly humanities, literature and arts. Titles of books are italicized than being underlined.  All pages are numbered consecutively in the upper right-hand corner.

APA: This stands for American Psychological Association. It is commonly used in citing social sciences and psychology. The general APA guidelines entails the research be typed in double space, font size between 10-12 in Times New Roman. The major sections include the title page, abstract, main body and the reference. The style specifies the order of headings, references, arrangement of tables, appendices, footnotes and formatting. It also combines the author-date style of parenthetical referencing.

CHICAGO: It has two styles, the author-date system and the documentary-note style. They are used in physical or natural sciences and in literature and history consecutively. The general guidelines include use of punctuation, flush-and- style indentation, italics and abbreviations among others. Numbering is used in the documentary-note style either in the text, a footnote or endnote. It includes chapters pertinent to publishers of books and journals. The Chicago writing style is flexible because it offers the writers a choice in several various formats.

TURABIAN: This is a writing style associated with a writer named Kate Turabian. It is derived from the Chicago manual style which is very exhaustive and is designed to be used by college students in all the subjects or areas of academics. The Turabian places bibliographic citations at the end of a paper or at the bottom of the page. The manual spells rules and conventions for chapters, headings, abbreviations and designation of tables. It offers advice in various citation style systems. Its key contrast with other styles like APA is that it is specific for the purpose of being used for papers written in class rather than for publication.

VANCOUVER: The style is normally used in medical or scientific journals in setting reference lists and bibliographies. The reference list appears at the end of the report or research with sufficient information clearly detailed. Citations in Vancouver are identified with Arabic numerical in round brackets within the essay paper. A number is used even when the author is named in the next sentence. Hyphens are used join the last and numbers which are inclusive. Reference numbers are placed outside commas and full stops or inside colons.

HARVARD: When incorporating ideas or numerical from different sources it is documented in two ways, mainly providing an in-text citation and entering the source in the list of references. This is also done when summarizing information on a specific page from the source. The style involves referencing in-text citation with use of paretheses. Page numbers should be present as a rule. It is based on author-date system for articles and also for non-books. The structure of citations under Harvard system is the author’s name, the page number and year of publication. Citations are in the same font as in the main page.

OXFORD: The style guide is categorized into three major pars which include the spelling, punctuation and the typographic formats. All these cover spelling rules, hyphenation and use of capitalization respectively. It uses British English than using American English. Multiple issues are considered examples including the en rule, ellipses, and acronyms among others. It deals with phonetics, special subjects and in citation of digital media. It generally uses a combination of in-line notations leading to its description as a documentary-note referencing style. Markers are used each time information is quoted from a source which are sequentially numbered in order in which they appear. Both summarizing and paraphrasing is allowed under oxford referencing.