Basic Writing 101

Do You Know The Differences Between The Four Most Common Writing Styles?

I’m an AP/Chicago hybrid personally

Terry L. Cooper
2 min readFeb 7, 2021
Image by haidi2002 from Pixabay





Ever heard of any of these? Do you know what the differences are? Did you know that on Medium alone you can find publications requesting a specific style in order to be considered for submission and publication?

No? Time to buckle down and pay attention.

From the website of We Do Web Content (WDWC):

What are the AP, APA, Chicago, and MLA writing styles?

Before we get into the differences between these four writing styles, we should explain them all a little more.

AP Style: AP, or Associated Press, style is most commonly used by journalists.

APA Style: American Psychological Association (APA) style is common in science and some college classes.

Chicago Manual of Style: The Chicago Manual of Style is arguably the most comprehensive, often used in publishing.

MLA Style: MLA, or Modern Language Association, style is the one you’re likely most familiar with. It’s the style your teachers probably taught you in high school.

Just in this one specific article alone, you will learn the correct formating of each style when applied to:

Oxford Comma
Book and Article Titles and
State Abbreviations

Their parting comment at the bottom of this article:

At We Do Web Content, we have our own style that draws from some of the styles listed above. For example, we always spell out numbers until 10 like AP and APA styles, but we also abbreviate states with the postal code like MLA style. While we use characteristics of different styles, we always ensure we are consistent.

That sounds a lot like my writing style frankly. I usually write in the AP format but I do use the Oxford Comma. I abbreviate states according to MLA guidelines. Numbers? Honestly, it depends on just how lazy I’m being at any given moment.

But hey, at least I’m consistent.



Terry L. Cooper

Chicken Soup for the Soul out on Jan 24, 2023. Working on the book tour now.