How to Cite a Survey — APA and MLA Styles

When you are carrying out research or you are writing a project, it is very important to use information gotten from a survey to write your project or do your research. This all depends on what you’re writing about.

There are generally two ways to cite a survey namely:

  • The MLA (Modern Language Association) style
  • The APA (American Psychological Association) style.

What is MLA?

MLA stands for Modern Language Association. The MLA is the principal professional association in the United States for scholars of language and literature.

The MLA aims to “strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature”. Although founded in the United States, with offices in New York City, the MLA’s membership, concerns, reputation, and influence are international in scope.

What is APA?

APA stands for American Psychological Association. The APA is a writing style or format for academic documents such as scholarly journal articles and books. It is commonly used for citing sources within the field of behavioral and social sciences.


Citing a Survey in MLA style.

When citing a survey in your paper, first put down the name of the person conducting the survey which is you in this case with the last name first and the first name last.

After that is the name of the survey in quotation marks.

Next thing is to identify if it is a survey or questionnaire, then write the date that the survey was carried out.

Citing a Survey in APA style.

When citing a survey with APA style, your format will be different. It will be different in the sense that you would need to show if you are using an already published survey or a survey you conducted yourself. It is preferable to carry out the survey yourself, that way it is easier to talk about it in your paper.

Citing a Survey in APA style when you carried out the survey yourself.

Firstly, you have to talk about your survey in your paper or project or research: you need to do this if the survey you carried out is in line with your project.

You have to write about the survey at the beginning of your project. Don’t forget to add important information about your survey.

Carefully include the relevance of your survey to the paper you’re writing. Also, explain why it is important.

Secondly, talk briefly about the steps and methods you took when carrying out the survey. Talk about the participants of the survey and if they were helpful or not. Talk also about how your questions were structured and delivered because that could affect the replies you got.

Thirdly, state clearly where all the data you used was gotten from.

Fourthly, attach a copy of your survey to your paper. This helps your readers and supervisors to have a clearer picture of the survey questions and the input they had on your paper.

Lastly, make use of parenthetical citations to refer to your appendix in the text. This means that if you refer to a line or sentence from your survey, make use of a parenthetical to help your readers know where it is from in case they want to read further.

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