At Portland Community College I learned to use the MLA format. MLA was all I knew. I was barely even aware that other formats existed. Then when I arrived at Marylhurst I learned that not only do other formats exist, and that as a music therapy major I would be using APA when I wrote papers, not MLA.
There are little differences between MLA and APA. To illustrate this point, I'll share how to cite a text first using MLA, and then APA.
Billen, Andrew. "The prude of love." New Statesman 138.4973 (2009): 46-47. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 11 Oct. 2010.
Billen, A. (2009). The prude of love. New Statesman, 138(4973), 46-47. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.
Slightly different, isn't it? They both say the same thing, but they say it slightly differently. And if you know one and are trying to unlearn it to learn the other, it can be a little confusing. And if you get them mixed up, you're in trouble.
But now that I'm an English major, I'm having to return to MLA! Which is so weird.
So, to recap:
1) Started out using MLA, was happy.
2) Switched to APA because I was a music therapy major. Had fun trying to learn a new way to cite my sources.
3) Now am returning to MLA, and am somewhat confused.
Ah, the joys of life...