APA format is used by researchers in the social sciences field, and requires in-text citations as well. It ends the paper with a “references” page, and may also have section headers between body paragraphs.
A research paper is different from a research proposal (also known as a prospectus), although the writing process is similar. Research papers are intended to demonstrate a student’s academic knowledge of a subject. A proposal is a persuasive piece meant to convince its audience of the value of a research project. Think of the proposal as the pitch and the paper as the finished product.
Chicago formatting is used mainly for historical research papers and uses footnotes at the bottom of each page rather than in-text citations and works cited or references page.
MLA format is typically used for literary research papers and uses a ‘works cited’ page at the end. This format requires in-text citations.