They are formats that teachers require papers: research mostly, to be written. They're both pretty easy and guides can be found on these sites :)
MLA: http://funadvice.com/r/14leaoovt8a http://funadvice.com/r/14leaoovv6l http://funadvice.com/r/bemfbnqc87k
APA: http://funadvice.com/r/14klse82no3 http://funadvice.com/r/14leaop1a4n http://funadvice.com/r/14leaop1c39
Published papers need to have a consistent format. In the arts, humanities, etc the official format is MLA. In the science world, research is often published according to APA style. The purdue site is your best resource.
APA = American psychological association MLA = Modern language association
what do they stand for