Citing Legal Material

The 6th edition APA manual devotes Appendix 7.1 to information on citing legal materials such as statutes and court decisions.  For these types of references, APA follows the recommendations of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, so if you have any questions beyond the examples provided in APA, seek out that resource as well.

Court Decisions

Reference format:

Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date).

 

Sample reference entry:

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

 

Sample in-text citation:

In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in schools unconstitutional.

 

Note: Italicize the case name when it appears in the text of your paper.

 

Statutes

 

Reference format:

Name of Act, Volume Source § section number (year).

 

Sample reference entry for a federal statute:

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (2004).

 

Note: The § symbol stands for "section." To find this symbol in MS Word, go to "Insert" and click on Symbol." Look in the "Latin 1-Supplement" subset.

Note: U.S.C. stands for "United States Code."

 

Sample reference entry for a state statute:

Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 148-171-285 (2010).

 

Note: Use the § symbol twice to indicate a range of sections.

Note: List the chapter first followed by the section or range of sections.

 

Sample in-text citation:

Minnesota nurses must maintain current registration in order to practice (Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, 2010).

 

Unenacted Bills and Resolutions

(Those that did not pass and become law)

 

Reference format:

Title [if there is one], bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (year).

 

Sample reference entry for Senate bill:

Anti-Phishing Act, S. 472, 109th Cong. (2005).

 

Sample reference entry for House of Representatives resolution:

Anti-Phishing Act, H.R. 1099, 109th Cong. (2005).

 

Sample in-text citation:

The Anti-Phishing Act (2005) proposed up to 5 years prison time for people running Internet scams.

 

These are the three legal areas you are most apt to cite in your scholarly work.  For information on citing the Constitution, see the APA Style blog.

APA Style FAQ

In addition to the information provided here, refer to page 186 in the APA Manual (Sixth Edition) for how to cite and reference nonroutine information and titles. 

CDC website

Citing Yourself

Course Materials

Discussion Post

Dissertation or Thesis

DVD/Online Video

ERIC Document

eReader (Kindle, Nook, etc.)

Legal Material

NCLB

Parts of a Book

Personal Communication

PowerPoint Presentation

Secondary Source

Sources with the Same Author and Same Year

Walden Course Catalog

You may also find our table on citation variations useful to download and print!