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APA Style Guide - 7th Edition

This guide is intended to introduce you to the basics of citation formatting as outlined in the APA Publication Manual 7th Edition


This page provides examples of the most commonly used legal and legislative references and in-text citations in APA Style.  The information comes from Chapter 11 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition.  Refer to this source for all examples of legal and legislative citations.

Note about References: Remember for all references, especially legal references, make sure your references are accurate and contain all of the information that will enable your readers to access the referenced work.

Note about in-text citations: In-text citations for legal or legislative sources differ from other sources as these reference sources begin with the title of the work., not the author. Therefore, in-text citations should include the title and year.  (Ex: Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990).

Citing Legal Sources

U.S. Supreme Court Case Citation Formats

With a Page Number
Name v. Name, Vol. U.S. Page (Year) URL

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).          1940-1955/347us483 In-text citation: (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954).

Without a Page Number
Name v. Name, Vol. U.S. ___ (Year) URL

Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___(2015). In-text citation: Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015).

The title or name of a case is written in standard type in the reference and in italic type in the in-text citation.

For cases that have not been assigned a page number, include three underscores instead.

Federal Law (Statue) Citation Formats

Codified in the United States Code
Name of Act, Title Source § Section Number (Year) URL

Every Student Succeeds Act, 20 U.S.C. § 6301 (2015).      114/plaws/publ95/PLAW-114publ95.pdf In-text citation: (Every Student Succeeds Act, 2015).

Codified in the Title 20 of the United States Code in section 6301 in 2015.

Cited as a Public Law
Name of Act, Title Source § Section Number (Year) URL

FUTURE Act, Pub. L. No. 116-91 133 Stat. 1190 (2019). In-text citation: (FUTURE Act, 2019).

Use the Public Law Number when the act is codified in scattered sections of the United States Code.

Citing Legislative Sources

Congressional Hearing Citation Formats

Title of hearing, xxx Cong. (Year). URL

Strengthening the federal student loan program for borrowers: Hearing before the        U. S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 113th Cong.        (2014).        html/CHRG-113shrg22607.htm  In-text citation: (Strengthening the Federal Student Loan Program, 2014).

Unenacted Federal Bill or Resolution Citation Format

Title, H.R. or S. bill number, xxx Cong. (Year). URL

Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act, H.R. 1100, 113th Cong. (2013). In-text citation: (Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act, 2013).

Bills and resolutions that have been passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president become law and should be cited as statutes.

Congressional Report Citation Format

H.R. or S. Rep. No. xxx-xxx (Year). URL

H.R. Rep. No. 114-893 (2016).      report/114th-congress/house-report/893/1 In-Text citation: (H.R. Rep. No. 114-893, 2016).

For unenacted bills and reports, the number should be preceded by H.R. (House of Representatives) or S. (Senate).

Citing Exexutive Orders

Executive Order Citation Format

Exec. Order No. xxxx, 3 C.R.F. Page (Year). URL

Exec. Order No. 13,703, 3 C.R.F. 360 (2015).      CFR-2016-title3-vol1/pdf/CFR-2016-title3-vol1-chapI.pdf In-text citation: (Exec. Order No. 13,703, 2015).

Executive orders are reported in Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations, always include 3 C.R.F. in the reference.