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How Do I Cite a Birth Certificate in a Paper?


Cite a birth certificate in a paper in two different ways. The method you use depends on whether the citation is in-text or on a Works Cited or References page. Note that these are general guidelines, as Modern Language Association and American Psychological Association do not offer guidelines for these types of documents.

References or Works Cited Page

Since MLA and APA formats do not offer specific instructions on citing birth certificates, use this general method, offered by Genealogy.com, to cite a birth certificate on both a Works Cited page and References page. Include person's name, date of birth, file number and government board or department name in the following format:

Death Certificate for Jacob F. Rost, 24 September 1924, File No. 28093, Missouri State Board of Health. Certified copy in possession of author.

In-Text Citations

The general way to cite birth certificates in-text is by using footnotes or endnotes. However, endnotes and footnotes are not traditionally used in APA format, so consult your instructor if needed. Put a number in superscript at the end of the sentence and then in the footer of the page, identified with the same number, include the department name, birth certificate number, date filed in parentheses, name of person, bureau name and city in the following format:

Fagyal was born in Jefferson city in the year 1911.^1

  1. Missouri Department of Health, certificate of birth number 9238 (8 August 1911), Elmer Albert Fagyal, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Jefferson City.

About the Author

Based in Gatineau, Canada, Kat Walcott has been writing entertainment and informative articles since 2008. Her work has appeared in major publications including Her Campus, Equals6 and Uppercase. She holds an honors diploma in social science from Heritage College and is currently majoring in communication studies and minoring in sexuality studies.

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