menu

How Do I Cite the U.S. Constitution Using APA Format?


The U.S. Constitution is an essential document in American society, so you should know how to cite it in your history or law paper. Within American Psychological Association, or APA, 6th Edition style, your citations only need to include the basic information of the Constitution sections you are referencing. Because the Constitution is a public document, you do not need to include any publication information in your citations, even if you're using the text of the Constitution as included in a textbook or other reference work.

Reference List Citations

To cite the Constitution on your reference list, you will need only two pieces of information: the amendment or article you are referencing and the section of that article or amendment. Article or amendment numbers are given in Roman numerals, and section numbers are preceded by the paragraph sign (§) and given in Arabic numerals. For example:

U.S. Const. art. II, § 2. U.S. Const. amend. XIII, § 1.

To cite an article or amendment without subsections, omit the section notation:

U.S. Const. amend. XI.

If you're citing a repealed amendment, note its repeal date as part of your citation:

U.S. Const. amend. XVIII, § 2 (repealed 1933).

Citations in Text

Converting a reference list citation for the Constitution to an in-text citation you can use in the body of your paper is simple: Just remove the period at the end and place parentheses around the citation. There is no need to include year or page number in these in-text citations. For example:

(U.S. Const. art. II, § 2) (U.S. Const. amend. XIII, § 1) (U.S. Const. amend. XI)

A repealed amendment is still noted as repealed in the in-text citation. Place a comma after the amendment or section number, and provide the repeal date:

(U.S. Const. amend. XVIII, § 2, repealed 1933)

About the Author

Jon Zamboni began writing professionally in 2010. He has previously written for The Spiritual Herald, an urban health care and religious issues newspaper based in New York City, and online music magazine eBurban. Zamboni has a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Wesleyan University.

Photo Credits
  • onur ersin/iStock/Getty Images