Citation of State Statutes in APA
APA citations typically include the author's last name and publication year in-text and other bibliographical information on a references page. According to the sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association," legal references provide more useful context to a reader if they give different information in both places.
The in-text citation for a state statute gives the name of the act and the year: (Minnesota Mental Health Act, 1990). For a statute without a common name, list the source, "ch." -- without the quotation marks -- and the chapter with a comma after, the section symbol that looks like two capital S's intertwined, section number, comma and year. For instance, a Minnesota statute found in chapter 57, section 23 from 1990 follows this format: (Minn. Stat. ch. 57, [section symbol] 23, 1990). Follow the legal "Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation" guidelines abbreviations.
For statutes with common names, the references page entry begins with that name followed by a comma, the volume and the source with no punctuation between. After a section symbol, the section number appears along with the date in parentheses and a period at the end.
Minnesota Mental Health Act, 8 Minn. Stat. [section symbol] 23 (1990).
This act comes from volume 8 of the Minnesota Statutes, section 23 in 1990. The entry for a statute without a common name gives the same information as the in-text citation, since that gives the reader all of the specific information about the source.
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- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition); American Psychological Association
- Westfield State University Ely Library: APA Style -- Citing Legal Materials
Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.