Citation of State Statutes in APA

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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.

In-Text Citation

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.

References Page

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. For example:

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.


About the Author

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.

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