How to Cite the 1964 Civil Rights Act in APA Format

The concept of equal protection under the laws in the United States theoretically dated back to the 14th Amendment at the end of the Civil War. However, the reality in the century after Robert E. Lee surrendered was quite different, as the concept of "separate but equal" allowed segregated school systems as well as segregated drinking fountains and restrooms for black people. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically banned discrimination on the basis of race or sex. If you are writing about this legislation for a class that requires the use of American Psychological Association (APA) citation format, you'll need to know how to cite the law in the text and in the references of your paper.

Step 1

Include the name of the law and the year it was enacted when citing the law in the body of your paper.

For example, your paper might look like this:

The new law was designed to forbid the denial of "the right of any individual to vote in any Federal election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration or other act requisite of voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election" (Civil Rights Act (1964)).

Step 2

Add the law to your list of works cited at the end of the paper. Even though it's not a book or article, it's a primary source, and all sources that you use must appear in that list.

Step 3

Follow APA formatting rules when entering the law into your works-cited list:

Name of law, order of passing, location in the U.S. Statutes at Large, year of passing.

Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241 (1964).

For this law, this means that it was the 352nd law passed by the 88th Congress. To look it up, you would need volume 78 of the U.S. Statutes at Large and would find the bill starting on page 241. The law passed in 1964.

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