How to Cite the 2nd Amendment

Because the United States Constitution is widely accessible, it is not necessary to include full bibliographic information for it in your reference list or works cited page. However, if you quote or paraphrase from the Constitution, you must still cite it within the text. Luckily, the correct procedure for citing parts of the Constitution parenthetically is relatively simple, whether you are using the long form or the short form.

Step 1

Use the long form the first time you cite the Second Amendment. This should appear as follows:

("The Constitution of the United States," Amendment 2)

Step 2

Use the short form for any subsequent citations. For example:

(U.S. Const. am. 2)

Step 3

Position your citation within the text so that it comes directly after quoting or paraphrasing from the Second Amendment. It should fall outside of quotation marks, but should come before concluding punctuation marks such as periods and commas. For example:

Many consider a militia to be "necessary to the security of a free state" ("The Constitution of the United States," Amendment 2), but others disagree.

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