How to Cite the Constitution in Chicago Style

The Constitution of the United States can be a vital resource in a paper or book, and it is important to correctly cite it as a source. Chicago style is a citation format that is traditionally used with papers written in liberal arts fields, but it can be used with other fields too. In Chicago style, the U.S. Constitution should be cited by the article or the amendment in the footnote, but it is not cited in the works cited page.

Step 1

Collect the necessary information -- the article or amendment number, section and clause referenced.

Step 2

List the number of the amendment or the number of the article in Roman numerals, but list other numbers using Arabic numerals.

Step 3

Cite each amendment or article used. Don’t cite the entire U.S. Constitution. Use a footnote for each section of the Constitution you reference so that readers will know exactly where you found the information.

Step 4

List the footnote as the abbreviated form of the Constitution (U.S. Const.), whether it is an amendment or an article and the section and clause numbers.

For example:

[Amendment] U.S. Const. amend. XI. Sec. 2. [Article] U.S. Const. art. 2. sec. 3. cl. 1.

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