How to Cite Court Transcripts in APA Format

The American Psychological Association, abbreviated APA, developed a style of writing and formatting references to enable publishers to present clear and concise information to their readers. The style, known as APA Style, provides a set of guidelines that reduce distractions and maximizes precision while writing about scientific topics. The style has designated guidelines for citing federal and lower court decisions and transcripts in order to enable readers to find the exact reference document without confusion should they wish to verify your references or obtain more information about the case.

Step 1

Type the case name first. The format of the case name will be plaintiff v. defendant. Close this portion of the citation with a period.

Step 2

Type the volume number where the case can be found. This will be the U.S. Reports volume number for Supreme Court decisions and for lower courts it will refer to the individual court records volume.

Step 3

Type “U.S.” Then follow with the page number of the U.S. Reports volume for Supreme Court decisions.

Type the reporter abbreviation followed by the page number for lower court decisions. Close this portion of the citation with a period.

Step 4

Place the year of the decision in parenthesis for Supreme Court Decisions. Place the court name followed by the year in parenthesis for lower court decisions. Close the citation with a period. Your finished Supreme Court citation will look like this: Plaintiff v. Defendant. 3456 U.S. 789. (2011). Your finished lower court citation will look like this: Plaintiff v. Defendant. 123 G. 2d. 45 (Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court 2011).

Step 5

Cite the case in-text by placing the name of the case followed by a comma then the year in parenthesis after the sentence in which you used the information. The citation will look like this (Plaintiff v. Defendant, 2011). You may also directly mention the case in the sentence in this or a similar manner: “According to the Supreme Court in Plaintiff v. Defendant, 2011,” followed by the information you wish to use.