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How to Cite a Federal Act in APA


Law and government-related research papers often involve the use of Federal Acts to support a position. If the Act is used for information in the paper, then it must be properly attributed in the Bibliography or Works Cited section. APA style requires writers to cite the Act in a specific format. Once the Act is cited properly, the writer can place as much relevant information in the paper as they see fit.

Gather the information required to cite the Federal Act. Collect the name of the Act, its location in the U.S. Code (the section number and volume number,) the year of publication, and page numbers that the Act appears on.

Write the name of the Act, followed by a comma. Write the phase "Pub. L. No.," followed by the page numbers in which the Act appears (followed by a comma.) Insert the section number, followed by the volume number. Write the year that the Act was published in parentheses, followed by a period. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act should be cited with this: "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, ยง 2, 104 Stat. 328 (1991)."

Cite the Federal Act within the paper by writing the name of the act followed by the year. For example, a sentence can state that the "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects qualified Americans with disabilities from being discriminated from gaining employment." Writers can also write the year of the Act's publication in parentheses following the name.

About the Author

Courtney Spratley is a professional writer of instructional articles specializing in social, accounting, technology and government-related topics. She holds a bachelor's degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin and is now pursuing a Master of Public Administration from the University of Houston.