The 6th edition APA manual devotes Appendix 7.1 to information on citing legal materials such as statutes and court decisions. For these types of references, APA follows the recommendations of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, so if you have any questions beyond the examples provided in APA, seek out that resource as well.
Reference format: Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date).
Sample reference entry: Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
Sample citation: In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in schools unconstitutional.
Note: Italicize the case name when it appears in the text of your paper.
Reference format: Name of Act, Volume Source § section number (year).
Sample reference entry for a federal statute: Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (2004).
Sample reference entry for a state statute: Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 148-171-285 (2010).
Sample citation: Minnesota nurses must maintain current registration in order to practice (Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, 2010).
Note: The § symbol stands for "section." To find this symbol in MS Word, go to "Insert" and click on Symbol." Look in the "Latin 1-Supplement" subset.
Note: U.S.C. stands for "United States Code."
Note: Use the § symbol twice to indicate a range of sections.
Note: List the chapter first followed by the section or range of sections.
Unenacted Bills and Resolutions
(Those that did not pass and become law)
Reference format: Title [if there is one], bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (year).
Sample reference entry for Senate bill: Anti-Phishing Act, S. 472, 109th Cong. (2005).
Sample reference entry for House of Representatives resolution: Anti-Phishing Act, H.R. 1099, 109th Cong. (2005).
Sample citation: The Anti-Phishing Act (2005) proposed up to 5 years prison time for people running Internet scams.
These are the three legal areas you are most apt to cite in your scholarly work. For information on citing the Constitution, see the APA Style blog.
APA Style® calls for a list of references instead of a bibliography.
The requirements of a reference list are that all references cited in the text of a paper must be listed alphabetically by first author's last name in the list of references and that all references listed must be cited within the text.
A bibliography, however, typically includes resources in addition to those cited in the text and may include annotated descriptions of the items listed.
In general, the list of references is double-spaced and listed alphabetically by first author's last name. For each reference, the first line is typed flush with the left margin, and any additional lines are indented as a group a few spaces to the right of the left margin (this is called a hanging indent).
APA Publications and Communications Board Working Group on Journal Article Reporting Standards.
(2009). Reporting standards for research in psychology: Why do we need them? What might
they be? American Psychologist, 63, 839–851. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.63.9.839