This course will use APA Style. For general guidance, check out our APA Style guide. Note that in APA Style, most legal materials are cited in the standard legal citation style. For detailed information about preparing legal citations, please refer to the Legal Studies guide.
Looking for a physical copy of the APA manual? Our catalog record is linked below.
Legal references are covered in chapter 11 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition (pages 355 - 368).
Legal references often contain a great deal of information, and abbreviations are used to make references shorter. See the table below for common abbreviations (sourced from the APA Manual, p. 357):
|Word or phrase||Abbreviation|
Part of government
Type of legal material
Section of legal materialSection
§ (Alt + 0167)
Reporter (source) of federal legal material
United States Reporter
Additional abbreviations may be found here.
To cite a case or court decision, include the following elements:
In your reference list, this should be formatted as: Name v. Name, Citation (Jurisdiction Year). URL
The in-text citation will include the name of the case in italics and year; for example, (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954).
Note that US Supreme Court cases are only published in the United States Reporter, so the jurisdiction doesn't need to be added (Supreme Court is assumed).
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
H.P. v. Board of Education of City of Chicago. 385 F.Suppl.3d 623 (N.D. Ill. 2019).
Candi M. v. Riesel Independent School District. 379 F.Supp.3d 570 (W.D. Tex. 2019).
Statutes are laws and acts passed by legislative bodies. To cite them, include:
In your reference list, this should be formatted as: Name of Act, Title # Source § Section # (Year). URL. In-text citations should list the name of the act in parentheses (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act); those without names can be referenced by legal citation (for example, 20 U.S.C. § 1400).
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. (2010).
Note: Et seq is a Latin abbreviation indicating that the section number is the first in a series of a few sections that codify this act.
If you're citing a federal regulation that has been codified, use the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) citation:
Title or number, Volume C.F.R. § xxx (Year). URL
The in-text citation should use the title and year.
For Illinois Administrative Code, use Ill. Admin Code tit. XX § XXX (Year).
Assistive technology, 34 C.F.R. § 300.105 (2020). https://ecfr.federalregister.gov/current/title-34/subtitle-B/chapter-III/part-300/subpart-B
In-text: (Assistive technology, 2020)
Ill. Admin Code tit. 23 § 226 (2016).
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