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APA Style, 7th edition - Citing Sources

Getting started

Below are a few examples of more commonly-used legal references. Please note that the APA Publication Manual is the best place to go for help with referencing a variety of different legal sources. Please refer to Chapter 11, starting on page 353.

Additionally, APA refers back to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (2015). While a subscription is needed to see the full manual, Bluebook has a Quick Style Guide for basic legal references.

Cornell University Law School has a very comprehensive guide and eBook on citing legal sources.

Federal Statutes (Laws and Acts)

Basic template: Name of Act, Title Source § Section Number (Year). URL

Federal statute codified in the United States Code: Name of Act, Title Number U.S.C. § Section Number (Year in source being cited). URL

Note: The year in the reference list entry/in-text citation should refer to the year in which the statute was published in the source being cited. This date might be different from the year in the name of the act.

Federal statute with a public law number: Name of Act, Pub. L. No. xxx, Volume Number Stat. Page Number (Year approved). URL

Note: This refers to laws published in the United States Statutes at Large (Stat.). The volume and page numbers refer to the United States Statutes at Large.

State statute (Massachusetts): Name of Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. Chapter Number, § Section Number (Year). URL

Note: Year should refer to the date of the Massachusetts General Laws (Mass. Gen. Laws) that is being cited; the official version of the Massachusetts General Laws is published every two years.  


Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010). 

Parenthetical citation: (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010)

Narrative citation: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010)


Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-315, 122 Stat. 3078 (2008).

Parenthetical citation: (Higher Education Opportunity Act, 2008)

Narrative citation: Higher Education Opportunity Act (2008)


Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (2018).

Parenthetical citation: (Americans with Disabilities Act, 2018)

Narrative citation: Americans with Disabilities Act (2018)


Nurse Anesthetist and Nurse Practitioner Services, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 176A, § 8S (2019).

Parenthetical citation: (Nurse Anesthetist and Nurse Practitioner Services, 2019)

Narrative citation: Nurse Anesthetist and Nurse Practitioner Services (2019)

Court Cases

U.S. Supreme Court case: Party Name v. Party Name, Volume Number U.S. Page Number (year case was decided). URL


Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

Parenthetical citation: (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954)

Narrative citation: Brown v. Board of Education (1954)


Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court or Massachusetts Court of Appeals case: Party Name v. Party Name, Volume Reporter Page (Court Year). URL

Note: Court cases decided in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court or the Massachusetts Court of Appeals are printed in the North Eastern Reporter (N.E.), the North Eastern Reporter Second (N.E.2d) and the North Eastern Reporter Third (N.E.3d). The Volume and Page refer to the version of the North Eastern Reporter used for the particular case. For "Court," use the abbreviation for the court in which the case was decided (Supreme Judicial Court cases use Mass.; Court of Appeals cases use Mass. App. Ct.).


McKenzie v. Brigham & Women's Hospital, 541 N.E.2d 325 (Mass. 1989).

Parenthetical citation: (McKenzie v. Brigham & Women's Hospital, 1989)

Narrative citation: McKenzie v. Brigham & Women's Hospital (1989)