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How To Cite an Amendment Using APA or MLA

Academic paper
APA and MLA are two formatting styles for citing amendments.

How To Cite an Amendment Using APA

One way you can cite an amendment is by using APA style formatting. APA stands for the American Psychological Association and is used when citing references for academic journals and reports.

College graduate
Items and abbreviations you should use for APA citations.

Below are the items and abbreviations you should use for APA citations when referring to constitutions. These standards must be met for them to read correctly:

  • First, add the name of the U.S. Constitution as U.S. Const. While a comma isn’t required to follow here, it will be needed in later sections of the citation.
  • Next, include the article in the following format: Art. Always cite the article using Roman numerals as opposed to numbers.
  • Follow with the amendment: Amend. You should always ensure this is written using Roman numerals.
  • Your section is next, and here you’ll use the sign §. This numeral is Arabic and relates to a section of the amendment. To include the sign, simply use Alt-21.
  • After this, you’ll add the clause with cl. You’ll also be required to use Arabic numerals here too.
  • Lastly comes your preamble. The preamble will be written as pmbl. and will be used when you’re making a citation for cases that involve a preamble. An example is when a President and Vice President end their terms.
Academic paper
An academic paper.

When using APA style, you’ll not have to include a reference to a site for sourcing, such as

How To Cite Articles That Have Been Repealed or Amended Using APA

The year must be included when you’re referring to a constitution that has been repealed or amended. Your year will be added to the end of the citation and will relate to the particular year in which the event took place.

Student writing
When referring to an amendment, the year must be included.

For example, take Article 1, Section 3, and Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution as amended by Section 1 of the Seventeenth Amendment. In APA style, it reads as follows: U.S. Const. Art. I, §3, cl. 1, amended 1919.

The citation includes the section of the United States Constitution, which is used to begin with, while also including that the change was made in the year 1919 under the Seventeenth Amendment.

The MLA format is quite straightforward.

How To Cite an Amendment Using MLA Format

MLA stands for Modern Language Association. When citing amendments, a particular format must be followed. However, it’s a fairly simple process to write using the MLA format. This is what you should include:

  • Start with the name of the document you’re citing using italics.
  • Next, you’ll want to write either article or amendment in abbreviation, depending on which relates to the document. These will be written as Art. or Amend.
  • After, you should cite the article or amendment number. Write this in Roman Numerals.
  • Follow it up with a comma.
  • Add in Sec. This will indicate the section that you’re citation refers to. This should be written with Arabic numerals.
  • Finish with a period at the end. An example here would be U.S. Constitution. Art. III, Sec. 3 (with only the document name written in italics).
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Article of amendment numbers should be added as Roman Numerals in the MLA format.

When writing your in text citation, you should include a section of the United States Constitution. Turn the document’s name into an abbreviation, such as U.S. Const. 

Then shorten either article or amendment to art. or amend, adding the number in Roman numerals and following with a comma. Finish with sec. and the number of the section for the citation.

Online Citations of Amendments Using MLA

When citing online references for amendments, there are some key MLA style formatting principles that you must follow. You need to add relevant information about the source.

Online MLA format citations must contain specific information.

In the in text citation, you should include either the article or amendment it relates along with the section numbers. In the print version, you would be using a page number, so this is one key difference here.

The format should follow to include all of the information in this order:

  • Title of the page
  • Name of the website
  • The publisher
  • Date of publication (including the day, month, and year)
  • Website URL
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In-text citations require less information.

When writing the in text citation, less information is required. Here, it should include the title of the page, article number, and section number. For example, it would look something like this: Constitution of the United States, art. 3, sec. 5.

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