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Citations & More

Learn to choose a topic, cite and organize your sources, and get help polishing your paper

Legal & government publications in various citation styles

Refer to Appendix 7.1, pages 216-224.

Court cases

Name v. Name, volume Source Page (Court date).
Reference list entry: Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078 (E.D. Wis 1972).
In-text citation: (Lessard v. Schmidt, 1972)

Statutes

Name of Act, Volume Source § section number (year).
Reference list entry: Mental Health Systems Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9401 (1988).
In-text citation: Mental Health Systems Act of 1988

Refer to Sections 14.269 - 14.305, pages 875-890.

Refer to Section 2.1.3, pages 104-105; see also page 53.

Sample citation:

United States, Congress, House, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  Al-Qaeda: The Many Forces of an Islamist Extremist  Threat. Government Printing Office, 2006. 109th Congress, 2nd sessions, House Report 615.

Refer to Section 17.9, pages 206-215, and Section 19.9.7, pages 274-275.

Sample note citation

     1. Select Committee on Homeland Security, Homeland Security Act of 2002, 107th Cong., 2d sess., 2002, HR Rep. 107-609, pt.1, 11-12.

Sample bibliography citation

US Congress. House of Representatives. Select Committee on Homeland Security. Homeland Security Act of 2002. 107th Cong., 2d sess., 2002. HR Rep. 107-609, pt. 1.

Refer to Section 17.11, pages 213-222, and Section 19.11, pages 281-289.

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General Guidelines

See the  Citing Legal Sources tab of the Government Documents Subject Guide for examples of the most popular sources used and further guidance. You may also contact a librarian with the information you have and we will do our best to help you determine how to cite the source.

Legal sources include court cases & decisions, statutes, legislative materials and other government documents.  Citing these items can be confusing and complicated, but it is important to include enough notation to make it possible for your reader to locate the specific chapter, section, or court case you have referred to in your paper. 

All of the most popular style manuals include a section on how to cite legal sources, so refer to those sections described in the center of this page. The primary notation standards for legal documents is The Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation. You can get a copy for 2-hour loan from the Learning Commons Service Desk.

Citing Government Publications