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[MLA] How do I cite the United States Constitution or the United States Code (USC)?

Unlike the previous edition, the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook indicates that entries for the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Code (USC) can be included in the Works Cited list. (In previous editions, the recommendation was to only include in-text references.)

Works Cited examples for the US Constitution:

US Const. art. II, sec. 1, cl. 3. Print.

US Const. amend. III. Print.


Works Cited example for the US Code * :

17 USC. Sec. 304. 2000. Print.

* Note that this will be alphabetized in your Works Cited list as if it began with "United States Code."


More about the US Code:

The USC is divided into 50 "titles." For example, the Internal Revenue Code is title 26, so a parenthetical reference for the Web page http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/irc457.pdf would look like this: (26 USC 457, 2002).

Other titles include:

15 (Commerce and Trade, including trademark statutes)
17 (Copyrights)
18 (Federal criminal statutes)
26 (Internal Revenue Code, the federal tax law)
35 (Patents)
47 (Communications law: telephone, radio/television, etc.)

This article last revised: 10/22/2012

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