How to Cite State Codes or Statutes in APA Style

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Cite state codes and legal statutes in APA style for college research or professionally written papers and reports. APA style is a method of citing references developed 80 years ago by the American Psychological Association and is designed to augment a straightforward, precision approach to academic and professional writing. These rules reduce distractions to the reader while still providing proof of the accuracy of information contained in the paper. There are no specific APA rules for citing state documents. Therefore, when citing state codes, you should use the general format for federal documents.

  • Type the name of the state followed by the title of the codes or statutes using abbreviations.
    For example: Virginia State Legislative Code would read Virg. Leg. Code.

  • Type the chapter number, with the word chapter abbreviated as “ch.” Type the chapter number followed by a comma.
    For example: Virg. Leg. Code ch. 26,

  • Insert “§“ which is the character used to represent section. In Microsoft Word click the “Insert” tab then click “Symbol.” Click “More Symbols” at the bottom of the box and scroll to the symbol. Click “Insert” then “Close.” Follow the character with the section number of the code. Close this portion of the citation with a period.
    For example: Virg. Leg. Code ch. 26, § 84.12.3.

  • Type the name of the act. Capitalize the first letter of each word in the title, with the exception of articles, prepositions and conjunctions with less than four letters.
    For example: Virg. Leg. Code ch. 26, § 84.12.3. This Is Not a Real Act.

  • Type the volume number and name followed by the page number. Close this portion of the citation with a period.
    For example: Virg. Leg. Code ch. 26, § 84.12.3. This Is Not a Real Act. 1999 Virg. Code 267.

  • End the citation with the date of the act followed by a period.
    For example: Virg. Leg. Code ch. 26, § 84.12.3. This Is Not a Real Act. 1999 Virg. Code 267. 24 June 2011.

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