How to Cite a Resolution


Resolutions, or formal statements of opinion or intention, typically come from formal organizations such as government, non-governmental organizations and nonprofit societies. Properly citing a resolution depends on the style being used and the medium where the resolution is published. The focus here is on citing a resolution for legal writing purposes.

  • Identify the style required for your writing. Different styles are used for humanities (MLA), social sciences (APA), history (Chicago), sciences (CSE), and for legal writing.

  • Consult a documentation source for the guidelines for the style you are using. Examples of documentation sources are listed in the resource section below. Print versions of documentation sources are available in libraries and bookstores.

  • Identify the title and number of the resolution. For example, a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution title and number looks like this: The situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo. SC Res. 1291.

  • Identify the publisher of the resolution. For example, a UNSC resolution is published by the United Nations Security Council Official Records or UN SCOR.

  • Determine the session when the resolution passed. For example, a UNSC resolution passed in the 55th session is documented as "55th Sess."

  • Identify the name and number of the document and the page number within the document where the resolution is located. The easiest way to find this information is to reference an index for the organization. For example, the UNSC has an index of resolutions called "Resolutions and Decisions of the Security Council." The name, number and page number for the UNSC resolution referenced above is: "U.N. Doc. S/INF/56 (2000) 51."

  • Compile the information gathered to cite the resolution. For example: The situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo. SC Res. 1291, UN SCOR,

    55th Sess., U.N. Doc. S/INF/56 (2000) 51.


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