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How to Cite Court Transcripts in APA Format

by Jennifer Allman, Demand Media
    Court transcripts can be an excellent resource when writing about the law in research papers.

    Court transcripts can be an excellent resource when writing about the law in research papers.

    Court transcripts are written documents of entire courtroom proceedings. They give a thorough recounting of everything said during a trial. When referencing such resources, proper APA style must be followed.

    Court Transcripts: Reference Page

    The citation for court transcripts varies depending on whether the case was argued in the Supreme Court or a lower court. For a Supreme Court case, the citation is as follows: Name v. Name. Vol. number U.S. Page number. (Year). For example: Doe v. Smith. 474 U.S. 438 (2012). For a lower court, use the following: Name v. Name, Volume Number Reporter abbreviation Page number (Court Name). For Federal Reporters at circuit courts, the abbreviations are F., F.2d or F.3d. For Federal Supplement at district courts, use the abbreviations F. Supp. or F. Supp.2d. When written out, a circuit court transcript will look like this: Smith v. Doe 131 F. 3d 21 (1st Cir. 2010).

    Court Transcripts: In-Text Citation

    When discussing details about a court case, the transcript must be properly cited within the text. There are two ways to do this. If you are using the name of the case in the main text of the sentence, simply follow the Name v. Name format, followed by the year in parenthesis. If the name of the case does not appear in the sentence, end it like this: (Name v. Name, Year). All court transcripts will follow this format regardless of whether it is a Supreme Court or lower court case.

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    About the Author

    Jen has been a professional writer since 2002 in the education nonprofit industry. Her work has been featured in the New Jersey SEEDS Annual Report, as well as several Centenary College publications, including "Centenary in the News" and the "Trustee Times." In 2009, Jen earned a Master of Arts degree in leadership and public administration from Centenary College.

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