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How to Cite the U.S. Constitution in MLA on a Works Cited Page

by Kyle Whitney, Demand Media Google

    Few documents are as important to American culture as the U.S. Constitution, and it provides a common source material for research papers. MLA style, a writing guide to aid those creating works in the humanities, once called only for in-text references to the U.S. Constitution. That changed with the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, though, and now MLA calls for a brief citation on the works cited page, as well.

    Necessary Information

    When citing the U.S. Constitution in accordance with the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, you need to cite the specific article or amendment you are referencing. Additionally, you should include the specific years of given amendments or articles if that information relates to your discussion.

    Formatting the Citation

    In your MLA document, your works cited page serves as an alphabetized collection of all your research. To cite a specific section of the Constitution, you will begin the citation with the words "U.S. Constitution" in italics, followed by a period. Next, list the article or amendment being referenced -- use the abbreviation "Art." or "Amend." If applicable, complete the citation by listing the specific section -- abbreviate using "Art." -- being referenced. A works cited page reference to the second section of the Constitution's 22nd Amendment would read: U.S. Constitution (italicized). Amend. XXII, Sec. 2.

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    • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition; Modern Language Association

    About the Author

    First published in 2005, Kyle Whitney has covered news and sports in the Midwest, Washington, D.C., and Beijing. His articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines in Michigan and China. Whitney is currently a local government reporter at a daily paper.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

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