- Libraries & Spaces
How do you cite the Declaration of Independence?
Last Updated: May 06, 2014 | 142990 Views
Topics: How Do I ... ?
Was this helpful? 66 166
When citing the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution itself, do not cite it in the "Works Cited" list. Both are considered well-known documents that are only cited in a parenthetical reference.
The first time you reference the work, include the institutional author (US) and date (1776) in your parenthetical reference.
Ex: ". . . in the Declaration of Independence (US 1776)."
If you refer to a specific section, parenthetically reference it in your text.
Ex: ". . . In the Constitution of the United States, Article II (sec.1, cl.3) refers to the..."
Ex: ". . . in the U.S. Constitution (art. 2, sec. 1, cl.3.)..."
Note MLA does not use the standard legal format for citations. If your paper includes many legal references, MLA suggests consulting the most recent edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, which can be found it the Lauinger Reference Stacks, KF246 .U5 2005.
In general, do not italicize, underline, or use quotation marks for the titles of laws, acts, or documents such as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or US Code.
The standard format, as recommended in the Bluebook, is the second example here. The symbol "§" means "section".
US Const., art. 1, sec. 1. Print.
Standard legal format: U.S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 8
(Article 1, section 8, clause 8)