How to cite the Constitution in MLA
To cite the Constitution of the United States in MLA style, include information about where you accessed it in the Works Cited entry. In the in-text citation, use article/amendment and section numbers instead of page numbers.
The example below shows how to cite an online version of the constitution.
|Format||Page Title. Website Name, Publisher, Day Month Year, URL. or URL.|
|Works Cited entry||The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription. National Archives, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 4 May 2020, www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript.|
|In-text citation||(“Constitution of the United States,” art. 1, sec. 4)|
Citing a print version of the constitution
The Constitution has also been published in book form in various editions. To cite one of these, write the title of the book in italics, and list any editors, annotators, or other main contributors to the edition after the title.
|Format||Book Title. Edited by Editor first name Last name, edition, Publisher, Year.|
|Works Cited entry||The U.S. Constitution: Explained—Clause by Clause—for Every American Today. Annotated by Ray Raphael, Vintage, 2017.|
|In-text citation||(U.S. Constitution, amend. 13, sec. 1)|
Referring to the Constitution in your text
When mentioning the Constitution in your paper, you can generally just call it the Constitution without italicization or quotation marks.
In the parenthetical citation, you should specify the version cited (to match the first words of the Works Cited entry).
- As stated in “The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription,” … (art. 1, sec. 4).
- As stated in the Constitution, … (“Constitution of the United States,” art. 1, sec. 4).
Use the abbreviations “art.” (Article), “amend.” (Amendment), and “sec.” (Section) as appropriate in your citations; convert any roman numerals used in the text to arabic numerals (e.g. “XIV” becomes “14”).
Frequently asked questions about MLA citations
- Are titles capitalized in MLA?