How to Cite the Constitution in MLA – A Guide

30.06.23 MLA examples Time to read: 2min

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Knowing how to cite the Constitution properly in MLA format is crucial for students and academics studying humanities, particularly in languages and literature. This guide offers a detailed, step-by-step approach and provides examples for citing this important document. Additionally, the article introduces the AOA (Alphabetical Order of Appearance) reference order as an alternative method for citation.

In a nutshell: How to cite the constitution in MLA

  • This article highlights the importance of citing the Constitution in academic writing.
  • The MLA citation style is being introduced and how to properly apply it.
  • Additionally, the correct usage of the AOA reference order will be explained.

Definition: How to cite the Constitution in MLA

When it comes to referencing the United States Constitution in academic writing, citing it in MLA format follows the guidelines set by the Modern Language Association.

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How to cite the Constitution in MLA: General format

Work Cited entry

For the works cited entry, the citation should include the title of the document (the Constitution), the article and section being referenced, and the publication details. If citing a print version, the name of the publisher, the publication date, and the medium should also be included.

In-text citation

The in-text citation is fairly straightforward. It should include the title of the document (the Constitution) and the article and section being referenced.

Format Page Title. Website Name, Publisher, Day Month Year, URL. or URL.
Example U.S. Constitution Art. 1, Sec. 8. The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription, National Archives, 2021, URL.
Format (“Title of Document Article,” art. X, sec. Y)
Example (“U.S. Constitution Art,” art. 1, sec. 8)

How to cite the Constitution in MLA: Printed version

To cite a print version of the Constitution, use the following format:

MLA format Book Title. Edited by Editor First name Last name, edition, Publisher, Year.
MLA Works Cited entry The U.S. Constitution: Explained–Clause by Clause–for Every American Today. Annotated by Ray Raphael, Vintage, 2017.
MLA in-text citation (U.S. Constitution, amend. 13, sec. 1)

How to cite the Constitution in MLA: References in your text

When referring to the Constitution in the body of your text, you should always capitalize the “C” in Constitution.


As noted in the Constitution (Art. 1, Sec. 8), Congress has the power to regulate commerce.


MLA is generally used for humanities subjects and places a lot of emphasis on the authorship of the work. Other citation styles have different areas of emphasis. For example, APA style is often used in the social sciences and emphasizes the date a work was published.

The AOA reference order isn’t typically used in MLA citations. However, understanding it can offer you another perspective on citation order.

Failure to properly cite any sources, including the Constitution, can result in accusations of plagiarism, which is a serious academic offense.