Citing court cases (decisions/opinions)


  • title or name of the case
  • volume and page number of the court reporter, e.g. U.S.= United States Reports is the official source (reporter) of U.S. Supreme Court Opinions
  • Date of the decision

In text:

Cite the name of the case (italicized) and the year of the decision.

  • (Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, 1966)

Reference List:

  • Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections. 383 U.S. 663. 1966. URL


Supreme Court decisions are published in United States Reports, abbreviated "U.S." 383 U.S. 663 refers to volume 383 of United States Reports, page 663.

For additional examples, and for names/abbreviations for lower courts, see Cornell Legal Information Institute, Basic Legal Citation, Reporters & Courts.

A note about URLs

If you found your reference in an academic database (like Proquest Congressional Publications, or Hein Online), the database URL is not included.

If you found your reference on the open web (for example,, add the DOI (or, if a DOI is not available, the URL), after the final period.

See page 296 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (2020) for more information.