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University of Portland Clark Library

APA Style (7th Edition) Citation Guide: Government & Legal Documents

Formatting

Note: All citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent in a Reference List.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Below is a link to an APA sample paper that contains instructions about how to format a hanging indent in a paper.

Tips

Author

Government Documents often have a group/corporate author listed instead of a specific person's name. The author may be the name of a department, commitee or agency.

When the government department, agency or committee that created the document is also the publisher, omit the publisher name to avoid repetition. The names of parent agencies, if applicable, may be used as the publisher.

Titles

Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title. If there is a colon (:) in the title, also capitalize the first letter of the first word after the colon.

Capitalize the first letter of proper names in titles, such as names of places or people.

Place of Publication

Omit the publisher location in the reference unless they are works associated with specific locations (e.g. a conference presentation). For cities in the US and Canada list the city name and the province or state code. For other countries, list the city name and the country. Examples: Toronto, ON ; Tokyo, Japan

Electronic Government Documents

Many government documents are now published electronically as well as in print. Provide the publisher name and the url.

Government Document From a Website

Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee. (Year of Publication, Month Day). Title of document: Subtitle if given (edition if given and is not first edition). Publisher Name. URL


Example:

United States Department of Children and Youth Services. (2010, April 27). Your preschool child's speech and language development. United States Department of Health & Human Services. http://www.children.gov./htdocs/English/topics/earlychildhood/ speechlanguage/brochure_preschool.aspx

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee, Year)

Example: (United States Department of Children and Youth Services, 2010)

In-Text Quote:

(Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee, Year, Section Name section, para. Paragraph Number if more than one paragraph in section)

(United States Department of Children and Youth Services, 2010, By Age Five section, para. 4)

Note: When there are no visible page numbers or paragraph numbers, you may cite the section heading and the number of the paragraph in that section to identify where your quote came from.

Government Document In Print

Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee. (Year of Publication). Title of document: Subtitle if given (edition if given and is not first edition). Publisher Name.


Example:

National Health Council. (2007). Americans' experience with chronic illness care in 2007.

Note: When the government department, agency or committee that created the document is also the publisher, omit the publisher name in the reference.

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee, Year)

Example: (National Health Council, 2007)

In-Text Quote:

(Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee, Year, p. Page Number)

Example: (National Health Council, 2007, p. 4)

Court Decision

Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date).


Example:

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Brown v. Board of Education, 1954).

In-Text Quote:

(Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, Syllabus (d)).

Note:

Italicize the case name if you include it in the text of your paper.

Statute

Name of Act, public law number, (year).


Example:

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Pub. L. No. 104-191, § 264, 110 Stat.1936.

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA] of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-191)

In-Text Quote:

(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-191, S. 264)

Unenacted Bill or Resolution

Title [if there is one], bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (year).


Example (Senate):

Anti-Phishing Act, S. 472, 109th Cong. (2005).

Example: (House):

Anti-Phishing Act, H.R. 1099, 109th Cong. (2005).

In-Text Paraphrase:

(Anti-Phishing Act, 2005)

In-Text Quote:

(Anti-Phishing Act, 2005, S. 1351 "Internet Fraud")

 

 

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