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APA Citation Style Guide (6th Ed.): Government Publication

This guide contains examples of common citation formats in APA (American Psychological Association) Style

Citing a Government Publication

(p. 205, 216-224)

APA Citation Style does not have a separate category for government publications.  According to APA, government documents can be considered Books, Technical/Research Reports or Brochures.

Helpful Tips:

  • Treat a government document as a book, report, or brochure.
  • If a person is named on the title page, use her or him as author.
  • If no person is named, use the government agency, department, or branch as a group author (Ex. 31, p.205).
  • Give the name of the group author exactly as it appears on the title page. If the branch or agency is not well known, include its higher department first.
  • If the group author is also the publisher, just use the word Author after the location (p. 203).
  • If there is a series or report number, include it after the title (p. 205).
  • APA style for citing Congressional publications is based on the latest edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. (p. 216) For information about citing these sources in your reference list, see the Westfield State University page on Citing Legal Materials in APA Style.

General Format 
      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (Author Surname OR Name of Government Organization, Year)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (Author Surname OR Name of Government Organization, Year, page number)
      Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. OR Government Name. Name of
            Government Agency. (Year). Title: Subtitle (Report No. xxx [if available]). Place of
            Publication: Publisher.
Example 1 
      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (Pillsbury, 2000)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (Pillsbury, 2000, p. 5)
       Pillsbury, M. (2000). China Debates the Future Security Environment.  Report
            prepared for U. S. Department of Defense. Institute for National Strategic
            Studies. Washington: National Defense University Press.
Example 2
      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006, p. 2)
      U.S. Census Bureau. (2006). Statistical abstract of the United States.
            Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
Example 3 
      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008, p. ii)
      U.S. Census Bureau. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (2008, August). U.S.
            international trade in goods and services (Report No. CB08-121,
            BEA08-37, FT-900). Retrieved from
Example 4 
      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2003) 
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2003, p. 35)
      U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2003, July). No Child Left Behind Act: More
            information would help states determine which teachers are highly qualified.
           (Publication No. GAO-03-631). Retrieved from
Example 5 
      In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): 
      (U. S. Food and Drug Administration, 2004)
      In-Text Citation (Quotation):
      (U. S. Food and Drug Administration, 2004, p. 8)
      U. S. Food and Drug Administration. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2004).
            Worsening depression and suicidality in patients being treated with antidepressant
            medications: FDA public health advisory. Washington, DC: Author.