Skip to main content

MLA Citation Guide: 8th Edition

This guide will help you understand how to use the MLA citation format for both in-text citations and works cited lists. It includes some more commonly used source formats. For complete information, please consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research

Professor of Library Services

Ann Grafstein's picture
Ann Grafstein
Contact:
Axinn Library
Room 902H
516-463-5052
Website / Blog Page

Citing Print Government Publications

A government publication is one that emanates from some level of government (federal, state, city, etc.) and from a government agency (United Sates Department of Justice, New York State Education Department, etc.) Like other documents produced by a corporate author,often you will not know the personal author of the document. Cite the government agency that issued it as author listing the name of the government followed by the name of the agency (you may abbreviate this if it is identifiable by context), followed by the title of the publication. Then list publication information as usual. Because they may differ so considerably from each other in terms of authorship, government publications may present some difficulty. Be sure to consult the MLA Handbook.

CONTENTS OF THIS BOX

Publications from Government Agencies

Congressional Publications

Acts and Court Cases


Publications from Government Agencies

Basic Format

Name of Government from which the publication emanates, Name of Responsible Agency.

Title of the publication (italicized). Publisher's Name, Date.

What does a citation look like?

United States. General Accounting Office. Vietnamese Amerasian Resettlement: Education, Employment and Family

Outcomes in the United States. General Accounting Office, 1994.


Congressional Publications

Basic Format

Name of Government. Part of Congress that produced the document. Title of the document (italicized),

number, session (optional). Publisher's Name, Date.

What does a citation look like?

United States. Cong. S. Committee on Government Operations. Watergate Reorganization and Reform

Act of 1975.Hearings 94th Cong., first sess. Washington: GPO, 1975.


Acts and Court Cases

Act

To cite an act, give the name of the act, its Public Law number, the date and its Statutes at Large Cataloging number. Use Pub. L. to abbreviate Public Law and Stat for Statures at Large.

Basic Format

Name of Act, Public Law Number. Date it was enacted. Statues at Large. Cataloging Number.

What does a citation look like?

Aviation and Transportation Security Act. Pub L. 107-71. 19 Nov. 2001. Stat. 115.597.

Court Case

To cite a court case, list the names of the first plaintiff and the defendant, the number of the case, the name of the court that decided the case, and the date of the decision

Basic Format

Name of first plaintiff, Name of first defendant. Case Number. Name of Court. Date of decision.

What does a citation look like?

Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico. No. 80-2043. Supreme Ct. of the US,

25 June 1982.



This site is compliant with the W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY Hempstead, NY 11549-1000 (516) 463-6600 © 2000-2009 Hofstra University