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How to Cite US Government Documents in APA Citation Style: Home


Guidance for the MLA 7th edition is no longer available. Please see the link to MLA Citation Style rules, 8th edition: Documenting Legal Works.

Please note: The 7th edition (2020) of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association includes an expanded section on citing legal materials with a number of changes to the earlier guidance. If you are a Cornell student, please Ask a Librarian for assistance. This guide will no longer be updated.


This guide provides general principles for citing US Government documents in student research papers in APA format, along with examples by type of document, based on the 6th edition.

Please note: There are many types of US government documents that are not addressed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

In cases where the respective style manuals do not specifically address the type of document in question, suggested examples in this guide are based on The Bluebook guidelines adapted to APA style.

For more in-depth guidelines on citing legal and legislative material, users are referred to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.

See also: Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (online ed. 2015), by Peter W. Martin




Style Manuals Consulted -- Print Editions

A note on the Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style offers extensive guidance for citing US and some international and foreign documents, beginning with section 14.281.