Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Government Documents & Information: Citing Government Documents

Citing Government Documents

Government documents can be especially difficult to cite. They don't necessarily follow the same formats as commercial publications (purpose, style, and content vary widely) and consequently they don't necessarily contain the same type of publication information (author, title, publisher, date). If you don't find the standard information or a suggested citation on a government document, the links on this page can help. 

Citation Resources

Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States

Citing U.S. Government Publications is an extensive guide from Indiana University Libraries, based on Garner and Cheney's The Complete Guide to Citing Government Documents: A Manual for Writers & Librarians (1993).

Guide for Citing Government Information Sources (MLA Style) gives some good examples of MLA bibliographic citations as well as footnotes and endnotes; from the University of Montana

Legal, Public, and Unpublished Materials is a brief guide from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) 

Tutorial: Citing Government Publications (General Guidelines) provides a thorough general guide; from the University of North Texas


Citation Resources at Harold Washington College Library

In addition to the resources listed above, it's a good idea to consult the style guide (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) that is appropriate for your project. The titles listed here are available at Harold Washington College Library: