by Kristi R. Johnson
The following post is actually something I try to avoid when it comes to the WNW, only because 1. I would rather focus on words specifically, instead of a style. And 2. There are many different styles that students may have to use during their time in college, and it feels a little wrong for me to only pay attention to one.
With that being said, today I will briefly go over citing government documents when using APA (American Psychological Association) style, 6th edition. Here at the MFD Writing Center at OLLU, we work with a great number of students who must use APA style when writing their papers. It is certainly the style I end up working with the most, and aside from citing websites, citing government documents seems to be the trickiest thing that a student may have to do.
So here are some general rules to go by: First, it may help to remember to treat the document as you would a book, and if there is a name on the title page, use that name as the author. If no name is present, use the name of the agency, department, or branch as a group author. So really, an in-text citation would look almost exactly the same as if it were for a book or journal article.
(Author Surname OR Name of Government Organization, Year)
(U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2004)
(Author Surname OR Name of Government Organization, Year, Page Number)
(U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2004, p. 8)
As for the reference page, the same rules apply.
Author Surname, First Initial. OR Government Name. Name of Government Agency. (Year). Title: Subtitle (Report No. xxx [if available]). Place of Publication: Publisher.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2004). Antidepressants and suicide. Washington, DC: Author.
Was that helpful at all? No? Still confused? Yeah, me too. So I get it. APA is tricky enough. Throw in government documents, websites, or court cases, and things get a little crazy.
*Some examples were taken from the Research Guide at George Washington University.