Referencing is a crucial component of academic writing, as it acknowledges the original works of others. The APA style is a popular referencing format. However, citing government documents can be complicated due to their distinct format and extensive institutional authorship. This article aims to provide you with an extensive guide on how to properly format an APA government document citation. Additionally, it offers examples and frequently asked questions about this topic.
Definition: APA government document citation
Citing sources correctly is crucial when writing your academic paper. It upholds the principles of academic honesty and integrity and can lead to accusations of plagiarism. For this reason, it is important to learn how to cite a government document in APA style. The APA government document citation refers to the specific rules and guidelines outlined by the American Psychological Association for citing government reports, publications, and other documents in academic writing. The goal is to provide clear and consistent documentation, allowing readers to locate and access the original sources of information easily.
Format of in-text citations and reference entries
In APA style, citing government documents can be somewhat different from citing other types of sources, but they still adhere to the general APA guidelines for in-text citations and reference entries. Understanding these rules is vital for maintaining academic integrity and providing readers with the necessary information to locate the original document. The following illustrates the in-text citation as well as the reference entry format of an APA government document citation.
Format of an in-text citation
When quoting directly or paraphrasing from a source, the APA style requires an in-text citation. It typically includes the author (in this case, the government entity) and the year of publication.
- Format: (Government Agency, Year)
Format of a reference entry
- Government Agency. (Year). Title of document: Subtitle if applicable (Report No. if available). Publisher.
- Government Agency. (Year). Title of document: Subtitle if applicable (Report No. if available). Site Name. URL or DOI
APA government document citation example
If the government agency is also the publisher, you can skip the publisher in the APA government document citation to avoid repetition.
If the document doesn’t have a specific author, the government agency that issued the document is considered the author.
If the name of the agency is long, you can include the abbreviation in the first in-text citation.
- Example: (National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2019)
For subsequent APA government document citations, you can just use the abbreviation
- Example: (NIH, 2019)