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Citing Government Information Sources Using MLA (Modern Language Association) Style

Sample Citations Included:

Sample Citations

U.S. PRESIDENTIAL PAPERS (MICROFILM EDITION)

Cleveland, Grover. "Message of the President of the United States. Paper communicated to the two houses of Congress, Washington. D.C. August 8, 1893." Grover Cleveland Papers, series 6, sub series A, reel 85. Washington: Library of Congress, 1965. Microfilm.

REPORT OF A U.S. PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION

United States. Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. Report to the President. 5 vols. Washington: The Commission, 1986. Print.

FEDERAL AGENCY REPORT WITH CORPORATE AUTHOR

United States. National Park Service. Final General Management Plan, Environmental Impact Statement. Glacier National Park: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the World's First International Peace Park, a World Heritage Site. [West Glacier, Mont.:] National Park Service, 1999. Microfiche.

FEDERAL AGENCY REPORT WITH PERSONAL AUTHORS

Borrie, William T., and James A. Harding. Effective Recreation Visitor Communication Strategies: Rock Climbers in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana. [Fort Collins, Colo.:] U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station [2002]. Web. 12 January 2004. <http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rn015.pdf>.

GRAPHIC IMAGE FILE RETRIEVED FROM AN AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEB SITE

"First Color Image from Rover Spirit." Mars Exploration Rover Mission. 2004. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Web. 9 January 2004. <http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040106c/P2302-540-361_br.jpg>.

U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION

Uniform System Citation (Bluebook):

Brown v. the Board of Education, 347 US 483 (1954). Print.

Recommended MLA-style Citation:

Brown v. Board of Educ. 347 U. S. Reports (17 May 1954): 483-500. Print.

U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION RETRIEVED FROM AN ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE (LEXIS-NEXIS)

George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, v. Albert Gore, Jr., et al. Supreme Ct. of the US. 12 December 2000. U.S. LEXIS 8430. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Web. 17 June 2008.
[no Uniform System Citation (Bluebook) is provided for this sample citation, since Lexis-Nexis is not a primary source]

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL BILL IN ELECTRONIC FORMAT (GPO Access)

United States. Cong. Senate. 106th Congress, 1st Session. S. 608, A Bill to Amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 [introduced in the U.S. Senate; 15 March 1999]. 106th Cong., 1st sess. Congressional Bills, GPO Access. Web. 24 May 1999. <http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/cong009.html; DOCID: f:s608is.txt>.

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL HEARING

United States. Cong. Senate. Committee on Governmental Affairs. Pentagon Rules on Media Access to the Persian Gulf War. Hearing. 20 Feb. 1991. 102nd Cong., 1st sess. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1991. Microfiche.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. EXECUTIVE DOCUMENT RETRIEVED FROM A LICENSED ONLINE DATABASE (READEX)

United States. Cong. Message of the President of the United States, communicated to the two Houses of Congress at the beginning of the first session of the Fifty-third Congress. August 8, 1893. 53rd Cong., 1st sess. H.Exec.Doc. 1. Serial Set Vol. 3150, Session Vol.1. Washington, GPO, 1893. Readex. Archive of Americana. U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1980.Record Number: 110C936A96680DB0. Web. 18 June 2008.

FEDERAL REGISTER

Uniform System Citation (Bluebook):

Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities, Final Rule, 56 Fed. Reg. 35725-35755 (July 26, 1991) (to be codified at 48 C.F.R. pt.52). Print.

Recommended MLA-style Citation:

"Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities, Final Rule." Federal Register 56 (26 July 1991): 35725-35755. Print.

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

Uniform System Citation (Bluebook):

Admission of Refugees, 8 CFR, pt.207 (1992). Print.

Recommended Garner-style Citation:

"Admission of Refugees." Title 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Pt. 207. 1992 ed., 104-106. Print.

UNITED STATES CODE

Uniform System Citation (Bluebook):

16 U.S.C. Sec.668 (1988). Print.

Recommended Garner-style Citation:

"Protection of Bald and Golden Eagles." Title 16 U.S.Code, Sec. 668. 1988 ed., 839-846. Print.

PUBLIC LAW

Uniform System Citation (Bluebook):

Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, Pub. L. no. 108-173, 117 Stat 2066 (2003). Print.

Recommended Garner-style Citation:

"A Bill to Amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to Provide for a Voluntary Program for Prescription Drug coverage Under the Medicare Program, to Modernize the Medicare Program, and for Other Purposes (Brief title: Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003)." (PL 108-173, 18 Dec. 2003). United States Statutes at Large 117 (2003): 2066-2480. Print.

STATISTICAL TABLE

"Table 96 - Public High School Graduates, by State: 1969-70 to 1990-91." Digest of Education Statistics, 1991. Washington: GPO, 1991. Print.

DYNAMICALLY-GENERATED DATASET

"Import Data for 1999-2002." USATrade Online. 2004. United States Department of Commerce. STAT-USA. Web. 9 January 2004.

U.S. GOVERNMENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORT (VIA STAT-USA)

"Telecommunications Equipment FY99: IMI981113." STAT-USA. 1999. STAT-USA. Web. 13 November 1998.

U.S. CENSUS DATA (VIA AMERICAN FACTFINDER)

"QT-H1. General Housing Characteristics: 2000. Census Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data. Gabbs City, Nevada." American FactFinder. 2000. Bureau of the Census. Web. 23 July 2001.

NATO PRESS RELEASE

"Statement on Kosovo: Press Release S-1(99)62." NATO Official Home Page. 1999. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Web. 21 May 1999. <http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/1999/p99-062e.htm>.

PAPER IN A PUBLISHED CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

Rust, Charles H. "Current and New Marketing Technology (Electronic)." Proceedings of the International Beef Cattle Symposium, January 15-17, 1991, Heritage Inn, Great Falls, Montana. Special Report (Montana Agricultural Experiment Station) 42. Bozeman: Montana State University, 1991. 171-183. Print.

UNITED NATIONS PUBLICATION (OFFICIAL RECORD)

United Nations. Economic and Social Council. 54th Sess. Commission on Human Rights, Resolution 1998/70. Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan. 21 April 1998. Official Record (1998) Supplement No. 3. Readex. Microfiche.

STATE GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION (NEVADA)

Nevada. Department of Transportation. Travel Demand Analysis of Selected Small Urban Areas of Nevada. Carson City: Nevada. Department of Transportation [1996]. Print.

CITY GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION (RENO, NEVADA)

Reno (Nevada). Opportunities for Citizen Participation in Reno City Government: Boards, Commissions and Committees. [Reno, Nev.:] The City [1995]. Print.

CITY GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION (CHICAGO: TWO RESPONSIBLE ENTITIES)

Commission on Chicago Landmarks and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Chicago Historic Resources Survey: An Inventory of Architecturally and Historically Significant Structures. Chicago: Chicago Department of Planning and Development, 1996. Print.

WORLD FACTBOOK VIA STAT-USA

"Mexico." World Factbook. STAT-USA. 1999. STAT-USA. Web. 25 May 1999.

FBIS TRANSCRIPT (CD-ROM)

"China: Relations With Canada Reaffirmed." Beijing Xinhua [English translation]. 2 April 1997. FBIS Publications. Disc no. 16. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, April-June 1997. CD-ROM.

About Using this Page and MLA Style

The citations on this page are only recommended examples, and have not been approved by the editorial board of the Modern Language Association. Consult your instructor or editor for the appropriate citation style.

For further explanation and more sample citations, see MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd ed.

Citing Sources in the Text of Your Manuscript or Paper

MLA recommends "parenthetical documentation" of sources, whereby a cited author and specific page numbers are noted in parentheses in the text of your paper or manuscript, e.g., (Fairbanks 32) or (Rubenstein 101-102). Such citations refer to an alphabetically arranged list of works cited, which is properly placed at the end of your paper. See Section 7.4 of MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing for more examples.

Citing Web Publications

MLA’s editors suggest inclusion of URLs in such citations when:

  1. You believe it is unlikely that readers will locate the source without it
  2. Your publisher requires it (if you are a student, your instructor fills the same role as an author’s publisher or editor)

Otherwise, MLA’s editors discourage the inclusion of URLs in citations. See Section 6.7 of the MLA Style Manual for a full discussion of citing web publications.

Explanation of Formats for Legal Citations

In this guide, citations to legal information sources such as U.S. Reports, the U.S. Code, the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations are given in two formats, the first being legal citation styles recommended by the Modern Language Association and used in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Law Review Association, 2000), and a second format, conforming closely to the examples in Diane Garner, The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: A Manual for Social Science & Business Research (3rd ed., rev. by Debora Cheney. Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service, 2002). Herein, these citation formats are referred to as the "Uniform System" and "Garner" citation styles. In instances where Garner's sample citations to legal information differed significantly from MLA style, a citation was constructed conforming as closely as possible to MLA standards for a source published in a non-government periodical.

While the sample citations on this page may be helpful, you should always use the citation format that your instructor or editor prefers.

Web Page Credits

The examples in this guide were prepared by Audrey Jean Haight, Patrick Ragains, and Vicky York.