How do I cite a congressional document in print and online?

Cite a congressional document by following the MLA template of core elements. Begin by listing the government entity as the author, followed by the title of the source. Then list the name of the publisher and the date:

United States, Congress, House, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Al-Qaeda: The Many Faces of an Islamist Extremist Threat. Government Printing Office, 2006.

Following 2.1.3 of the MLA Handbook, you might include information about the congressional session from which the document emerged or specify the document’s type and number in the optional-element slot at the end of the entry:

United States, Congress, House, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Al-Qaeda: The Many Faces of an Islamist Extremist Threat. Government Printing Office, 2006. 109th Congress, 2nd session, House Report 615.

To cite a congressional document found online, provide the information for the document in one container. Then provide the name of the Web site on which the document appears, along with the URL or DOI:

United States, Congress. Public Law 111-122. United States Statutes at Large, vol. 123, 2009, pp. 3480-82. U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-123/pdf/STATUTE-123.pdf.

See more examples of citing government and legal works in our earlier post.

Published 3 November 2017

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