Skip to main content

Citation Guide: Government Documents - MLA

A guide to creating citations for bibliographies and works cited pages

Websites for MLA Style Citations

Many of these sites offer information about constructing in-text citations, as well as constructing citations for bibliographies and works cited lists: 

MLA Core Elements

MLA now recommends creating a citation for a source by presenting, in a particular order, at least nine core elements of information about the source. For more on these citation guidelines, review this handout:

For more detailed information, consult the authoritative source: 
MLA Handbook, 8th edition. 
Ask at the Reference Desk.


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change over time, especially for citing sources accessed electronically. This guide incorporates the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly.

If you use a citation generator from a database or website, doublecheck, using this guide, to be sure the generator has used the current rules.

Please Note

Citations should be double-spaced in an actual Bibliography, Works Cited, or References list, and works should be ordered alphabetically by author.

Citing Government Documents. - MLA

Byline Provided
Author (last name first), and additional Author's Name, if only one (first name first), or, if more than two, et al. Publication Title. List Departments/Agencies, smallest to largest, Publisher (if it’s not a government entity already listed), date. If accessed online, include its URL, without http://. For congressional documents, include the number of the Congress, session, and report number, if provided.

Faustini, Connie M., et al. Environmental Review of the Proposed Rockfish Solar Project. Power Plant Research Program, Department of National Resources, Maryland, 2015.

Oudekerk, Barbara A., and Rachel E. Morgan. Co-Offending among Adolescents in Violent Victimizations, 2004–13. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, Department of­­­­­­­ Justice, United States, 7 July 2016, pub/pdf/caavv0413.pdf.

No byline provided
Start the citation with Government Name, Department and/or Agency Name(s), largest to smallest. 

United States, Congress, House, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. Transportation in Alaska. Government Printing Office, 1948. 80th Congress, 2nd session, House Report 1272.

No byline, and Government Entity is the publisher
Start the citation with the Title, and list the departments and/or agencies as the publisher, smallest to largest.

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Rev. ed., no. 10-5605, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, United States, 2010.

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography