Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Social Work Policy: Citation Info

In-depth guide to policy information sources

APA Citations

APA Government Document Citation FAQs

How do I cite a CRS Report?

ProQuest Congressional provides access to Congressional Research Services Reports.

Cite a CRS report according to APA 6th section 7.03 for the citation of Technical and Research Reports.  The general form is:

 

Author, A.A. (1998). Title of work (Report No. xxx). Location: Publisher.

 

And notes that for online reports, the publisher would be identified as part of the retrieval statement: Retrieved from Agency name website: http://www.xxx

Therefore, a CRS report retrieved from the ProQuest Congressional database would be cited as:

 

Author, A.A. (year, month day). Title of work (CRS Report No. xxx).  Retrieved from ProQuest Congressional website: http://www.xxx

 

There should be a durable URL listed on the landing page for the report in ProQuest Congressional that you can use.  In cases were there are a couple different numbers listed on the report PDF itself, it's probably safest to go with the publication number listed on the ProQuest Congressional landing page.

 

How do I cite a Michigan fiscal agency analysis report?

Use the same general format as above for the CRS Reports, which is the APA format for Technical and Research Reports.

The author may be either the government agency (e.g., Michigan House Fiscal Agency) or the names of the legislative analysts which are often listed at the end of the report. Many fiscal agency analysis reports will not have a report number, so the number can be left out, but still including in parantheses the type of report will be helpful to those reading your citation. Just make sure you get the date right, since this will be a key differentiating factor for multiple reports on the same bill.

An example:

Best, E., Frey, S., & Gielzcyk, B. (2013, June 4). Legislative analysis: Responsible father registry (Michigan House Fiscal Agency Report). Retrieved from Michigan Legislature website: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/billanalysis/House/pdf/2013-HLA-4659-4AD8E75D.pdf

 

How do I cite legislation (laws and bills)?

APA defers to the "Bluebook" for legal citations, which is the standard for citations in the legal profession.

When you are citing a law, pay attention to which version of the law you are looking at. In general, it's preferable to cite the final statute rather than the bill--unless the bill offers valuable historical information.

Federal

Bills passed into law are published as Public Laws, then compiled into the Statutes at Large, and then finally incorporated into the US Code.

To cite a law from the Statutes at Large according to Bluebook format (in this example, the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, which is a section of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005) it would look like this:

 

International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-162. § 831, 119 Stat. 2960, 3066-3077 (2006).

 

In other words: the official/popular name, public law number, section number, volume of the Statutes and page number the law starts on, page numbers of the section, and the year of publication.

For the in-text citation, APA states "give the popular name of the act and the year of the act." In this case that would be (International Marriage Broker Act of 2005, 2006). It looks odd with the years for this example because although the Act was created in 2005, it passed into law in early January of 2006.

 

The bill would be cited as:

International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005, H.R. 3402, 109th Cong. § 831 (2006)

Which is:  Title, H.R. (House of Representatives) or S. (Senate) bill or resolution number, session of Congress (xxx Cong.), relevant section number of the bill if needed, and year.

 

And the section of the US Code as:

8 U.S.C. § 1375A (2006)

To cite federal committee hearings, include all information provided. The 2016 edition of the Blue Book states that you must give "The entire subject matter title, as it appears on the cover, the bill number (if any), the subcommittee name (if any), the committee name, the number of the congress, the page number of the particular material being cited (if any), and the year of publication." (p. 137). 

Here is an example from the Blue Book: 

Protection from Personal Intrusion Act and Privacy Protection Act of 1998: Hearing on H.R. 2448 and H.R. 3224 Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong. 56-57 (1998) (statement of Richurd Masur, President, Screen Actors Guild).

Michigan

Bills passed into law become a Public Act and are codified into the Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL).

For laws, cite the section of the MCL.  Example: MCL 333.1101

A Public Act will often encompass multiple sections of the MCL and have a popular name. So if you wanted to cite an entire group of MCL sections that comprise a public act:

Start with the popular name, the year the act was passed, PA for Public Act, the number of the public act, then the MCL section numbers.

Example: Public Health Code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.1101-333.25211.

In-text, APA says to cite the popular name of the act and the year for laws (Public Health Code, 1978). It is also common usage to simply write in-text the public act information, e.g., 1978 PA 368.

For bills, APA does not provide an example for states. Bluebook instructs to include:

The abbreviated name of the legislative body, the number of the bill, the number of year of the legislative body, and the number or designation of the legislative session, the abbreviated name of the state and the year of publication.

HB 4659, 2013 Leg. 2013-2014 (Mich. 2013)

The in-text citation would be either:

House Bill 4659 (2013)

(HB 4659, 2013)

However, for class papers, you can likely use the standard citation practices for Michigan law which are to simply use the year, abbreviated name of the legislative body and the bill number (likewise for citing Public Acts) within the text of your paper. You may want to check with your professor to be sure this will meet their individual expectations.

Example: 2013 HB 4659

 

Note that the Michigan Legislature website provides an option to create a "friendly link" directly under the title of the bill on the bill summary page. If you want to create a full citation in the reference list and include a link (not an official requirement for either APA or Bluebook, but certainly nice for the reader), be sure to copy and paste the "friendly link" rather than the address in your browser.

Michigan State University