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How to Cite Government Bills Using MLA Style


Government bills can be tricky to cite because congressional documents can come from numerous sources and have a number of parts that you have to include in your citation. Although citing government bills may be tedious, proper format ensures that your reader will be able to find your reference if she wants to read the original bill. In general, MLA citation includes information about the number and session of Congress, the bill number and publication information.

Start the citation with “United States” followed by a period, followed by “Cong.” Include whether it is Senate or House of Representatives.

List the name of the bill in italics, followed by a period.

List the number and session of Congress, abbreviating the word “Congress” to “Cong.”

List the bill number such as “S 33” or “HR 77” followed by a period.

List the publication where it is found with place, publisher, date and medium of publication. Government documents are usually printed by the Government Printing Office, which you can cite as “GPO.” Your completed citation might look like this:

“United States. Cong. Senate. Military Registration and Mobilization Assessment Act of 1979. 96th Cong., 1st sess. S 226. Washington: GPO, 1979. Print."

About the Author

Danielle Cort has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in psychology, health, education and parenting. She has published articles in "Family" magazine. Before becoming a freelance writer, Cort worked in the public policy research sector, conducting research, creating surveys and budgets. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

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