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How to Cite a Government Report in MLA Style


MLA stands for the Modern Language Association, a group which publishes the "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers." The handbook is widely used by high school students and undergraduate college students creating research papers for class assignments. The guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to format in-text citations and how to create a complete reference list at the end of a paper. Following MLA guidelines will help you protect yourself from plagiarism.

Locate the author of the government document you wish to cite. Left justify the last name followed by a comma, make a space and enter the first name followed by a period. If the author is a government agency, list the name of the government followed by the name of the agency.

For instance: United States. Senate.

Understand that MLA abbreviates Congress as "Cong." and Department as "Dept."

Locate the title of the report and type it after the author in italics. List the compiler of the document, if there is one, followed next by the document number.

For example: United States Cong. Senate. A Report on the Amount of Pork in the Federal Budget. Comp. Ioughta Move. 147th Cong., 2nd sess. Misc. Doc. 78,

Complete your reference with the location of printing and the publisher followed by a comma and the year of publishing. End the citation with the medium in which the report exists (i.e. print, online, radio).

For example: United States Cong. Senate. A Report on the Amount of Pork in the Federal Budget. Comp. Ioughta Move. 147th Cong., 2nd sess. Misc. Doc. 78, Washington: GPO, 2011. Print.

List multiple government reports authored by the same government agency successively. Replace the government name with three dashes on successive entries.

For example: United States. Cong. Senate.

---. ---. House.

---. Dept. of Education.

Items you will need
Author or government agency authoring the report
Computer with word processing software
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