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Citing Government Documents

For help citing these sources in Chicago/Turabian, APA, or MLA style, refer to the following websites:

Citing Government Documents Tip - Chicago Style Manual

Documents published by the United States Government Printing Office may use abbreviated publisher information - consistently - as per the following examples:

  • Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000
  • Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2000
  • Washington, DC: GPO, 2000
  • Washington, DC, 2000

SOURCE: The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition, para. 17.295 (p. 735)

Note (First mention, full reference):

When Citing Government Documents...

Citing government documents can be confusing. Because government documents are usually not intended for commercial publication, they don't necessarily follow the well-established practices of commercial publishing houses. The information needed for a good citation may be confusingly presented, or may not be present at all. Also, government documents vary widely in purpose, style and content, and none of the standard style manuals gives examples for citing all of these materials in a consistent fashion.

Occasionally a government document will offer a suggested citation, usually on the front or back of the title page. 

Some quick citation guides, such as Indiana University's Citing U.S. Government Publications, offer sample citations you can use as models. 

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