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Citing Government Documents: American Psychological Association

According to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. (2010). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Revised January 2010 Contents

Congressional Document



»»NOTE: APA style for citing Congressional publications is based on The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation. (18th ed., 2005). (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Law Review Association). (*KF245 .B58 2005 [Library Reference Collection] )

     For an in-text citation to testimony, hearings, bills, resolutions, reports and documents, give the title or number and date. (p. 221)

     On reference lists always include the title from the hearing, bill number (if any), subcommittee name, committee name, number of the Congress, and date. When citing a complete hearing, the Manual's example (p. 222) also gives, after the Congress number, the page number where the hearing begins: page 1. It may make more sense to include the starting page number if it isn't page one. (This also contradicts the example for citing an entire book on p. 202 - 203 in which the starting page number is not included.)

     The explanation (p. 221) also says that the example includes the session of that Congress though no such number is included in the example. If a number has been assigned to a hearing, include it after the title. (p. 205)


House or Senate hearing

Example 1:

Islam in Asia: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House Committee on International

Relations (Serial 108-134), 108th Cong. (2004).

To cite one person's testimony:

(as above) ...108th Cong. 8 (2004) (testimony of Meredith Weiss).

"8" is the page number where her testimony begins. Give name of witness.

In-text: (Islam in Asia, 2004)

Example 2:

Development of a national animal identification plan: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Marketing, Inspection,

and Product Promotion of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (S. hrg. 108-606), U.S.

Senate, 108th Cong. (2004).

In-text: (Development of a National Animal Identification Plan, 2004)


House or Senate Reports and Documents

  H.R. Rep. No. 108-588, at 7 (2004).

In-text: (H.R. Rep. No. 108-588, 2004)

»»NOTE: Use S. Rep. for a Senate report, H.R. Doc. or S. Doc. for House or Senate document.

     The Manual included the page number where the material starts in the reference list example. (p. 223) It also says to use the "year" of the Congress but the example uses the number of the Congress (which is standard practice). Use the number of the Congress: "108th Congress", "110th Congress".

House or Senate committee print


Iraq: Meeting the challenge, sharing the burden, staying the course, a trip report to members of the Committee on

Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, 108th Cong., (S. Prt. 108-31). (2003).


In-text: (Iraq: Meeting the Challenge, 2003)

»»NOTE: Use H.R. Prt. for a House print. Senate and House prints are not addressed in the APA Manual. The above is based on the general guidelines for other materials.


House or Senate bill

»»NOTE: Bills that have become law (have passed) should be cited to the U. S. Statutes at Large (see below).

     For unenacted bills (bills that did not pass): Use this same format for resolutions, concurrent resolutions, etc. Include Congress and session number. If a specific section is cited, put the section number in front of the year.

Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 1999, S. 25, 106th Cong. (1999).

In-text: (S. 25, 1999)

To cite a specific section (" § " means 'section'):

Endangered Species Criminal and Civil Penalties Liability Reform Act, H.R. 496, 106th Cong. § 4 (1999).