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MLA Citation Guide (MLA 7th Edition): Government Documents


Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.


Access Date

For all content found on the Web, you must list the date you first viewed the resource. This comes last in a citation.


Government Documents often have a group/corporate author listed instead of a specific person's name. The author may be the name of a department, committee or agency.

Depending on whether your source is print or web, you may have to record the name of the government first (i.e. the country), or the department.


The format of all dates is: Date Month (shortened) Year. E.g. 5 Sept. 2012.

If no date is listed, write n.d.

Page Numbers

If no page number is listed, write "n. pag." in the Works Cited list.

Place of Publication

List the city the book was publsihed. If more than one city is listed, use the first.


Capitalize the first letter of every important word in the title. You do not need to capitalize words such as: in, of, or an.

If there is a colon (:) in the title, include what comes after the colon (also known as the subtitle).

Government Document From a Website

Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee. "Title of Document: Subtitle if Given." Edition if given and is not first edition. Name of Government, Publication date. Format. Access date.

Works Cited List Example

Competition Bureau Canada. "Competition Bureau Challenges Weight Loss Claims Made by Quebec Companies." Govt. of Canada, 28 June 2005. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.

Note: Government is abbreviated to Govt.

In-Text Citation Example

(Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee)

Example: (Competition Bureau Canada)

Government Document in Print

Country. Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee. Title of Document: Subtitle if Given. Edition if given and is not first edition. Publication City: Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication. Format.

Works Cited List Example

Canada. Health Council of Canada. Canadians' Experience with Chronic Illness Care in 2007. Toronto: Health Council of Canada, 2007. Print.

In-Text Citation Example

(Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee Page Number)

Example: (Health Council of Canada 4)

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