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Political Science: Cite Sources

Research Guide for students taking courses in Political Science.

Helpful Links

APSA Manual

Citation Tools

Subject Guide

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Robyn Reid
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Librarian for: Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Communication Studies, Education, Geography, History, Military Science, Political Science

Citing Government Documents

APA Citation Style does not have a separate category for government publications.  According to APA, government documents can be considered Books, Technical/Research Reports or Brochures.

Helpful Tips:

  • Treat a government document as a book, report, or brochure.
  • If a person is named on the title page, use her or him as author.
  • If no person is named, use the government agency, department, or branch as a group author
  • Give the name of the group author exactly as it appears on the title page. If the branch or agency is not well known, include its higher department first.
  • If the group author is also the publisher, just use the word Author after the location
  • If there is a series or report number, include it after the title
  • The manual refers to the GPO (U.S. Gov. Printing Office). Canadian equivalents may be: Queen’s Printer, Ministry of Supply and Services, Canadian Government Publishing, etc

APA Style

Basic APA Citation Formats

The following guidelines are recommended in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition. Please check with your supervising professor to see whether strict APA formatting should be observed for your project. All references on the references page should be double-spaced and use a hanging indent. 

Note: If you are direct quoting a specific part of a source, include a page number, table, paragraph, section, time stamp, etc. in your in-text citation. If you are citing ideas from a whole work, no section identifier is needed. Please consult the APA Manual 7th edition to see how to include these section identifiers.

Books with a single author

Reference Page:

Oliver, P. (2014). Writing your thesis (3rd ed.). Sage.

In-text Citation:

(Oliver, 2014).

Narrative In-text Citation:

According to Oliver (2014)...

Oliver (2014) states...

Books With More Than Two Authors

Reference Page:

Werner-Burke, N., Knaus, K., & Helt DeCamp, A. (2014). Rebuilding research writing: Strategies for sparking informational inquiry. Routledge.

In-text Citation:

(Werner-Burke et al., 2014).

Narrative In-text Citation:

Werner-Burke et al. (2014) argue... 

Articles in online scholarly journals (plus example of how to cite two authors)

Reference Page:

Martinez, C. T., Kock, N., & Cass, J. (2011). Pain and pleasure in short essay writing: Factors predicting university students' writing anxiety and writing self-efficacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54, 351-360.

In-text Citation:

(Martinez, Kock & Cass, 2011).

Narrative In-text Citation:

Martinez, Kock, and Cass (2011) recommend...

Documents in a Website

Reference Page:

Clay, R.A. (2007). Writing well.

With Organization as Author:

American Library Association. (2015, February 9). Framework for information literacy for higher education.

In-text Citations:

(Clay, 2007).

(American Library Association, 2015).

Narrative In-text Citations:

According to Clay, (2007)... 

The American Library Association (2015) claims...


The following guidelines are recommended in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Please check with your supervising professor to see whether strict APA formatting should be observed for your project. 

Formatting Your Main Content

  • Double-space the text of your paper.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.
  • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Indent the first line of paragraphs.
  • Number all pages, including the title page and abstract, with arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) on the top right hand corner about an inch from the top of the page.
  • Use section headings to designate the different sections of your paper. Center, bold, and capitalize all words in your section headings. If you use subsections, consult the APA Manual 7th edition for additional guidance.

Formatting the Title Page of Your Paper For Student Papers

(Note: If you are submitting your paper for a professional publication, there are different requirements for the title page. Consult the APA Manual 7th edition to see how to format title pages for professional papers. Additionally, title page requirements for honors projects may differ from department to department. Please consult your advisor for how to format your title page.)

  • In the top right corner, insert a page number.
  • About one third down the page and centered, include the full title of your paper. Capitalize all words four letters or longer in your title.
  • Underneath the title, include your name.
  • Underneath your name, include the name of the department to which you are submitting the paper followed by a comma, and then Texas Christian University (Ex: Honors College,  Texas Christian University).
  • Underneath the department name and institution, include the course number and name (Ex: HNRS 20633: Video Games and Representation).
  • Underneath the course name, include the name of your professor. 
  • Underneath your professor's name, include the date the project is due, including the month (spelled out), day, and year.

Formatting Your References Page

  • Include page numbers in the top right corner.
  • Center the word "References" at the top of the references page.
  • Alphabetize all references by authors' last names. Each in-text citation should have a corresponding reference listed on the references page.
  • Use a hanging indent for each reference.
  • Double-space the entire page