How to Cite the Surgeon General in APA Format


Government agencies can sometimes be more difficult to cite than standard books or journals. Unless an author is specifically given, treat the government agency as an institution. The Surgeon General belongs to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In-Text Citations

  • Format APA in-text citations for a hard copy or electronic form the same. Mention the government agency in a signal phrase or a parenthetical citation the first time you cite it, such as the following: "According to the Surgeon General (2014)." If the agency has a well known abbreviation, include it in brackets the first time you cite it. Use its abbreviation for subsequent citations. For example, (Mothers Against Drunk Driving [MADD], 2014).

References Page

  • For each in-text source used, alphabetize it on the References page so readers can easily locate the source. Print and online sources may have a digital object identifier (DOI). Provide it at the end of the source title. References include the following: the agency's name or individual author, date of publication, title, the DOI if given, place of publication and name of publisher. Also list the URL for electronic sources such as this example by Cornell University: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2005). Medicaid drug price comparisons: Average manufacturer price to published prices (OIG publication No. OEI-05-05- 00240). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from


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