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PSCI 3130: Interest Groups

Library research guide for PSCI 3130


The APSA (American Political Science Associtation) manual remains the standard style guide in the Political Science discipline upon which students, junior faculty members, and well-established scholars authoring manuscripts, as well as editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders, can rely. APSA style, in most instances, follows guidelines set forth in the Chicago Manual of Style17th edition (CMS). Throughout this companion website, CMS citation numbers are included in parentheses, when appropriate, to refer readers to specific sections of CMS’s 17th edition.

The 2018 revision broadens the scope of the manual, by including style requirements for all four APSA membership-wide academic journals: American Political Science Review (APSR), PS: Political Science & Politics (PS), Perspectives on Politics (PoP), and the Journal of Political Science Education (JPSE), as well as 24 APSA organized section journals. The 2018 revision also embraces a decade’s worth of changes to the academic publishing world. A few of these changes include: manuscript tracking systems, online-only publications, open-access journals, social media, active-citation techniques, data archives, government research funding requirements, and more. While this manual can and should be used as an umbrella guide, authors are responsible for reviewing and following the specific requirements laid out by each journal prior to submission. Individual style requirements for each journal can be found on the APSA website.

Citations Quick Guide

The following citation guidance is taken from the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition (CMoS), ALWD Guide to Legal Citation, and The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 21st Edition. The APSA utilizes CMS with some variations, which are outlined here: For Legal and Public Documents, CMoS follows The Bluebook or the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation.

**Per CMoS Online, “in order to avoid such awkward constructions in the text, however, Chicago advises using notes for citations to legal and public documents whenever possible” (chapter 15, Part 3)

(e.g. their organization’s websites, the FEC website, Open Secrets)

Website content can often be cited as notes. If not using notes, include websites in the bibliography (cited by the owner or sponsor of the site).

Include the following in the citation:

  1. Full name of author(s), editor(s), translator(s) or, if none are listed, the name of the institution standing in for one
  2. Screenname in parentheses or standing alone if from social media
  3. Year of publication
  4. Full title of the page or first 160 characters of the post (with quotes)
  5. Title of the website, blog, or platform
  6. Month, day, time, if applicable
  7. DOI, URL, or database name, if applicable

Example:     U.S. Supreme Court. (n.d.) “U.S. Reports.” (accessed October 31, 2022).

Congressional Hearings**

When citing federal committee hearings include the following:

  1. The entire subject matter hearing title as it appears on the cover
  2. Bill number (if any)
  3. Subcommittee name (if any) (may be abbreviated per Bluebook specifications)
  4. Committee Name (may be abbreviated per Bluebook specifications)
  5. Number of the Congress
  6. Page number of information being cited (if any)
  7. Year

Example:     Protection from Personal Intrusion Act and Privacy Protection Act of 1998: Hearing on H.R. 2448 and H.R. 3224 Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Congress, 56-57 (1998) (statement of Richard Masur, Screen Actors Guild).

Rules and Regulations

Citing a Regulation

When possible, cite rules to the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) by title, section or part, and year.

Example:     7 C.F.R. § 319.76

Give the name of the rule or regulation only if it is commonly cited that way or aids in identification or findability.

Example:     FCC Broadcast Radio Services, 47 C.F.R. § 73.609 (2019)

Citing a proposed Rule

When citing proposed rules and regulations, follow the form for final rules and include status to the parenthetical date.

Example:     Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles and New Motor Vehicles Engines, 56 Fed. Reg. 9754 (proposed Mar. 7, 1991) (to be codified at 40 C.F.R. pt. 86). 

Comment on a proposed Rule

When citing comments, provide the name of the commenter and the proposed rule to which the comment pertains. Long titles can be shortened, if it is unambiguous. Citing the agency, government, or other website is appropriate.

Example:       Chamber of Com. Of the U.S., Comment Letter on Proposed Rule to Require Registration of Certain Hedge Fund Advisers Under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Sept. 15, 2004),

Amicus Briefs

Court filings follow the same general form. The elements are as follows:

  1. Document name (if more than one signatory, use et. al.)
  2. Pinpoint citation (if any)
  3. Case citation
  4. Docket number
  5. Commercial database identifier (if applicable)

Example:     Brief for Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Moseley v. V Secret Catalogue, Inc., 537 U.S. 418 (2013) (No. 01-1015).

Supreme Court Cases

Official Reporter

When citing a U.S. Supreme Court case, you must cite to the official reporter, the United States Reports, if the case is published there. or (1754-2012)

A citation to a case in the United States Reports includes the following five elements:

  1. Name of the case (underlined or italicized and abbreviated according to Rule 10.2)
  2. Volume of the United States Reports
  3. Reporter abbreviation ("U.S.")
  4. First page of the case
  5. Year the case was decided

Example:       Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
                       [Case Name], [Volume] [Reporter Abbreviation] [Page] [(Year)]

You may need to include a "pinpoint" citation, which is a citation to the page(s) on which the specific material referenced appears. If you need to include a pinpoint citation to, for example, a quotation or the holding of a case, add the page number after the first page (pinpoint highlighted below).

Example:       Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 164 (1973)

Unofficial Reporter

There is a significant lag between a decision and the publication of the U.S. Reports. The U.S. Reports are currently published up to 2014. In this case, cite the unofficial Supreme Court reporters (Supreme Court Reporter or United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers' Edition). These can be found in Nexis Uni. Following are examples for the Supreme Court Reporter and the United States Supreme Court Lawyers’ Edition. Both require the same 5 elements described above.

Example:       Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org.,141 S. Ct. 2619

Example:       Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org.,209 L. Ed. 2d. 748

In-Text Citations

Refer to the case in the text of the document.

Example:       In Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the Supreme Court held…

Newspaper articles

For newspaper citations, include the following:

  1. Name of the author (if known)
  2. Headline or column heading
  3. Month, day, and Year

Example:       Cowley, Stacy and Alan Rappeport, “Appeals Court Temporarily Halts Biden’s Student Debt Cancellation,” New York Times, October 21, 2022.

Letter to the editor: John Q. Public, letter to the editor, Denton Record-Chronicle, October 29, 2022.

Other Citation Methods

There are several citations to choose from. APA, MLA or Chicago Style Guide are the most common; however, each discipline (and professor) has a preferred style so it is best to confirm the style expected for your class. 

APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (8th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and documentation and has been lovingly called the “editors’ bible.” The material in this resource focuses primarily on one of the two CMS documentation styles: the Notes-Bibliography System (NB), which is used by those in literature, history, and the arts. The other documentation style, the Author-Date System, is nearly identical in content but slightly different in form and is preferred in the social/sciences.

How Do I Avoid Plagarism?

The Perdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides some excellent tips on avoiding plagiarism, but if you are unsure, always ask your professor!

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