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How to cite a policy brief

Updated March 23, 2017

A policy brief is a succinct document that outlines the rationale behind a specific policy choice. Just as with any other source, you must include a policy brief in a reference list at the end of your paper if you use it as a source of information. If you are adhering to Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines, you should cite a policy brief as you would any other non-periodical Internet source.

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  1. List the author's last name, a comma, first initial and a period. For example:

  2. Kirkegaard, J.

  3. List the year in which the brief was issued. This should appear in parentheses and be followed by a comma. For example:

  4. (2010).

  5. List the full title of the brief in italics, followed by a period. List the policy number in parentheses, if available. Capitalise only the first letter of the title, along with the first letters of any proper nouns. For example:

  6. How Europe can muddle through its crisis (Policy brief 10-27).

  7. List the full URL in the following format:

  8. Retrieved from http://www.petersoninstitute.org/publications/interstitial.cfm?ResearchID=1723.

  9. Combine the elements so that the finished citation appears in the following format:

  10. Kirkegaard, J. (2010). How Europe can muddle through its crisis (Policy brief 10-27). Retrieved from http://www.petersoninstitute.org/publications/interstitial.cfm?ResearchID=1723.

  11. List the last name, a comma, first name and a period. For example:

  12. Kirkegaard, Jacob.

  13. List the full title of the brief in italics, followed by a period. For example:

  14. Policy Brief 10-27: How Europe Can Muddle Through Its Crisis.

  15. List the name of the publisher, followed by a comma. For example:

  16. Peterson Institute for International Economics,

  17. List the date of publication, followed by a period. This should appear in a day-month-year format. For example:

  18. 1 Dec. 2010.

  19. List the medium of publication, followed by a period. For example:

  20. Web.

  21. List the date on which you accessed the information, followed by a period. For example:

  22. 1 Dec. 2010.

  23. List the full URL in angle brackets:

  24. http://www.petersoninstitute.org/publications/interstitial.cfm?ResearchID=1723

  25. Combine the elements so that the finished citation appears in the following format:

  26. Kirkegaard, Jacob. Policy Brief 10-27: How Europe Can Muddle Through Its Crisis. Peterson Institute for International Economics, 1 Dec. 2010. Web. 1 Dec. 2010. http://www.petersoninstitute.org/publications/interstitial.cfm?ResearchID=1723

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