How to Cite a Policy Brief

by Forest Time, Demand Media

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.

Citing in APA Style

Step 1

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

Step 2

List the year in which the brief was issued. This should appear in parentheses and be followed by a comma. For example: (2010).

Step 3

List the full title of the brief in italics, followed by a period. List the policy number in parentheses, if available. Capitalize only the first letter of the title, along with the first letters of any proper nouns. For example: How Europe can muddle through its crisis (Policy brief 10-27).

Step 4

List the full URL in the following format: Retrieved from http://www.petersoninstitute.org/publications/interstitial.cfm?ResearchID=1723.

Step 5

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

Citing in MLA Style

Step 1

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

Step 2

List the full title of the brief in italics, followed by a period. For example: Policy Brief 10-27: How Europe Can Muddle Through Its Crisis.

Step 3

List the name of the publisher, followed by a comma. For example: Peterson Institute for International Economics,

Step 4

List the date of publication, followed by a period. This should appear in a day-month-year format. For example: 1 Dec. 2010.

Step 5

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

Step 6

List the date on which you accessed the information, followed by a period. For example: 1 Dec. 2010.

Step 7

List the full URL in angle brackets:

Step 8

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

About the Author

Forest Time has been writing for over a decade. During this time, he founded and edited a short-lived literary magazine, received several prizes for his poetry and published a master's thesis on Cambodian history. He received his Master of Arts in Asian history from the University of Maine at Orono in 2007.