Last Updated: Nov 6, 2012
Don't know how to cite a court case? Have no idea what "DEL CODE ANN. tit. 28, §1701 (Supp. 1990)" means?
Working with legal and government documents can be confusing. These sources can help you navigate them.
See Purdue's excellent guide to creating annotated bibliographies: lists of scholarly sources with brief descriptions.
These databases can not only provide you with articles and essays on important topics in policy, law, and legal aspects. They can also give you access to news, government resources, and research tools such as law reviews.
- Political Science Complete
This is an excellent place for researching the laws, legislation and the politics of public policy.
- Academic Search Premier
An all-purpose database that contains thousands of full-text articles on all subjects. It's a good place to look for just about any topic.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Provides "pro-con" treatment of hot topics such as cloning, poverty, and global warming. Each essay includes references to books and articles for further reading.
- ABI / INFORM
Academic journals, general business magazines, professional journals, trade journals, and full-text Wall Street Journal articles. Includes articles on economic and business policy, including health care.
The authoritative database for government and legal research. Look here for news, scholarly law review articles, court cases, patents, transcripts and more. The interface can be challenging, so check out the tutorials
or ask a librarian
- CQ Researcher
Provides lengthy essays on current events and issues such as online privacy. Articles include background information, timelines, links to related essays, and detailed bibliographies. A great place to go to get a thorough overview of complex topics.
- Sociological Abstracts
Find sociological research on policy issues, including social welfare, substance abuse, health, and more.
- Films on Demand
Streaming videos you can watch anywhere. Search for policy topics or browse the categories for topics like American Government
for videos on poverty, abortion, etc.
No full text? Click "Find It" by the article to get it elsewhere, or to order it (learn more
"The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal," this site can direct you to government information on just about any topic. Browse the categories (e.g., "Jobs and Education" or
Health and Nutrition") or use the search box at the top of the page. There is also a handy A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies
- National Atlas
A great site for government maps of all kinds. Look here for maps of environmental, population, transportation and other kinds of data. Produced by the Department of the Interior.
- Statistical Abstract of the United States
Published by the Census Bureau, the Statistical Abstract is a great first place to look for government-produced statistics of any kind on any subject.
- American FactFinder
Another site by the U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder is a tool for finding data on populations (by categories such as "age and sex", "education", etc.), housing (physical and financial characteristics), and economic data. You can easily get an easy-to-read "Fact Sheet" of information on any community in the country.
Whatever your topic, our collection probably has something that can help you. Try adding terms like law, policy, legislation, government, etc. to words associated with your topic. Here are some examples of things you can search for:
- Economic Policy
- Judicial Review
- Medical Laws and Legislation
If your first search brings up too many irrelevant items, try using the Refine by Topic suggestions in the box on the left of the search results screen.
We have a well-stocked reference section that can be useful for
overviews, data, and research help. Here are some examples of what you
United States Government Manual
Call Number: JK421 .A3 2008-2009
The Manual is the essential guide to the Federal Government, with contacts and information for every department and agency. Use the online version for the most up-to-date information. Use it online!
Statistical Abstract of the United States
Call Number: Reference Desk HA202 2009
Published by the Census Bureau, the Statistical Abstract is a great first place to look for government-produced statistics of any kind on any subject. Look online for the latest edition. Use it online!
Encyclopedia of Law & Society: American and Global Perspectives
Call Number: K583 .E53 2007 v.1-3
An excellent source for background information on topics ranging from child abuse to economics of contracts to welfare. Entries are well-organized and easy to read, and each has suggestions for further reading. See the Reader's Guide at the beginning of volume one to see articles listed by theme.
Encyclopedia of Governance
Call Number: Reference JC11 .E53 2007
A reference source that covers topics in governance worldwide. See the "Reader's Guide", where the entries are organized by subjects such as Capitalism, Citizenship, Policy Analysis, Trade and more.
Created by Matt Voss in Fall 2009.