The High Library
Elizabethtown College

American National Government
A Library Research Guide

Nature of the issue
Pro and con resources and background info
Choosing databases to find articles
How do I find a copy of the article?
Legislative process
Sources for informed citizens
Citing sources 

These are only some of the sources that may be useful to you.  Please contact me for help with any of your research, Sylvia Morra, x1452 or email AskUs.

Nature of the issue
Pro and Con resources and background information
Congressional Research Reports for the People
    Check here for excellent in-depth issues/briefings that were researched for Congress.

CQ Researcher
    This online periodical presents excellent pro/con issues on current events.

To find information about controversial topics and the pros and cons of social issues, search in the library catalog under the following five titles

Choosing databases to find articles
Get beyond Google by using some of the databases below, which contain both popular and scholarly articles on your topics. Although they deliver their content through the web, these databases are paid for through library subscriptions. Information found here would not generally be found for free on the web; articles have been written by subject experts or professional journalists and reviewed by peers and editors.

Academic Search Premier
     Start your research here in this multi-disciplinary database that indexes 4700 journals. Full text for more than 3600 scholarly journals. Indexing goes back to 1975 for some journals. This database indexes weekly news magazines, opinion as well as scholarly magazines.

SocINDEX with Full Text. 1908+. Articles from over 700 sociological journals, covering topics such as abortion, criminal justice, gender studies, marriage and family, religion and urban sociology.

Lexis Nexis News
    Follow an issue in the national newspapers with full text sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor.

Criteria for Scholarly vs. Popular Journals

How do I find a copy of the article?
What is available here and now?
Search for full text articles in journals using the following link: Locate E-town Journals.
Type the name of the journal next to 'Find:' and then press 'Search'. Full text can be electronic or within the library in paper, microfiche or microfilm.
Check the publication dates of the article against the listing of years for the database or the years listed 'Within the High Library'. If the database includes those years, click on the link, add in an author's name or title of the article. The full text link should appear at the end of the citation.
    Current year paper issues of journals in the High Library are on the entrance level.
    Older print journals are on Level One, alphabetically by journal title.
    If the journal is in microfiche or microfilm, copies can be made in the library.. Ask the reference librarian or circulation student assistants for help.   Order copies online by using ILLiad.  Click on Request an Article and fill out the form. You will receive an email when the article is available on ILLiad for downloading.

What if it is not here?
Order items from another library, if The High Library doesn't own that specific journal or have it for the years that you need it. Requesting the article can be done through the databases or through the following software link: ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan). Allow a minimum of 4-5 working days for the article to arrive.  

The Legislative Process and your issue
    Search bill status by name or number, browse bills by sponsor, search the congressional record, committee reports, and roll call votes for the House and Senate.

Congressional Record

Congressional Quarterly Almanac (Ref 328.73 C749)
    Background information on major legislation, provides bill numbers and summarizes differences between multiple bills on a subject, key players and behind the scenes information, all roll call votes. Published annually, usually six months after the end of the previous year.

CQ Weekly (full text 1998-2003, but fully indexed in Academic Search Premier) Current paper issues on reserve at the Circulation Desk
    Follow legislation more current than the last volume of Congressional Quarterly Almanac.

National Journal full text 2000 to present (embargo-14 days)
    The leading weekly on the policy-making process for the beneath-the-surface coverage of the issues, people and organizations that shape our nation's policy.

Almanac of American Politics (Ref 328.73 B265a 2008)
    An insightful look at all legislators. Includes ratings for each legislator by special interest groups and notes key congressional votes.

Contact Elected Officials

Sources for informed citizens

Political Information- a Search Engine for Politics, Policy and Political News

The White House

Public papers of the presidents of the United States. (Ref 353.03 Un58p)
    Most current volume is through 2004.

The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal

Gallup Poll

Search individual journal titles
New York Times
Washington Post
Christian Science Monitor

Weekly news magazines
U.S. News and World Report
Business Week

Magazines of opinion
American Prospect
New Republic
National Review
Public Interest (full text 1990-2005)
Harper's (full text 1992-2007)
Nation (embargo-1 month)
New Leader (full text 1992-2006)
New York Times Magazine
New York Review of Books
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Policy

Scholarly journals
American Political Science Review
Journal of Politics (embargo-1 year)
Political Science Quarterly (embargo- 6 months)
Public Administration Review (embargo- 1 year)
Political Research Quarterly (1993-2006)

Criteria for Scholarly vs. Popular Journals

Citing sources

Format References/Works Cited

Print citation guides (all are on permanent reserve at the Library's Circulation Desk)

Keys for Writers (5th ed.).

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).

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