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SW 300: Social Welfare Policy Analysis (Smith): Government Sources

This online research guide will point you to print/online resources and strategies that will help you complete your assignment efficiently.


Is your Law Federal, State, Local? Is there a (government) organization that may be responsible for enforcing, administering or fund/report on your policy? 

For example:

  •  If your law was passed by a state you will not found the bill in a US Congressional bill tracking databases. You'll need to find state legislature bill tracking. 
  • If your topic is national then the National Archives may be helpful.
  • If you're researching a bill passed to serve a group (like veterans) than find an official organization serving that group (such as the US Department of Veterans Affairs.) Furthermore, conceder searching communication platforms developed to help the user understand or navigate the process (like the US Dept. of VA's official blog that provides a forum for answer questions) 
  • Who in the government works with the group the Law effects? For example, the ...Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation works with people in the prison system.  

  • Who are Non-profit/ civil organization interest in (research & lobbying groups)  or working with people affected by your law  (aids, volunteers, workers, boots on the ground people...)?

Congressional Resources (including bill tracking)

U.S Congressional, Federal, National resources including Bill Trackers. 

Government Information (US Department Of..., Agencies, Institutes, Services, Bureaus, Committees etc.)

US Department Of..., Agencies, Institutes, Services, Bureaus, Committees etc.

When you ask yourself "who cares" about my topic, remember there are many government departments, agencies, institutes, services, bureaus, boards, commissions, committees etc. that are in charge of managing, tracking, reviewing, and studying your issue. 

Helpful Docs Spring 2020

Official State and Local Government Websites

Official State and Local Government Websites like these may explain for the program (history, how the law is implemented and more). 

This is not an exhaustive list; these some come local locations students have researched in the past.