Federal Policy Analysis on the Web
Federal Legislative Histories
IL Legislative Histories
Researching Illinois Legislative Historyfrom the Illinois Legislative Reference Bureau (Illinois General Assembly) http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/lrbres.htm
How to Research an Illinois Legislative History(Administrative Office of Illinois Courts) http://www.state.il.us/COURT/SupremeCourt/library/Library_Research.asp
Sample Policy Topics and Sources - Illinois
"I Need to Analyze a Policy" Helps
Identify a Federal Policy Primary Source - Tips
Keep in mind that a policy could be a law, regulatory decisions by a federal agency, as well as case law. Our biggest challenge is to find the primary source document - and to do that we need to find the popular name of the law/act, or an accurate citation to a law, resolution of the Houes or Senate, a legal decision, or regulatory decision.
Review general descriptions of topics in secondary sources such as encyclopedias or text books:
CQ Researcher, an academic publication that publishes reviews of contemporary topics.
Consider using Google/Internet to identify government agencies as well as NGO's (non-governmental organizations) who have the mission to address the social situation and issue. Carefully review all information for authority, currentness, and accountability.
Use the GSU Library Catalog to identify key books on the topic, and look in the book for the primary document citation. Also, review other resources on this page (the selected examples are mostly about the Social Security Act and its revisions).
Consider changing your scope.. For example, if you want to write about the problem of "Postpartum Depression", the national policy that would address that issue would probably be "Mental Health Policy". An additional way to think about topics is to consider what is most recent in public policy debates and news, which hasn't yet made it into an encyclopedia or journal article. For example, under the health care reform passed in 2010, there may be a national policy on continuum of care for maternity services that could address "postpartum depression" or care in the postpartum period... See the tab on the LibGuides for "Health Reform - 2010".
Check Reference/bibliography lists for primary sources ---citations to laws, regulations, court decisions that establish a policy.
Library of Congress’s THOMAS http://thomas.loc.gov/
Using the name of the law or public act, or legal citation, locate primary source documents by trying "Google", or the library's database, Academic Lexis Nexis under "legal". Be careful when printing, documents can be long.
- Legal cases: Landmark legal cases are available on LexiNexis, also resources in the print Reference collection.
Identify a State of Illinois Policy Primary Source - Tips
- Try the Illinois State Agency web site. Examples:
- IL DCFS http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/policy/ Click on “Laws” in top right column.
- To locate an agency, browse the Illinois.gov offical web page listing: http://www2.illinois.gov/pages/agencies.aspx
- AND/OR use Google Advance Search to locate information... under Domain Name, enter "state.il.us" this will limit results to State of Illinois web pages.
Try the Illinois General Assembly to locate current texts of the Illinois Compiled Statutes and the Illinois Administrative Code.
AND/OR - Academic Lexis Nexis publishes Illinos Compiled Statutes and Case Law with annotations (notes on history, legal cases, etc.). Click on "US Legal" (blue bars on the left). Then click on "State Statutes, Codes & Regulations". Select "Illinois" in the pull down box. Search by name or ILCS chapter number.
Case Law: try Academic Lexis Nexis select "US Legal" and then "Federal & State Cases", and then under "jurisdiction", select "Illinois".