Govt 2305 Spring 2012 Agencies


How do I get started?

1. Choose an American Government Agency/Department.

2. Learn more about your agency/department by finding

“background information” on the agency website, or in encyclopedias and books. o o

: central website to find information on government agencies:

World Book Encyclopedia

(Ref AE 5.W55 2008)

– Good place to find general information, history of o o agencies, and some key names.

Washington Information Directory, 2011-2012 (REF F192.W33 2012): Provides brief information on agency; includes website, contact information, director/administrator name(s)

United States Government Manual:

Provides brief information on agency; includes website, listing of o directors and basic information.

Reference books on the topic of your agency:

Immigration, Native Americans, Education etc…

3. On a sheet of paper. Break the topic down into keywords. Think of as many words as you can to describe your topic.

Example: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Keywords: Federal Bureau of Investigation; FBI; Charles Bonaparte; Theodore Roosevelt; J.

Edgar Hoover; History; Mission Statement; News; Career; Jobs;

4. Find out what kinds of sources you can use: Govt. Documents, journals, books, newspapers, magazines, Internet

(.edu, .org, .gov)


Library Website:


1. Go to the library website.

2. Click on

“Library Catalog.”

3. Search for books by Keyword, Subject, Title, or Author. o


– Enter the keywords that describe your topic. Use the word “AND” in between words. o

Bureau of Indian Affairs



– Enter the main idea of your topic.

Secret Service

Administrative Agencies



- Enter the title of the book you want to find.

Becoming a Border Patrol Agent



- Enter the name of the author (last name, first name)

Cortright, Edgar

4. Check the location of the book (campus where it is located).

You can request that another campus send the book to your campus (Can take about a week).

5. Write down the call number of the book so you can look for the book on the shelf.


 Click on “

eBook Collection

.” Then when prompted click on “

eBook collection

” again or “

off campus

” if at home.

Enter your


in the search box. Checkmark “

full text

” and click on “


Click on the title of any of the books you would like to read.

Click on “

eBook full text

” on the left side of the page.


1. Go to the library website.

2. Click on

“Online Databases.”

3. These are listings of databases. Databases are just magazine, journals, and newspapers on the computer.

4. The databases are divided up by subject. Choose the subject closest to your topic. o

General Interest; Government; Newspaper/Current Events


Good databases to try for your topics:


Academic OneFile

(General Interest)

– Provides journals, magazines, newspapers

Topic: Social Security Administration

o o

Click on

“Subject Guide Search”

on gold bar at the top.

Enter words:

Social Security Administration

o o

Choose the correct subject when a list is retrieved.

Click on


click on the categories you would like to view


Govt 2305 Spring 2012 Agencies KS

o o

Academic Search Complete

(General Interest)

– Provides journals, magazines, newspapers.

Enter words:

Department of Veterans Affairs


checkmark Full-Text

) o

To narrow: Change

“Select a Field (optional)”


SU Subject Terms

LexisNexis® Academic

(Newspaper/Current Events) - Full text; Newspapers from around the world.

Use the search box under “Search the News”

Topic: Internal Revenue Service

Enter keywords:

Internal Revenue Service



on left side for helpful groupings to narrow results

6. o

SIRS Government Reporter


– Magazines, newspapers, reference materials, and images,

When page opens, click on

“SIRS Government Reporter”

Under Database Features on the right side,

click on “Federal Agencies.”

Browse by alphabetical listing:

Select D for Drug Enforcement Administration.

On main page,

click on Federal Procedures-Federal Departments and Agencies

Click on agency to view documents

Select the database

you would like to use by clicking on the title. (If you are


, click on

“Off-campus access.”)

7. Enter your


in the search box.

8. Checkmark the


box (limits to articles with article attached)

9. Click on



10. Find the article you want to read and click on the title.

11. To read the article, click on




full-text link provided.

12. You can e-mail, print, or save the article.


If you don’t find what you need or get too many hits, try changing the words in the search box - - add more words, take words away, use different words.



Criteria for Evaluating Resources on the Web: Authority, Accuracy, Objectivity, Currency, Coverage

The Internet has a lot of great resources. It is important, however, to evaluate the website to make sure it has reliable information before using it in your paper.


Who is the author of the website? Do they have a degree in the topic they are writing about? Who are they affiliated with? (Look for author name, “about us,” “who we are,” etc… for this information)


How old is the information? Has it been updated recently? (Look for the publication date somewhere


on the page.)

Is the information biased? Are they taking a side of the issue and trying to push their opinion or trying to sell you something? Is it fact or opinion? It is important to use unbiased sources for informational papers.

Sources listed:

Did the author list where they got their information?


Enter the name of your agency in the search box.

Advanced Search

—Click on “advanced search” (next to search box).

Find “Search within a site or domain”


.gov .edu .org or .mil

to help you find reputable websites.

Remember that “Anonymous” sources are not allowed

Websites: US Government information and services online

USA jobs: Job website for the US Government

(use the advanced search to search by agency.

Bibliographic citation help:

Research and Documentation Online (Diana Hacker)

APA Style Sheet:

OWL (Online Writing Lab) Purdue:

Govt 2305 Spring 2012 Agencies KS