I would strongly recommend:
at least 1 overview article about your issue from CQ Researcher
at least 1, but preferrably 2 Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports on policy from the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). These reports detail the specific provisions in the legislation as well as the politics.
at least 4 articles, preferrably more from CQ Weekly or the National Journal. This will give you a good sense of how the legislation evolved through the legislative process.
at least 5 articles on your legislation from Washington Post, New York Times using Lexus/Nexus (ask a reference librarian how to use the database). I would search for all New York Times articles in the year leading up to the passage of the final legislation. This will give you a good sense of how the legislation evolved through the legislative process.
I would also strongly recommend finding the opinion pieces from the NYT, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal about the final legislation. It will give you a good insight into what different elites think about the bill.
The Congressional Research Service blog also a nice list of laws administered by the EPA here and environmental legislation, energy legislation, agriculture legislation, and transportation legislation .
Academic/Analytical Sources 4-6 Scholarly articles, books, Law review articles
How to find them? Which ones to use?
1. The CQ researcher and Congressional Research Service Reports often have bibliographies at the end. These works and authors are going to be high quality. You can also search the name of the author. Academics tend to keep writing about the same policy.
2. If you writing about a pesticide law, look up pesticide policy on http://scholar.google.com/ . You can also enter in the name of the law or the politics of your legislative name to see what comes up. Or you could search punctuated equilibrium or agenda setting and your topic. These searches are likely to produce many articles. The article which has more citations is the one you want to read since its ideas are viewed as more central by more people.
Using Google Scholar
I think Google Scholar is a great way to identify academic and law review articles. Before you start, go to the Google Scholar Preferences. http://scholar.google.com/scholar_setprefs and add Skidmore College to the Library Links. Once your preferences are set, if you find an article you want, click on the Check Library holdings in the Google Scholar result. This will run a search just like the library’s Journals search tab will do. Now you can download fulltext articles from the Skidmore Library using Google Scholar. How cool is that?
The Government Department uses MLA Style for its citations. The Skidmore Library
has a fantastic reference program entitled, RefWorks
, which you can sign up for. It allows you to automatically download the
citations from the web and insert them in MLA Style in your paper. It is a tremendous
time saver. Ask the reference librarian.