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Election 2008 - Public Policy Issues

Page history last edited by pwjennings@... 13 years, 1 month ago

 Researching Public Policy Issues of the


2008 Presidential Election 


Class: ENG-112 - Relling Westfall

Scope  ll  Finding Books  ll  Finding Articles  ll  Citing Sources  ll  Web Sites

Online Search Techniques  ll  Library Databases  ll  Off-campus Access  ll  Need More Help?


This guide presents information resources on the public policy issues of the 2008 presidential election. Resources include books, database articles, and websites, plus guidelines for finding them. 

Finding Books:

To look for books available at JSRCC Libraries, you can search the VCCSLinc Library catalog


Sample Subject Key Words to Search in Catalog: 

Search by issue topic key words: united states economic policy; health care reform; education and state united statessame sex marriage united states; taxation law and legislation united states; abortion policy; illegal aliens policy; gun control policy; energy policy; medical policyenvironmental policy 

Search by general election and policy subject key words: political campaigns united states; public policy; voting; electoral college united states; united states politics and governmentpresidents united states election 

Selected Books available at JSRCC:


Finding Articles:

You can find authoritative articles on current public policies through the plan to use the databases from off-campus, you will need to login with Off Campus Access."My JSRCC" login.   For more information see: library databases.

Finding overviews to understand the basics of the discussion about public policy in the current election:

CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues.  Each report is written by a

seasoned journalist based on a common structure. Users may browse through articles by topics in alphabetical order, or search for articles using words, dates, or other criteria.

URL:  http://library.vccs.edu/license-bin/linker.plx?cqpress

CQ Researcher search examples:

  • Browse Report by Topic and choose U.S. Presidency, then Campaigns and Elections
  • Browse Report by Topic and choose a Policy Topic, suchas Energy,then Energy Policy.

Issues & Controversies

Presents and enhances the full backfile of Issues and Controversies On File. Provides balanced coverage of over 600 controversial topics in the news.

URL: http://library.vccs.edu/license-bin/linker.plx?fofissues

Issues & Controversies search examples:

  • Scroll down to Issues: Pros and Cons on the left sidebar. Then click and choose Iraq Policy
  • Click on Subject Index and choose Campaigns and Elections


You will get a balanced analysis and sidebars including key events, statistics, related articles and overviews.



Academic Search Complete

Comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 5,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 4,600 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 9,500 journals and a total of more than 10,000 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format. Searchable cited references are provided for nearly 1,000 journals (EBSCOhost)

URL:  http://library.vccs.edu/license-bin/linker.plx?ebscoa9h

Search Tips:

  • Try an Advanced Search.
  • Use the asterisk (*) as the truncation symbol to pick up all forms of a root word (e.g., environment* will find environment, environmental)
  • Exclude book reviews by selecting NOT from the boolean operator drop down menu.
  • Checkmark the Full Text box under the Limit your results section to limit your results to full text articles.  
  • You can also Limit your results to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals or Publication Type: Periodical or Newspapers.

Search Example:

environment* AND policy NOT book reviews

Finding more articles on your refined topics:


For more information about online search strategies, check:





For more information, check http://teach.jsr.vccs.edu/library/researchguide/stepthree.htm#ILLarticle



Selected Web Sites:

Annenberg Public Policy Center from the University of Pennsylvania

Includes FactCheck.org-presents nonpartisan monitoring of candidates' communications with U.S. public in all forms.

Federal Election Commission

FEC, created in 1975, discloses campaign contributions, and enforces all provisions of election law.


Online magazine focusing on well-researched, practical options for solving social problems.

On the Issues: Every Political Leader on Every Issue

Find information by candidate, issue, and current news topic.

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

Research, news, analysis of religion in relation to the public policy issues of the day. 


Independent, nonpartisan resource on American public opinion trends from a variety of polling organizations including Gallup, Harris, Pew Research Center, national TV news, and universities.


Provides comprehensive, nonpartisan information on election issues.

RollCall/Congress.org-Issues and Actions 

Find your elected local, state, and federal officials. Find current legislation on a variety of issues, then select an issue from the dropdown menu to find "action alerts." 

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

"Leading educational facility in the field of public opinion...[maintains] the world's largest archive of survey data..." on national and international political and social issues. 

Vote411.org: Election Information You Need  League of Women Voters

Election, voter registration, and polling place information. Includes a "Presidential General Election Voters' Guide" presenting candidates' views on public policy issues.

Washington Post Issue Coverage Tracker

Interactive site presenting public opinion via press coverage, blogs, interest groups, candidates, political parties, and more. 


Citing Sources:

To learn how to compile your Works Cited list in MLA, please check:


Visit the reference desks at JSRCC Libraries or Ask a librarian@JSRCC!

Created on 10/6/08.  Last updated on 5/06/2009.

If you have the citation of an article, how to obtain the full text?

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