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SSC 6617: U.S. Presidential Elections

Citing Your Resources

Doing ethical research means citing sources. It is critical to credit writers for their work and their contributions to your research. To not do so is unethical and leads to plagiarism - unintentionally or not. Here are some sources to help you cite properly and to avoid the problem of plagiarism.

  • Citation of Sources
    This lists citation engines which help you create proper citations as well as providing information on different citation styles.
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  • Turnitin
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  • NoodleBib
    NoodleBib is an online resource that will help you format MLA and APA bibliographies, exporting them directly to your word processing program.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias and Guides: Topic-Specific

America votes: A handbook of contemporary American election statistics. (various). Washington, DC: CQ Press, Inc. A new volume is issued every two years. Volumes include “final official results” from each state in gubernatorial, congressional, and presidential elections. This handbook is great for looking at voter registration and turnout.
Reference JK 1967 .A8 (most current volume: 2002)

Kurian, G.T. (1997). The encyclopedia of the Republican party and The encyclopedia of the Democratic party. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the parties, including history, issues, and brief biographies of major players. Conventions and elections are included as well. Specific topics are accessible via general, biographical, and geographic indexes. Supplements cover 1996–2000 elections.
Reference JK 2352 .E56 1997 v.1–3

Mieczkowski, Y. (2001). Routledge historical atlas of presidential elections. New York: Routledge, 2001. Created by Dowling College’s own Dr. Mieczkowski, this volume provides an overview of each presidential election and a chart illustrating electoral votes. Elections are presented chronologically from George Washington to George W. Bush’s first term.
Reference JK 524 .M53 2001

Moore, J.L., et al. (Eds.) (2001). Congressional Quarterly’s guide to U.S. elections, 4th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press. Volume I (Parts I-III) focuses on political parties and presidential elections. It includes detailed information about primaries, conventions, the electoral College, and the development of political parties. Find the topic you’re interested via the table of contents or look it up in the candidate or general indexes. Chronologies and some biographical information is also provided.
Reference JK 1967 .C662 2001 v.1–2

Ness, I., & Ciment, J. (2000). The encyclopedia of third parties in America. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc. This set acquaints the reader with the little-known history of third parties, their development and their significance in American political history. Essays, written by historians, provide a context for understanding. Maps illustrate voting patterns. Each party is described in detail. Specific persons or topics can be accessed via subject, biographical, or geographic indexes. The set contains a glossary of significant terms and a bibliography.
Reference JK 2261 .E474 2000 v.1–3

Ragsdale, L. (1996). Vital statistics on the presidency: Washington to Clinton. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. This volume provides a “statistical description of the American presidency” arranged in nifty tables. Topics include: presidents and their previous positions; number of public appearances; approval ratings; budget allocations; executive orders; and more. The index can bring you directly to the information you need.
Reference JK 518 .R34 1996

Shade, W.G., & Campbell, B.C. (2003). American presidential campaigns and elections. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc. This introduction to the electoral process provides a chronology, election highlights, vote counts, and a few primary sources documents from the 1788–89 to 2000 elections. General and biographical indexes are included.
Reference JK 1965 .A57 2002 v.1–3

Encyclopedias: Historical and Cultural Background

Finkelman, P. (Ed.). (2001). Encyclopedia of the United States in the 19th century. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Entries in this volume focus on the persons, issues, and ideas of the 19th-century America. All entries are alphabetically arranged, written by experts, and include reference and brief bibliographies for further reading. A chronology and maps can also help put things in perspective.
Reference E 169.1 .E626 2001 v.1–3

Kulter, S.I. (Ed.). (2003). Dictionary of American history. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. If you need a quick description of an event or a brief biography, this is the place to get it. Entries cover facts, events, trends, policies, and persons. Some maps, photos, and primary source documents (v.9) are also included.
Reference E 174 .D52 2003 v.1–10

Mancall, P.C. (Ed.). (2003). Encyclopedia of American history. New York: Facts on File. This set provides articles on individuals, events, and topics in U.S. history. Entries are written by historians. Each essay is cross-referenced and includes a short bibliography for further reading. Specific topics can be located via the index.
Reference E 174 .E53 2003 v. 1–11

Thompkins, V. (Ed.). (1994-). American decades. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, Inc. Each volume focuses on a decade in American history (from 1900–1999) and highlight significant events, the economy, education, technology, law, politics, and popular culture. This set is useful for providing a context for 20th Century elections.
Reference E 169.12 .A419 (10 vols.)

Find Subject Articles

Databases with Articles contain material published in magazines, journals, and newspapers.
Reference Sources include dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories and more.
info= database and full text info.

Databases with Articles
Reference Sources


Political Science Quarterly
New Perspectives Quarterly
Search the Journal Locator to see where these journals are indexed and where they are available as full text.

Web Sites

Finding Government Information
The Dowling College Library is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Selected materials include a core collection of basic government documents complimented with a concentration of materials from the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Transportation. In addition, there are numerous websites and electronic databases available to patrons.


American National Election Studies
Data on voting, public opinion and political participation.

Analysis & Interpretation: Constitution of the United States
In this database, the GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) makes available editions and supplements from 1992 forward of Constitution Analysis and Interpretation. The Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress prepares this service. Each new supplement contains new information in addition to the information contained in the previous supplement. Files are available in ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).

Bill Tracker - GovTrack
This site brings together information on the status of federal legislation, voting records, and other congressional data and turns it into an understandable and trackable free information resource for everyday citizens. Quickly check the status of any bill in the legislative process or read a summary or full text version of its contents The data shown on this site is assembled in an automated way from official data sources, primarily from the website THOMAS, the official website for the status of legislation run by the Library of Congress.

Bill Tracker - OpenCongress.org
This blog enables you to receive RSS feeds on bills as they progress through Congress. Free account can be established to track specific issues and cast opinion vote.

Calendars of the House of US Representatives & History of Legislation
The Calendars of the U.S. House of Representatives and History of Legislation is prepared by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, in the Office of Legislative Operations. It is published daily by 8:00 a.m. when the House is in session. Files are available in ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).

CNN/TIME AllPolitics
Up-to-the-minute coverage of political news stories.

Congressional Bills
GPO Access contains all published versions of bills from the 103rd (1993-1994) Congress forward. The 110th Congress database is updated by 6 a.m. (EST) daily when bills are published and approved for release. The documents in these databases are available as ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

Congressional Directory
The Congressional Directory is the official directory of the U.S. Congress, prepared by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP). Published since 1888, the Congressional Directory presents short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, listed by state or district, and additional data, such as committee memberships, terms of service, administrative assistants and/or secretaries, and room and telephone numbers. It also lists officials of the courts, military establishments, and other Federal departments and agencies, including D.C. government officials, governors of states and territories, foreign diplomats, and members of the press, radio, and television galleries.

Congressional Pictorial Directory
Published biennially by the Joint Committee on Printing of the U.S. Congress, the Congressional Pictorial Directory provides a color photograph of each member of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It also includes information about a Member of Congress' length of service, political party affiliations, and Congressional district. Also contains pictures of the President, Vice President, and House and Senate officers and officials. Files are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) only.

Congressional Research Service (CRS)
Congress created CRS in order to have its own source of nonpartisan, objective analysis and research on all legislative issues. CRS is committed to providing the Congress, throughout the legislative process, comprehensive and reliable analysis, research and information services that are timely, objective, nonpartisan, and confidential.

Congressional Serial Set
The U.S. Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set, contains the House and Senate Documents and the House and Senate Reports bound by session of Congress. It began publication with the 15th Congress, 1st Session (1817). Documents before 1817 may be found in the American State Papers. In general, it includes: committee reports related to bills and other matters, presidential communications to Congress, treaty materials, certain executive department publications, and certain non-governmental publications. Print copy distribution is limited to regional depository libraries (Albany).

Constitution of the United States
Read the transcript or download high resolution images. This is the US Archives official site for information about our Constitution. Analysis and interpretation is available in Dowling reference under the call number: KF4527 .K55

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy
To provide American citizens direct online access to the basic federal government documents that define democratic society, a core group of current and historical government publications is being made available for free, permanent, public access via the GPO Access service. These titles contain information which is vital to the democratic process and critical to an informed electorate. They support the public's right to know about the essential activities of its government.

Democratic Party
This is the home page of the Democratic Party. It features links to various party officials, elected representatives, and state and regional Party web sites.

View members, committees and leadership, browse the democratic caucus senate journal, view multimedia and much more from this site. Also available En Espanol.

Election Statistics
Since 1920, the Clerk of the House has collected and published the official vote counts for federal elections from the official sources among the various states and territories. These documents, out of print for many years, have been collected and scanned in a format to make them once again available to researchers and students. Statistics from recent elections are available as both HTML and scanned image (Adobe Acrobat .PDF) formats.

This site monitors "the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases." It is part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Not only does it check the facts of what politicians say, but it also often links to the primary documents in which the mistakes were made.

Federal Bulletin Board
A launchpad for access to legislative information, federal agencies, White House organizations, the US Supreme Court and all major Federal Depository Libraries.

Historical Documents of the U.S.
Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma College of Law, US Historical Documents are listed in chronological order, with links to full text or information about each entry.

History of Bills
The History of Bills lists legislative actions on bills that are reported in the Congressional Record. It is part of the print Congressional Record Index, which is published biweekly by the Joint Committee on Printing when Congress is in session, but is maintained as a separate application on GPO Access.

House Journal
The Journal is a record of the proceedings of each legislative day in the House. The Journal -- and not the Congressional Record -- is the official record of the proceedings of the House (4 Hinds Sec. 2727; Manual Sec. 582), and certified copies thereof are admissible in judicial proceedings (28 USC Sec. 1736).

House, Senate & Executive Reports (1995-Current)
Congressional reports originate from congressional committees and deal with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. There are two types of reports: House and Senate Reports and Senate Executive Reports. The database for the current Congress is updated irregularly as electronic versions of the documents become available. Reports are available as ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

House, Senate & Treaty Documents (1995-Current)
Congressional documents originate from congressional committees and cover a wide variety of topics and may include reports of executive departments and independent organizations, reports of special investigations made for Congress, and annual reports of non-governmental organizations. There are three types of documents: House and Senate Documents; Senate Executive Documents; and Senate Treaty Documents. The database for the current Congress is updated irregularly, as electronic versions of the documents become available. Reports are available as ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

National Political Index
30+ links to sites on Political Headlines, State and Local Candidates, Political Activist Groups, On-line Political Magazines, etc.

Presidents of the US: Public Papers
Each Public Papers volume contains the papers and speeches of the President of the United States that were issued by the Office of the Press Secretary during the specified time period. The material is presented in chronological order, and the dates shown in the headings are the dates of the documents or events. In instances when the release date differs from the date of the document itself, that fact is shown in the textnote.

Project Vote Smart
Tracks the performance of over 40,000 political leaders.

This U.S. government web site lets you participate in the federal rule making, an essential part of the American democratic process. You can find, review and submit comments on federal regulations that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register.

Republican Party
This is the home page of the Republican Party. It features links to various party officials, elected representatives, and state and regional Party web sites.

Sign up for the newsletter, review key issues from the Republican perspective as well as see what's on the floor calendar today.

Senate Calendar of Business
The Senate Calendar of Business is prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate by the Legislative Clerk, and identifies bills and resolutions awaiting Senate floor actions. It is updated on GPO Access each day the Senate is in session. Files are available in ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).

Supreme Court Decisions
Includes dockets, oral arguments, opinions and orders issued from the Supreme Court. Quick links and PDF downloads also available of the U.S. Constitution as well as the Court and Constitutional Interpretations.

Supreme Court of the United States
Contains information on recent decisions, dockets, oral arguments, merits, briefs, court rulings, opinions and much more.

THOMAS - Official Site of Legislative Information
Produced by the Library of Congress, this database contains Congressional bills and Congressional Record, 1993+. It is the best public source for keyword indexing of bills and Congressional Record due to proximity searching. It is also the best source for text of the Congressional Record and includes texts of all bill versions.

U.S. Census Bureau
Searchable site for social, demographic, and economic information.

U.S. Government Printing Office
Search or browse government publications. Featured collections include Budget of the U.S. Government, Economic Indicators, and many more.

United States House of Representatives
Web sites for member offices, committee offices, and leadership offices, up-to-the-hour committee hearing schedules, and access to information about bills and resolutions being considered in the Congress.

United States Senate
Web sites for senators' offices, committee offices, and leadership offices; up-to-the-hour committee hearing schedules, and access to information about bills and resolutions being considered in the Congress.

White House
White House documents, speeches, photos, press releases and links to federal agencies.

Comparative & International

Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN)
This electronic research collection provides permanent access to non-current Department of State information, with links to the current DOS web site. The ERC is a partnership of United States Department of State and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

European Union
The official website of the European Union has information on "How the EU works," "Your life in the EU," a "Media centre," and much more.

Foreign Relations of the United States
The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. The series, which is produced by the State Department's Office of the Historian, began in 1861 and now comprises more than 350 individual volumes. The volumes published over the last two decades increasingly contain declassified records from all the foreign affairs agencies.

Government Info on Over 200 Countries
'Governments on the WWW' is a "comprehensive database of governmental institutions on the World Wide Web: parliaments, ministries, offices, law courts, embassies, city councils, public broadcasting corporations, central banks, multi-governmental institutions etc. Includes also political parties. Online since June 1995. Contains more than 17000 entries from more than 220 countries and territories as of June 2002." Also available in German.

Human Rights Library (University of Minnesota)
Useful source for information on international human rights issues and organizations.

INCORE Internet Country Guides
Links to Internet resources on conflict and ethnicity specific to particular countries.

Library of Congress Country Studies
Constantly being updated to include more information and graphics, this site is the online version of Country Studies/Area Handbooks series.

Political Database of the Americas
Joint project between Georgetown University and the OAS, this site provides documentary and statistical information on Latin America, including constitutions, electoral laws, legislative and executive branch information and election data.

REENIC (Russian and East European Network Information Center)
Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas (Austin), this Web site provides links to resources by country as well as subject.

Treaties in Force
Treaties in Force is prepared by the Department of State for the purpose of providing information on treaties and other international agreements to which the United States has become a party and which are carried on the records of the Department of State as being in force as of its stated publication date, January 1, 2007. The electronic edition of Treaties in Force may be updated periodically throughout the year. It is presented in PDF format, which allows text searches and printing of individual pages or the entire document.

United Nations
Links to all United Nations agencies as well as information on conferences and events and UN Member States.

USAID Development Clearinghouse
USAID has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. The Development Experience System (DEXS) is a family of bibliographic databases that contains records for about 100,000 agency technical and program documents.

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Last updated March 22, 2011, at 08:12 AM by Lisa Esposito