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POL 429: Public Policy Seminar

Research strategies and resources for Dr. Regina Axelrod's POL 429 Public Policy Seminar class.

Find the Basics

Before you begin, collect as much of this information as you can.

  • The short title, official name, and common name  (e.g. Affordable Care Act (ACA), Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, Obama Care).
  • The bill number (e.g. H.R.2669).
  • The public law number (e.g. PL 110-84).
  • The citation in the Statutes at Large (e.g. 121 Stat. 784).
  • The codification in the United States Code (e.g. 20 USC 1070).


Where Do I Find This Information?

At this point in your research, you just need to get a few of the basic pieces of information so that you can fully understand the context of the policy, research the legislative history of the bill, and analyze the implementation.

Suggested points for starting:

Add the words statute, law, legislation for a more focused search.

Policy Information Resources


The following graphic represents the circular nature of public policy and the information resources for researching about a policy.

The image was developed by Kimberly Pendell, Portland State University Librarian for Social Work and Sociology.