Choosing a Topic

If you are familiar with how to choose a topic, you can skip this section.

Check Congressional Quarterly

Printed source: Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report is a good place to find a topic because:

  • It gives a weekly summary of what's happening in Congress.
  • It offers behind the scenes and political information.
  • It identifies bills, which may be on topics relevant to your assignment.
  • It gives floor votes.

Quarterly indexes are published 6 weeks after the end of the quarter. They are cumulative throughout the year. You can also browse the back page of recent issues for the very latest information

Congressional Quarterly's call number is: JK1.C12, and it is located in the Documents Center.

Web Source: The full text of Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report since 1983 is also available on the web. Use the search engine in the upper corner of the lefthand frame.

It is only available to University of Michigan students, faculty, and staff from campus workstations, from home using the University's private Ann Arbor phone number, or from the remote server.

Ideas/Suggestions: When reading Congressional Quarterly, be sure to note:
  • The bill numbers.
  • The key players (i.e. key Members of Congress).
  • The committees.
Printed source: To obtain historical background, you can also look at the annual almanacs, which are usually published in June for the preceding year. They have an index in the back.

Their call number is: JK1.C756, and it is located in the Documents Center.


Web Source: The Hot Topics section of Congressional Universe, National Journal and Congress Daily may be used to identify bills not listed in Congressional Quarterly.



Nothing replaces the Congressional Quarterly for choosing a subject or getting background information.

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Last updated: 21 July 2003 [an error occurred while processing this directive]