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COM 103 Public Speaking: U. S. Government Documents (Federal)

Why Use Government Information - Types of Resoruces

Why Use Government Documents

Government information touches many topics. It's comprehensive and diverse. Government information covers many topics of interest, even information about the arts and culture can be found using government information., If you are researching a particular topic in the areas of health & medicine, military, history, environmental studies, finances, education, agriculture these

Government information can be considered a more authoritative source than most other source types. This makes it ideal for research. In fact, much of the information is prepared in cooperation with research institutions, state data departments, and others who help prepare the information products.

Government information is available in online, in paper and other formats which makes it easy to find and use. Online information is offered on websites, in databases, and in other formats that can be used 24/7 from anywhere with a connection.

Government information is free. The MacPhaidin library participates in the U. S. Government Document Depository program and provides free access to resources that may have a fee to use.

Types of Resources

Congressional Hearings and Reports

A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public. Hearing are held to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest.  

Government Accountability Office  

GAO provides Congress fact-based nonpartisan, non-ideological, fair and balanced report on matters that come before the Congress.  There are reports range from agriculture to worker and family assistance.

Congressional Budget Office

The CBO is a support agency of Congress that provides economic data and projections on proposed legislation and on Federal government programs. CBO is often required by statute to perform cost estimate studies on various proposed or operating programs. 

Federal Agency Reports and Publications

Congress requires Federal executive departments and independent agencies as well as the President and parts of the Legislative and Judicial Branches to produce and submit to it several thousand reports. Some reports are mandated annually or written to report on specific topics.

The library provides access to a number of government documents in both electronic and paper format though HillSearch. Search by keyword, agency or subject to locate a document.


Links to Finding Aids, Databases and Individual Agencies

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