New Jersey Government
Choosing a topic
When choosing a topic for your research paper, think about the following:
- Unless your instructor assigns a topic, try to select a topic that interests you.
- Make sure your topic is not too broad, or too narrow. You will find too much information when searching for a broad topic; and not enough information when searching for a narrow topic.
- If you already have a general topic, try searching the library's catalog or the library's databases for ideas on how to narrow that topic down.
- Visit the library's Reference Desk and request to view the following book: 10,000 ideas for term papers, projects, reports and speeches: Intriguing, original research topics for every student's need.
- For current events and issues in the news, try searching the library's database: CQ Researcher.
- For debatable or controversial issues, ask one of the librarians about the Opposing Viewpoints Series, the Taking Sides Series, Issues in Focus Series and/or the Current Controversies Series.
- Visit the Social Issues Research Guide. There you will find a list of current social issues to choose from.
Books will provide an excellent starting point for your research in the field of New Jersey Government. Reference books often give you background information and a general overview on your topic so that you can proceed with greater understanding to a more detailed treatment of your subject in other books and periodicals. Reference books may include specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, almanacs, atlases and/or statistical reports. The librarian at the Reference Desk can help in locating an appropriate source. Listed below are the titles and call numbers of some of the New Jersey Government books in the library's reference collection. The reference collection is located on the main level of the library. Books with a location of Reference cannot be checked out of the library. The Circulating Collection is on the second floor of the library. Books with a location of Circulating may be checked out.
To search the Catalog for a book, click on it's callnumber below.
|Almanac of American Politics National Journal Group||Reference||JK271.B343|
|New Jersey Facts Clements Research||Reference||F134 .N57|
|New Jersey Firsts Camino Books||Reference||F134.6 .A76 1999|
|Spotlight on New Jersey Government Rutgers University Press||Reference||JK3516 .N48 1992|
|State Rankings Morgan Quitno Press||Reference||HA203 .U17|
|Official congressional directory||Reference||JK1011.U57|
|The Book of the States Council of State Governments||Reference||JK2403 .B6|
|The Government of New Jersey: An Introduction University Press o...||Reference||JK3516 .C66 1993|
|The New Jersey Municipal Data Book Information Publications||Reference||HT123.5 .N5 N53|
|The Sourcebook To Public Record Information BRB Publications||Reference||JK468 .P76 S693 2001|
|Encyclopedia of American Government, 4 vols. Salem Press, Inc.||Reference||JK9 .E52 1998|
|Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System, 3 volumes. Scri...||Reference||JF501 .E53|
|The Encyclopedia of New Jersey Rutgers University Press||Reference||F132.E52 2004|
NJ Constitution and Law
|Encyclopedia of New Jersey Causes of Action||Reference||KFN2333.A68 E63|
|New Jersey Reports West Group||Reference||KFN1845 .A2|
|New Jersey Statutes Annotated West Publishing||Reference||KFN1830 1937.A42 58.16A|
|New Jersey Superior Court Reports West Group||Reference||KFN1848 .A21|
|The New Jersey State Constitution: A Reference Guide Greenwood P...||Reference||KFN2201 1947.A6 W55|
|You and the Law in New Jersey Rutgers University Press||Reference||KFN1881 .M55 1998|
The library catalog is used to locate books both at RVCC, as well as from other libraries in the Somerset County Library System. Books will provide in-depth information not found in reference sources.
- Start with a Keyword search. Once you find one or two books about your topic, check the book's record to see what Subjects are being used. Once you find the appropriate Subject Heading, repeat your search using those headings. Generally, the results from a Subject search will always be more accurate than the results from a Keyword search.
- If you know the title of the book you are looking for, do a Title search.
- If you are looking for a book with a specific author, do an Author search (last name first).
Suggested Subject Headings for New Jersey Government:
Click a subject heading below to use it as the search term for a Subject Search in the catalog.
- Constitutional law -- New Jersey.
- Court rules -- New Jersey.
- Education -- New Jersey.
- New Jersey -- Politics and government.
Consult with the reference librarian to find the term best suited to your needs.
Browse the Collection:
Most of the books can be found in the following areas:
- JK1-9993 -- United States political institutions and public administration
- JK2403-9593 -- State Government
- KFN1801-2399 -- New Jersey State Law
All of the library's circulating books are located on the upper level of the library.
For additional library catalogs, including libraries in Hunterdon and Middlesex counties, consult the Additional Library Catalogs page. If you find a book in one of these catalogs that the library does not own, request the book using the library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
Research Databases - Finding Articles
The Evelyn S. Field Library has access to thousands of periodicals. (Periodicals can be magazines, scholarly journals, or newspapers.) Some periodicals are in the library's print (or hard copy) collection. However, the majority of periodicals are available in the Research Databases. These databases provide access to articles. This information is generally more current than material found in books.
Search for periodical articles on New Jersey Government using the databases listed below. They can be accessed from the Library Database Page. (If you are using these databases from an off-campus location, you will be asked to identify yourself by logging in with your Username and Password. This is the same login you use on campus. The Research Databases are available only to registered RVCC students.)
- LexisNexis Academic
LEXIS-NEXIS® Academic Universe provides access to a wide range of news, business, legal, and reference information, including news from over 18,000 newspapers, magazines and news wires and company financial information.
After finding an article on your research topic, the database will either provide a citation and summary of the article, or it will provide the full-text (the complete article). If you are only given a citation and summary of the article, you can check the Periodical Locator to determine if the periodical you are looking for is available in another database. (The Periodical Locator is an alphabetical list of all the journals the library has access to. Feel free to talk with a librarian for assistance.) If the article is not available in any of the library's research databases, request the article using the library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
If, for your assignment, you are required to have sources from scholarly journals, use the Identifying Scholarly Articles guide to help you determine if your source is a magazine article or a scholarly article.
- Contacting the Congress
Contacting the Congress is a database of biographical information, phone numbers, FAX numbers, office addresses, electronic mail addresses and WWW homepages for members of the Congress and Congressional Committees.
- Find Your Legislator
From the New Jersey Legislature website, the information is organized four ways: alphabetically by member, by district, by municipality and by interactive map of the state.
GovSpot.com is a non-partisan government information portal designed to simplify the search for the best and most relevant government information online
- LSNJ Law
Legal Services of New Jersey's website with help on a variety of subjects like healthcare, immigration, debt, schools, taxes and senior services
- New Jersey Departments/Agencies
From the State of New Jersey website, this is an alphabetized list of links to government departments and agencies
- New Jersey Division of Elections
From the New Jersey Department of State, this website provides voter information, candidate resources, and election information
- New Jersey Frequently Asked Questions
Found on the Official Website for the State of New Jersey, this webpage provides guidance to appropriate New Jersey services by category
- New Jersey Homeland Security
This department coordinates counter-terrorism and emergency response efforts across the state
- New Jersey Legislature Home Page
This site has an overview of the legislative process, a history of the NJ Legislature, full text of NJ Statues, a searchable database of bills enacted, voting records of officials and much more.
- New Jersey Municipal Courts Direct
- New Jersey State Courts
- New Jersey State Library
- NJ Government Publications on the Web
- NJ Infobank
A plethora of information sources, such as state contracts and bidding opportunities, executive orders, state/ fax/ organizational telephone directories, PO boxes by department and agency, names and address of the cabinet, legislature and local mayors, municipal directories, NJ zip codes, state holiday and more
- State of New Jersey Department of State
This department oversees all resources with regards to Arts & Culture, State Archives, History & Genealogy, Volunteerism & Community Service, Diversity & Multicultural Affairs, Education, Public Records Administration, Business / Corporate Information
- State of New Jersey Home Page
- Call or visit the Reference Desk to speak to one of the librarians. The Reference Desk is located on the main floor of the library. The phone number is 908-526-1200 x8350.
- Email your question to one of the librarians using the Ask-A-Librarian Service.
- For further information about this guide, please contact Robert Egan
Last Updated - 19 March 2009