AP American Government Research Paper

See also other AP American Government course guides.


The Library's RhinoCAT is an automated catalog of books, DVDs, and other library materials. RhinoCAT is available from any browser at http://taft.bywatersolutions.com. It is also accessible from your TaftNet homepage. A keyword search using a broad term will yield the most hits.

Encyclopedias and Reference Books / eBooks

Search large collections of ebooks simultaneously: Gale Virtual Reference Library, Infobase ebooks, and Salem History
Also: Encyclopedia Britannica Online, the complete EB, plus authoritative websites and full-text journal access

Taft Online Subscriptions

  • Academic Search Complete (Ebsco) Full text access to thousands of journals in all disciplines
  • Academic Video Online: Premium The largest and most comprehensive video subscription available to libraries. It delivers over 45,000 video titles spanning essential subject areas, including anthropology, business, counseling, history, music, film, science, and more
  • Access World News articles from 5227 sources and 160 countries covering 1978 to the present (Tip: Click on "Find a Topic" on homepage and choose "Politics and Government" for suggested searches)
  • American History Online Overview essays, biographies, primary sources, videos and slideshows, images, timelines, and maps and graphs in American political, military, social, and cultural history.
  • Annals of American History Search 2700+ primary source documents and multimedia by author, decade, or topic
  • Classroom Video on Demand Provides access to thousands of full-length videos and clips on core-curriculum topics
  • Congressional Digest Debates Online: a Pro & Con Online Service An independent publication featuring significant controversies in Congress
  • Issues & Controversies Provides exclusive, extensive coverage of hundreds of today's hot topics, with unbiased analysis and rich related resources.
  • Issues & Controversies in American History Extensive coverage of key issues and controversies in American history from colonial America to the present.
  • JSTOR Extensive backfiles of full-text scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, and sciences, many dating back to the 19th century.
  • New York Times 1851-2007 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers) Graphical interface and full-text coverage back to the first issue in 1851 (Click here for Traditional Interface)
  • New York Times 1980-current (ProQuest) Traditional interface and full-text coverage (FT coverage of NYT Magazine and Book Review begins 1997)
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context Viewpoint articles, reference content, full-text magazines, academic journals, and newspapers, primary source documents, statistics, and links to web sites
  • SIRS Knowledge Source General reference database containing thousands of full-text articles and other resources, including U. S. government documents
  • U. S. History in Context Comprehensive collection of reference sources, primary documents, periodicals, maps and multimedia
  • The Washington Post (1987-present) Well known for not only in-depth news and analysis of American politics but also insightful coverage of national and international trends and events.


See Finding and Evaluating Websites for hints on how to locate quality websites.

  • AllGov.com (provides up-to-date news about more than 340 departments and agencies of the U.S. government, most of which operate under the radar of the media, even when they have annual budgets of billions of dollars. AllGov tells you what each agency says it does, what it really does, and who is making a profit from the agency. It also gives a history of the agency, illuminates controversies relating to the agency and shares critiques and suggested reforms from both the left and the right)
  • American Presidency Project (Includes an archive of 112,588 documents related to the study of the Presidency; from UC Santa Barbara)
  • Congress.Gov (the official website for U.S. federal legislative information)
  • GovtInfo.org is now Government Information Online(Get your questions answered by government information librarians from participating university, state, and public libraries)
  • GovSpot (part of the StartSpot network, GovSpot offers a high-utility collection of top government and civic resources hand-selected by our editorial team for their quality, content and utility.)
  • GPO Federal Digital System (free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government through FDsys)
  • OpenSecrets.org (from the Center for Responsive Politics, "the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy")
  • Presidential libraries (links to all libraries, Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush)
  • Top 15 Most Popular Political Websites, March 2016 ("The top 15 Most Popular Political Sites as derived from our eBizMBA Rank which is a continually updated average of each website's Alexa Global Traffic Rank, and U.S. Traffic Rank from both Compete and Quantcast.")
  • USA.gov (the official U.S. government web portal)