Scholastic Help: Congressional Record

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The Congressional Record Search form is in the Legislative section of LexisNexis Scholastic. Using this search form you can accomplish such tasks as:

  • Read pieces of the Congressional Record for a specific Congress
  • Search the Congressional Record by citation
  • Search the Congressional Record by speaker


[edit] Search For

Construct your search using individual terms joined by connectors such as "And" and "Or." If you are looking for instances of Hillary Clinton and simply search on "Hillary Clinton," LexisNexis will assume that you want to find documents in which those two words occur in that order and right next to each other. You will miss any occurrence that refers to her as "Hillary Rodham Clinton." To find such documents you can enter the terms on separate lines and pick the "AND" or "within 5 words of" option from the drop down box for Connectors (see below). For more about connectors, see the article on Boolean Searching.

Note: Although quote marks are used in the examples, they are ignored in Boolean searches. If you want to search a phrase, simply enter it in a single text box and LexisNexis will assume you want the exact words in the exact order.

[edit] Connectors

The second and third input rows of in the Search For section start with a drop down box that lets you choose connectors when you have entered terms on more than one row. The connectors are:

  • And
  • Or
  • Not
  • Within 5 words of
  • In Same Sentence as
  • In Same Paragraph as

For an explanation of how these and the other available connectors work, and to learn about search techniques, see the article on Boolean Searching.

[edit] Search Terms

Sometimes called "keywords," the terms you enter in the text box will be matched against terms that occur in documents when your search is run. There are a few things you should know about entering terms on this form:

  • Implied adjacency -- if you enter two or more words in the same box (with no connector), LexisNexis will assume you want to find documents in which those words occur together and in order. Entering "hot dog" will only find documents that mention hot dogs. Entering "hot AND dog" will find any document that has both these words, for example a story about a dog on a hot day.
  • Automatic pluralization -- LexisNexis automatically searches plural forms of most nouns. You do not need to use wildcard characters to search for "dog" and "dogs," simply enter "dog" and LexisNexis will find both variations.

[edit] Restrictions

  • Everywhere -- as the name implies, this option searches the full text of all documents
  • Speaker -- searches only for names in the speaker field
  • Document Title -- only searchs the title field
  • Citation -- a great way to find the exact record you're looking for
  • At least 5 Occurrences -- great way to find records that mention your terms a lot

These are only the most commonly used types of restrictions. For more ways to focus your search, see the article on Scholastic Document Sections

[edit] Congress

This drop-down box allows you to select a specific Congress to search through. By selecting a specific Congress, your results set will only include records from the years indicated.

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