Research Tips

Research Tips

Copying U.S. legislation from the Internet into word processing

When you find a relevant portion of a law or court case, you can copy (in the U.S. and in some other countries, but not in all countries) the text directly into your word processing program. When you find the text that you want to use, mark (highlight) the portion of the text with the cursor. Then pull down “Edit” from the top left-hand part of the page above the toolbars. Select “Copy” (Control C). Minimize the Internet screen and go into word processing. Pull down “Edit” again and select “Paste” (Control V) at the place where you want the text inserted. The text you highlighted will then be in word processing where it can be edited.

Finding Specific U.S. Laws

You can use the Cornell Legal Information Institute to (1) link to a table of all U.S. Code titles, (2) link to a table of an individual title using a URL derived from the title number or (3) link to an individual section of the code using a URL derived from title number and section, or you can find US Code materials by Title and Section or by the Table of Popular Names.

Here is a way to search Public laws up to the current Congress Online (see Thomas). The search may be by Public Law number, U.S. Code citation, Statutes-at-Large Citation, Congressional Bill Number, or subject.