Jonathan, a sophomore at State University


Introductory Environmental Policy Analysis


Write a paper on the establishment of a national park or monument


Jonathan is interested in Grand Staircase National Monument which he visited during the previous summer, so he decides to find out about its establishment

Starting Info:

All Jonathan knows is the name Grand Staircase 

  1. Selects the Basic Search form from the LexisNexis® Congressional options for Congressional Publications searches.

  2. Types Grand Staircase into the search box and hits the Search button;  gets no results, but thinks he remembers the name correctly.

  3. Notices that the default is set to find results from the last two years and wonders if perhaps there is no recent information on Grand Staircase.  Clicks the Edit Search button to return to the Basic Search form.. 

  4. Changes the date range to "All available dates" and tries again.

  5. This time gets several hits on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and notices that the results list is partitioned into document type categories, including hearings, legislative histories, prints, and reports.

  6. Having no idea what these document type labels mean, clicks on the Help link in the upper right-hand corner.

  7. Looks at the Help topics listed on the left-hand side of the page, and notices that there is a Types of Publications topic.

  8. Clicks on About Types of Publications and sees that it describes hearings, legislative histories, prints, reports, and other types of publications.  After reading about legislative histories, he decides to look for the history of the law which established Grand Staircase-Escalante as a national monument.

  9. Looks at the legislative histories in his results set, but cannot find one that describes a law in which Grand Staircase-Escalante is established as a national monument.

  10. Puzzled, types establish in the FOCUS™ search box.

  11. Chooses Expanded List to review his results set and looks for phrases in any of the publication types included in his results that might explain how Grand Staircase-Escalante became a national monument.

  12. Hones in on results from a hearing that refer to the establishment of  Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, views the hearing in Full View and learns that the monument was established under:

“President Clinton's Sept. 1996 decision to bypass State and local consultation procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, and exercise Presidential authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish the national monument.” 

  1. Notices a link in the hearing record in the DOC-TYPE segment, and clicks to retrieve the text of selected witness testimony on the establishment of the monument. (Note that users whose institutions purchase access to the appropriate Congressional Hearings Digital Collection will find a link to a PDF at the bottom of the record page, and will click that link to access the full text.)

  2. Checks results in the print and report categories and determines that they also provide interesting background material on the topic.

  3. Decides that he has what he needs to begin writing his paper.

Search Tips:  If you want background information on Congressional Publication types, go to the Types of Publications section in the Help Text.