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GOVT 2306: Mock Legislature Project

This guide was created for Dr. Putz's Texas Government classes.

Texas Laws

These are the best websites for information on Texas legislature. 

Here is an example search which might make it easier to find laws pertaining to your topic.

     YOUR TOPIC site:           

           eminent domain site:

           open container site:

           textbook affordability site:

Example Search

Google Search - Examples (to be discussed and demonstrated in class)

eminent domain 

     high speed rail

eminent domain texas

     high speed rail texas

eminent domain site:gov

     high speed rail site:gov

eminent domain

     high speed rail

eminent domain

     high speed rail

eminent domain

     high speed rail

Statistics from the Web

Fake News: What You Need to Know

Fake News  Sources that entirely fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports

Satire  Sources that use humor, irony, exaggeration, ridicule, and false information to comment on current events.

Extreme Bias  Sources that come from a particular point of view and may rely on propaganda, decontextualized information, and opinions distorted as facts.

Conspiracy Theory  Sources that are well-known promoters of kooky conspiracy theories.

Rumor Mill  Sources that traffic in rumors, gossip, innuendo, and unverified claims.

State News  Sources in repressive states operating under government sanction.

Junk Science  Sources that promote pseudoscience, metaphysics, naturalistic fallacies, and other scientifically dubious claims.

Hate News  Sources that actively promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination.

Clickbait  Sources that provide generally credible content, but use exaggerated, misleading, or questionable headlines, social media descriptions, and/or images.

Proceed With Caution  Sources that may be reliable but whose contents require further verification.

Political  Sources that provide generally verifiable information in support of certain points of view or political orientations.

Credible  Sources that circulate news and information in a manner consistent with traditional and ethical practices in journalism (Remember: even credible sources sometimes rely on clickbait-style headlines or occasionally make mistakes. No news organization is perfect, which is why a healthy news diet consists of multiple sources of information).

Definitions from OpenSources, a project spearheaded by Melissa Zimbars of Merrimack College.

Lee, Samantha and Shana Lebowitz. "20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions." Business Insider, 26 Aug. 2015, 12:38,


  • What is the publication date or last date updated?
  • Is the content timely, useful, and valid for your information need?


  • Who wrote the content?
  • What makes that individual author or organization qualified to write it? What other information about the author is included?
  • Who sponsored the content?


  • Is the purpose of the content to inform, to entertain, or to promote a product or service? 
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Does the information seem credible? If so, can you check the information against another resource (i.e. book, journal article, newspaper, etc.) for credibility?


  • Is content biased?
  • Are opinions balanced or does the author have an agenda?
  • How does the bias influence the information?

Writing Style




  • Does the information contain a bibliography, references, or a comprehensive list of sources supporting its theme, topic, or agenda?
  • Is content presented at an appropriate level for an academic research paper?
  • Does the supporting information fit your research need?
  • Is the work complete, or is it a summary of other work?

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