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Research Aids & Tools

U.S. Government Structure

How to Effectively Locate Federal Information on the Web: 
Know the Structure to Find the Information

One of the keys to finding federal government information on the WWW is understanding the organizational structure of the government. The Constitution of the United States establishes three separate branches of government: Legislative, Judicial, and Executive. In addition to these three branches, there is a fourth category: Independent Establishments and Government Corporations. All of these bodies of government maintain a presence on the WWW.

URLs or WWW addresses of federal agencies are usually based on the name of the particular agency. For example, the address of the Small Business Administration is www.sba.gov. This makes it easy to surmise the www address of federal agencies. 

The graphic below represents the organizational structure of the Federal Government. The various bodies are hot linked to their WWW pages. All of the Executive Branch agencies provide links to various bureaus and subagencies. For example, the Department of Commerce WWW page will link to the U.S. Census Bureau's web page. The Government of the United States

orgchrt2.gif - 12.05 K

If you can't find an agency that you are looking for there are many WWW pages that provide access by agency to the many federal government WWW sites. All are arranged following the basic organizational structure of the federal government. 

Questions:

  1. What is the WWW address of the United States Department of Education? 
  2. What is the WWW address of the United States Geological Survey ?
  3. How can you obtain a current information on applying for a National Science Foundation Grant?