Top of page

KWIC Search Results for Legislation Text on

Share this post:

The following is a guest post by Amy Swantner, a specialist in legislative information systems management within the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress.

Imagine the following: you are interested in finding legislation about a specific topic. You carefully choose search terms you think will find those bills most relevant to your needs. You enter your keywords, hit “search” and you get results – lots of them. The relevancy ranking sort is a big help, but sometimes you need another clue to decide quickly which results are likely to be of most interest to you.

KWIC to the rescue! KWIC, which stands for Key Word in Context, shows you two snippets of the text where your search terms appear. KWIC can be particularly helpful with bills, which can cover multiple legislative subjects.

The new KWIC search results are now the default display when you use the Legislation Text search form on

To access the search form, use the “more options” link below the search bar, then choose “Legislation Text” from the menu.

Click “more options” from the search bar, then select “legislation text.”

Enter your search terms in the Words & Phrases box.

With “Legislation Text” selected, enter your search terms

Your search results are returned in the KWIC display format with your search terms highlighted.

New Key Word in Context on Legislation Text Search Results

You can easily toggle off the KWIC display by unchecking the box in the top left just above the filters.

Show Keywords in Context box unchecked

To learn more about legislation text, searching, and other enhancements visit our Help Center.

Thanks to my wonderful colleagues in the Law Library for the opportunity to tell you about this exciting new feature!

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.