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LGLA 1303 - Legal Research Term Project

Research Guide for LGLA 1303 Legal Research Term Project assignment

Print Resource: Texas Digest 2d

PLEASE NOTE: The print series available in the Library are no longer being updated and are for Teaching Purposes Only. For the latest information, see Westlaw.

Texas Digest 2d



Legal Reference

KFT 1257 .W47







For the Digest Abstracts, you will use the Descriptive Words found in the first step of this project to look up information in the rest of the Texas Digest series.

To find the Digest Abstracts: 

  1. Using the Descriptive Word Index listings for your topic, locate the heading and key number(s) for the topic of your choice.
  2. Find the volume(s) of the Texas Digest that cover the heading listed. (Tip: the volume will not always include the name on the side. Sometimes the name falls between the two topics that start and end the volume, so it is not listed but is contained within the volume)
  3. Use the heading and section number to locate the section relating to your topic. The section will include abstracts and citations for cases on the topic.
  4. Check for any updates to the bound volume in either a pocket part or a paperback supplement .


Searching the Texas Digest to Find Cases on a Topic

Texas Digest shelves

Searching the Texas Digest in Print for Case Citations

One way to find a case citation is to look up case abstracts by topic using a digest series like Texas Digest

The digest series has two main parts: the Descriptive Word Index and the main volumes with the abstracts. The topics are broken down into key numbers, which narrow broad topics down to very specific points of law.

Texas Digest Descriptive Word Index

Step 1: Locate the Descriptive Word Index

The Descriptive Word Index is used to locate your topic and give you a key number that you can use to find your topic in the rest of the digest volumes.

Search for your topic or keyword in the Descriptive Word Index volumes, shelved near the end of the series. Words appear in the Index alphabetically. For example, if you are looking for "arson," you would use the Descriptive Word Index A-C volume. 

Texas Digest Descriptive Word Index page showing headings for Arson

Step 2: Locate your term in the Index

Within the index, use the words at the top corners of the page to find your term.

NOTE: Your term may not always appear in a corner, but it can fall alphabetically between the corner words.

Texas Digest Descriptive Word Index heading for Arson

Step 3: Find the section for your topic

On the page, locate the bold heading. 

Under the heading for your topic, you should see a list of the descriptive words for your selected topic.

Write down the descriptive words and key numbers that are relevant to your research.

Texas Digest volumes with a red box around the volume for arson

Step 4: Locate the volume that includes your key number

Go back to the shelves and use the spines of the books to find the volume that includes that the key number that you are looking for. 

For example, Arson Key 27

Texas Digest volume on arson open to key 27

Step 5: Find the key in the volume

Using the key number, find the heading within the volume. The section will include abstracts and citations for cases on the topic.

Example: Arson key 27 has several cases listed that have citations for South Western Reporter


Texas Digest volume open to pocket part

Step 6: Check for Updates

Since the bound volumes are only as up to date as the date they were printed, it is critical to check for updates. The Texas Digest uses annual supplements to update its content. Most of the time, these appear as pocket parts at the back of the volume. When a pocket part becomes too big to fit in the pocket, it will come as a separate paperback supplement shelved right after the volume.

Turn to the back of the volume to check for a pocket part.

Texas Digest pocket part showing updates

Step 7: Find your key in the Pocket Part

Check the pocket part for your key number to see if any new cases are listed for that topic.

Electronic Access

Although published by West, the Texas Digest is only available in print. The closest online equivalent is Westlaw's topic and key number system, which lets you click on a key number in Westlaw and takes you to a page with cases related to that key number. 

The Assignment

Item: Digest Abstracts


"Using descriptive word index of Texas Digest, look up two digest abstracts that reference case relating to topic. Copy abstracts and include in this tab."

Today's Hours


Only currently registered Lone Star paralegal students can access Westlaw. Current paralegal students will receive an email to their MyLoneStar student email from Thomson Reuters with details on how to activate their personal account. For problems with this, please contact the Paralegal department.