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Writing 10 (Fenstermaker): Search Strategies

College Reading & Composition - music focus

Search Tips

  1. Think of different ways to search for information about your band or musician
    • -- ie, song names, album titles, names of band members, etc.
  2. Find artist and genre information in reference sources, databases, and music websites.
  3. Search newspapers, magazines, and music websites for album reviews and interviews with artists.
  4. Search databases and journals to find scholarly articles about your artist. 
  5. Use selected websites to search for lyrics, videos, and album covers.


Searching in Academic Search Complete

Learn how to access and search Academic Search Complete, a database with a wide range of materials on many topics. (Length: ~2:00min)  See how a search is done in this database.

Question: How can you use Academic Search Complete?

Search Strategies

A. Boolean Operators

OR is mORe (joins similar terms)  e.g. "John McCrea" OR "cake"

AND is less (joins dissimilar terms) e.g. bands AND sacramento

Sample Search Using both AND and OR

"the distance" OR "fashion nugget"



B. Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase

  • "john mccrea"
  • "prolonging the magic"
  • "short skirt/long jacket"

C. Truncation

Use a symbol, the asterisk * is the most common, to look for variant endings of a word

  • critic* will search for critic, critics, critical, criticism, etc.

D. Combine search strategies

Combine search strategies for more efficient searching

  • critic* AND (cake OR "john mccrea") AND review*