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Research Guides

WRIT 118: Protest Songs


This guide provides some useful starting places and strategies for doing research for this course. We're happy to consult with you on any aspect of your research, from developing a research question to finding, evaluating, and citing sources. Email Karen or Carol or make a calendar Zoom appointment with Karen.

Get Started with SuperSearch

SuperSearch can be a great place to start your search for journal articles, books, films, newspaper & magazine articles, and almost everything else the library has, in one easy to use interface. You can use the filters on the results screen to refine your search and improve your results. For example, try limiting to Full Text Online, and then Book/eBook to see e-books. Or choose Peer-Reviewed Article to find scholarly journal articles, or Encyclopedia Articles & More to find background sources. Click More... to see all content types.


Because SuperSearch contains so much content from so many different kinds of sources, the results can sometimes be overwhelming and hard to focus. At the same time, SuperSearch is also not comprehensive and can miss key sources. To search with more focus, precision, and depth, be sure to try the databases recommended on this guide, as well as the library catalog for books and films.

For more on how to search, see the Search Tips & Tutorials page of this guide.

Find Secondary Sources

Databases can contain a combination of full-text (ready to read online) and citation information that can lead you to articles, book chapters, or books. It's always a good idea to search in more than one database. Even when there is considerable overlap in content, the different features of each database can help you find different sources. Check out our full Database A-Z list and sort by Subject to find other databases for your topic.

Search Tip: Some databases search a relatively small amount of information about each source by default, rather than the full text of the source itself. Trying a variety of keywords is often essential to getting good results in many databases. Make note of relevant keywords and subject terms that come up in your initial searches, and use those terms to find more.

Search the full text of these individual journals:

Find Books in the Catalog


Catalog Search Tips

Start with a keyword search. Once you find a book that's relevant to your topic, click on the title and look for the Subjects listed for that book to help you find "more like this" and explore related aspects of a broader topic.

Example: Keyword search: protest* AND song*

Subject terms for the books that come up in this keyword search lead you to many more books on aspects of the topic, for example:

Music -- Political aspects -- United States

Protest Songs -- History and Criticism

Protest Songs -- United States

Popular Music -- Political Aspects

Rap Music -- Political Aspects


(For tips on keyword searching, such as using the asterisk * for wildcard searching, see the Search Tips & Tutorials page of this guide.)

Find Digitized Primary Sources

The American Historical Association has put together this page on finding and evaluating archival resources that can be a good start for your search: Finding and Evaluating Archives

Historical Newspaper & Magazine Collections

Find Lyrics

Borrow from Other Libraries

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Can't find what you're looking for at Wellesley?

Use Interlibrary Loan to request directly from libraries worldwide.