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Embedded Resources: SNC

MCST 3100


Welcome to the JWU Library for MCST 3100.

Think of me as your research partner. To get started, review the information I've added to the tabs for your research project and consider making a research appointment for individual support. For faster help, use the "Ask a Librarian" chat button below or on our homepage.

Sarah Naomi Campbell| | 401-598-5019




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Choose one of the following options:

Genre Analysis: This project asks you to synthesize how genres structure and are structured by music, musicians, producers, executives, journalists, critics, or fans. Possible genres include salsa, ska, reggae, hip-hop, R&B, rock, country, jazz, folk, singer-songwriters, alternative, disco, grunge, metal, etc. You may also wish to consider how the music and/or radio industries use genres for marketing purposes or how genre borders change over time. This option may take the form of a theoretical piece or a research study. At a useful point in the project, you must demonstrate how scholars have synthesized genres.

Cultural Site or Event: This option situates your research in a musical or otherwise sonic setting and requires you to learn the craft of the ethnographer. You will place yourself in a specific scene for the purpose of description and documentation (e.g., the city or country, broadly speaking, or a record store, radio station, performance hall, concert, festival, bar, street corner, train station, etc.). You should take copious notes and construct a thick description of what you observe. Pay attention to the event as a whole and the messages of the musical text in the broader context of an industry or audience. At a useful point in the project, you must demonstrate how scholars have described similar events.

Genealogical Analysis: This project asks you to construct and analyze the genealogy of a popular musical phenomenon. Your project might trace the history of a subject (artist) or object (song), analyzing the breaks and identifying the ruptures related to a particular idea. Examples abound, from the story of animal rock bands to the lineage of roots music. At a useful point in the project, you must demonstrate how scholars have analyzed the phenomenon or approached genealogical analyses in general.

Media Criticism: This option requires you to critique a topic related to sonic or musical culture. You can choose to read any box set, album, soundtrack, book, film, music video, etc. not assigned for the course; if you choose a book or film, consider one that is historical, biographical, autobiographical, etc., such as the life story of Adele, Drake, etc. You may critique one text or compare and contrast two or more texts. At a useful point in the project, you must demonstrate how scholars have critiqued a similar class of texts.

Lyrical Analysis: This option focuses on song lyrics, emphasizing how lyrics are messages sent by messengers. Projects can interpret a single song or several songs within the context of a particular album. At a useful point in the project, you must demonstrate how scholars have interpreted the song or a similar class of songs.

Other options include:

  • an analysis of an ad campaign for a music product (e.g., speakers), software (e.g., Spotify), etc.;
  • a critique of recent sound/music recording software and its cultural impact;
  • an account of the sonic aesthetics of an election campaign;
  • a history of a particular technology (e.g., the jukebox, the boom box, etc.)
  • an analysis of musical merchandise (e.g., shirts, posters, buttons, etc.).
  • Please see the instructor if you’d like to propose another idea.

Each paper will require at three scholarly sources, defined here as book chapters or journal articles; this requirement is in addition to any popular or trade press articles that you wish to use. Be sure to include at least one article from

Popular Music

Popular Music & Society

Popular Music History

Journal of Popular Music Studies

Journal of Hip Hop Studies

Rock Music Studies

Celebrity Studies

Journal of Radio & Audio Media

Radio Journal

International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media

Sound Studies: Interdisciplinary Journal

Journal of Sonic Studies

To request an article from Taylor and Francis, email in the "To" field. Include the citation/link to article you would like to request.

For a title list of available journals, or more details about how to use this service, select LibAnswers from the LibGuides drop down menu on the library's homepage and search by "Taylor & Francis".

Need help? Reach out for a Research Appointment with a librarian.

Why use Google Scholar?

Librarians use Google Scholar frequently, but it is not a replacement for the library databases. 

We recommend using Google Scholar to supplement your JWU Library database searches, not replace them.

Benefits of Google Scholar

  • Cited by search results
  • Quick link to full text when you search for an article title
  • Links directly to Google Books
  • Ranks relevance differently than the library databases
  • Searches the full text for your keywords
  • Sometimes finds free full text for items not in the library
  • Comprehensive searching of scholarly literature beyond JWU Library for capstone literature review research

Drawbacks of Google Scholar

  • No Peer-Reviewed Limit
  • No Full-Text Limit
  • Difficult to do more complex searches


Relying on Google Scholar alone will cause you to miss important research, and spend a lot of time verifying if an article is peer reviewed. But, it is still a great tool for comprehensive searching!

Search tips for Google Scholar

Google Scholar is very similar to Google; you can use many of the same search options.

  • Google Scholar automatically places AND between words:

communication class celebrity

  • Place quotation marks around phrases or titles:

"queer theory"

"Gendering Mental Distress in Celebrity Culture"

  • Search for alternate terms using OR, with the terms enclosed in parentheses:

(film OR movie)

You can also use the advanced Google Scholar search to create your search string. Creating a complex Google Scholar search can be difficult.

A good Google Scholar strategy is to try multiple searches, adjusting your keywords with each search.

Cited By feature in Google Scholar

Use the Cited by link to find articles and books that cite a specific article.

The cited by feature is a great way to find more recent articles and to trace an idea from its original source up to the present.

  1. Start by locating a single item in Google Scholar.
  2. Look for the Cited by link at the bottom of the result. It will list the number of times the item has been cited by others.

Advanced search options

For more complex searches, try Google Scholar's Advanced Search page.

  1. To access the advanced search option, click on the three line icon in the upper left corner of the Google Scholar search page.
  2. Click on Advanced search.

  3. From the Advanced search pop-up box, choose the search option(s) you need.

Follow these steps to manually link Google Scholar to the JWU Library collection:

  1. Go to Google Scholar
  2. In the upper left side of your screen, click on the three lines.

  3. Click the Settings link or gear icon. Depending on your screen size, this may be at the top or the bottom of that section


  4. In the left column, click on Library Links. 

  5. In the search box, type in JWU and click the blue Search button.
  6. An option for JWU - Find at JWU will appear below the search box. Click in the box next to it.

    Note: If you see a box for Open WorldCat - Library Search box , check that too. This will allow it to link to any freely available content.

  7. Click Save. This setting will be remembered until you clear your browser cookies. 

    Tip:  You might be taken back to the setting page. Click Save again to go back to the Google Scholar search box. 

Now when you search Google Scholar, you will see Find at JWU links to the right of articles it thinks we have in the Library.


When you click on Find @ JWU you will be asked to log in with your JWU username and password.

You may see a list of databases that contain the article. Pay attention to the years, as not all databases will have the same coverage years.  Click on the database you want to try and it should take you to the article.

Adapted from: Walden University Library, "Search Google Scholar." Walden University Library. Walden University. 2022, Web. 11.14.2022

The Academic Success Center is open for in-person and remote appointments by zoom.

Whether you're just getting started or need final editing advice, writing tutors are kind and trained to help you at any stage of the writing process. Visit the Academic Success Center website for more information.

Top Tips for Working with the Academic Success Center:

  1.    Book an appointment by phone: 401-598-1485  
  2.    Book an appointment online via USucceed: In jwulink, under Tools,.click Academics tab, Usucceed- Look for "My Success Network" Academic Success Network
  3. Visit us live on the first floor of the Yena Center

For 24/7 free online revision feedback, submit your paper to Smarthinking. Look for the link in jwuLink, under the Academics tab, under Academic Support Services.

The JWU library has two style guides: 

MLA Style Guide

APA Style Guide

However, if you need more in depth guidance on formatting go to the Purdue OWL

Need to talk to someone and seek guidance in real time?

  • If you are an online student, you can go to the online writing center for information about how to contact a writing coach. 
  • If you are a PVD campus student you can schedule an appointment with the writing coach through uSucceed.