Have a list of keywords / search terms ready!
Before your start searching--whether for books, articles, or reliable content on the open web--make sure you're clear about what exactly you hope to find. Look closely at your assignment topic or research question, and create a list of words and concepts that are useful for searching--then keep adding to it!
Here's one way to phrase a research question for this assignment...
|What is the cultural, social, or political significance of [your-choice-of-artist and/or album]?|
The main concepts in this question include the words: cultural, social, political, and significance. Plus--of course--whatever musician you've chosen to focus on.
For each main concept, create a list of synonyms, related terms, and alternate spellings. Often a thesaurus can be helpful with this step.
Examples of search terms useful for this assignment:
political: politics, policies, activism, protests, protesting, advocacy
significance: influence, impact, effect, legacy
the genre of music associated with your artist. Double check on Wikipedia or other background sources to identify the bigger category of music that your artist falls within. Examples: Tyler the Creator > alternative hip hop; Rage Against the Machine > rap metal or alternative rock; One Direction > pop boy band
You'll need to experiment with different combinations of search terms to see what terms gain the most useful results. It helps to have a few options to start with--not just the words first mentioned in the assignment topic or research question.