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ENGL 101 -- THE (MUSIC) GENRE ESSAY -- Kerr

This campus guide provides resources and recommendations for students completing research in Professor Reid Kerr's genre essay.

A Little Bit about Music Genres

Music genres, both established and emerging, are similar to any other type of information from the perspective of the information cycle. The more well-known, or "popular" the genre, the more likely you will find published, documented sources from library resources such as print and electronic books, and articles from library databases. Traditionally, this means the information has had the time and history in becoming more "established" genres, these types of sources are considered more credible, authoritative, reliable, and accurate. 

In contrast, emerging sub-genres of some music will not have had the benefit of time to become established in published, documented information. If you select a genre that is more "underground" or emerging, the sources you find/use may look a little different than for a student who has chosen a more established genre. 

In most instances, no matter how esoteric (unique), obscure, or current the genre, it has its roots in some, more traditional form. If this is the case, your four sources will each serve a different information need for your research. 

While selecting a more obscure genre will be more challenging when it comes to finding sources, you, as a novice scholar, can contribute more thoughtfully in the "scholarly" discourse or conversation about the emerging genre you have chosen. 

 

Selecting a Genre

Once you have chosen your music genre, you will need to develop key terms/concepts to use in search engines to find information. Remember that you will want to use broader and more specific terms in order to maximize the types of your sources you find. To begin, you will need to base these terms on something, not just what you already know about the genre. Of course, include what you already know, but the best way to find key terms is to read a news article or an encyclopedia source (ok to use Wikipedia for this part of your research), to learn more about your genre, including history, timeline, major players, controversies, major shifts or changes, etc. 

Having a list of key terms you can build off of will save you a lot of time.

Use the following resources to develop a list of keywords on your chosen genre.

Databases for General Genre Information

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