This paper presents the equations-of-motion method as a useful and flexible tool in the study of nuclear spectroscopy. It is partly a review, but also it introduces a new and much more powerful equations-of-motion technique which supercedes the older linearization methods. The older methods worked with operator equations. To obtain closed expressions they had to be linearized in a rather arbitrary manner. The present approach works with the ground-state expectation of operator equations and thereby avoids all problems of linearization. Thus, like the Green's function method, the equations-of-motion method becomes potentially exact. It has many advantages over Green's function methods, however, among which are its greater compactness, simplicity, and the physical insight it yields. The method is first applied to rederive the random phase approximation (RPA) and the quasi-particle RPA (QRPA) and to show precisely what terms they neglect. It is demonstrated that some of these terms have coherent phases. A higher RPA and QRPA are then derived to include these terms. The corrections have some interesting effects: notably, there is a reduction of the effective interaction strength and a stabilization of the nucleus against sudden phase transitions. The equations-of-motion method is also used to generalize, in a very simple and natural way, the Hartree-Fock (HF) and Hartree-Bogolyubov (HB) concepts of independent particles and quasi-particles to nonsimple ground states. The equations-of-motion method is presented as a simple extension of the shell model to the treatment of excitationg of a correlated ground state. By concentrating on the quantities of direct physical interest, the complexity of workins with correlated wavefunctions is avoided.