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FILA 150 Digital Technology Class Guide


Welcome to the FILA 150 Digital Technology Course Guide. This guide is designed to help you with your research project for this class. You need to find at least ten credible sources for this assignment. This guide is designed to help you to:

If you're having trouble with this assignment, I am more than happy to help, as is BC's other research librarian, Vickie. Feel free to email us at or make an appointment using the button below:

Brainstorming Your Topic

There are a plethora of strategies for brainstorming: freewriting, concept mapping, etc. The links below highlight each strategy, so you can find the one that fits with your mode of thinking.

Try the following recommended strategies to get started thinking about what you might like to do for this assignment:

Focusing a Topic

Assignments often are written with a subject in mind but are often too broad to work as a single topic for your project. You still need to choose a unique aspect of that subject in which to specialize your research. 

For this assignment, think about what interests you most:

  • What is your major? And what drew you to that major? OR What is a favorite hobby that you really care about?
  • Narrow that interest down. If you're an English major, what spect of English—professional writing or literature?
    • Keep going until you've found what you're really interested in
    • For example: English major ► literature ► Shakespeare studies
  • Now, think about a technology that relates to this topic
    • Having trouble? Try doing a google search of your topic and the word technology
    • Doing this, I can find several directions to go: Digital Humanities and Shakespeare, algorithmic analysis of Renaissance texts, reading Shakespeare on e-books, etc.

Below are some additional resources to get you started focusing your topic.

Keyword Searching

Keywords are the terms you will use to search for information. Just typing in your entire topic sentence is not an efficient way to search. Here are some tips for using keywords effectively.

As you search for resources, consider what you might like to write about in your paper and use this as a keyword.


  • If you're interested in algorithmic analysis and its relationship to our current understanding of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, some keywords might be:
    • algorithm, machine learning, Shakespeare, "Renaissance literature"
    • Note: when you are using a phrase like Renaissance literature, make sure to search it in quotation marks to ensure the words appear together in your search results

As you're searching:

  • Look for other relevant keywords
  • Keep track of the terms and indicate which ones are most successful
  • See if there are any relevant subject terms you might like to use

Subject Headings

Librarians love to organize information. One way we do this is by using subject headings. Since some subjects can be described using various terms (like cats or felines), librarians have come up with a standardized list, or controlled list, of subjects that can be used when describing resources. This list (known as the Library of Congress Subject Headings) provides the controlled vocabulary that every librarian uses when they describe the subject of a book, DVD, or any other object in the library's catalog.

The easiest way to understand subject headings is to see it in action. The most convenient example is the library's catalog. When you pull up the full record of a title, it will give you the subject heading for that item hyperlinked, so you can search for other titles with that descriptor. 

 Example of Subject terms from catalog


You also will find subject headings in many of our online databases (like Academic Search Complete), where they help organize thousands of articles. They may not utilize the same list of subjects as the Library of Congress, you can still approach searching them the same way as in the library's catalog.

image of subject terms of Academic Search Complete