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Project Writing and Research E-Textbook: Home

Project Writing and Research - where the Library and First Year Writing courses team up for student success! This textbook has been collaboratively developed to introduce the basic skills that students need for beginning research.



The Project Writing and Research E-Textbook provides an introduction to the library research process and basic tools a student needs to succeed in coursework at Boise State University and beyond. You will gain proficiency using essential library resources and will become familiar with aspects of information in its societal context. In addition, you will encounter selected discipline-oriented library resources.

In this e-textbook, you will learn to:

  1. Recognize how information is created and distributed, and understand that content differs by information format.
  2. Determine information need and design search strategies to locate information sources relevant to your research topic.
  3. Use a variety of electronic and print resources, with emphasis on library resources and services, to locate information on your research topic.
  4. Select and evaluate the most useful information sources for your research topic.
  5. Reflect on and revise your individual research process.
  6. Demonstrate a basic understanding of plagiarism and documentation of sources. 

You will find a chat box on each page of this site so you can easily send questions as you have them. We look forward to hearing from you!

The PoWeR librarians

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  • Inquiry Process - an overview of the iterative process of inquiry. 
  • Explore a Topic - finding background information on a topic and honing in on a research question.
  • Basic Research Skills - the fundamentals of finding a book and an article, so that students can get moving with their English 102 papers. 
  • Keywords - brainstorming a list of keywords and narrowing or broadening your search strategy.
  • Evaluation - learning to look at information with a critical eye.
  • Citing Sources Using MLA Format - citing books, articles, and websites with MLA.
  • Advanced Article Searching - finding articles of various types, choosing the right article database, and some advanced search tips to improve relevance.
  • Advanced Book Searching - finding books that really work for your topic, and getting them even if we don't have them in the Library.
  • Advanced Web Searching - tips and tricks to find better websites.
  • Annotated Bibliography - the annotated bibliography module can help by creating a scaffold for student research.
  • Interviews & Observations - an overview of two major field research methods.
  • Primary Sources - covers what primary sources are and the basics of how to find them.
  • Information & Genre - the differences between scholarly and popular sources and how information changes over time.
  • Lateral Searching - finding materials using citation hunting and other lateral methods.
  • Argumentative Essay - understanding why research is important to presenting a solid argument.
  • Reflection - an opportunity for students to reflect on the research process and how they've grown as researchers.

A PRIMO Resource

This E-Textbook is part of the Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online Database maintained by the Instruction Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries.

If you have questions about the E-Textbook, please contact Elaine Watson at Albertsons Library at

Got a question?