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Com 101 Library Information and Tutorials

Com 101 Library Activity Part 1

This is how you get to the first part of your graded library activity:

After you have gone over the information on this page about finding books in Search It, you can go to Com 101 Library Activity Part 1, by following the link below. 

Note: Once you start the activity, you want to complete it (this is just because the technology doesn't allow you to save your work and come back to it), so make sure you have time before beginning. If you need to exit and start again, you can, but you have to start from the beginning, which is kind of a pain. The activity should take about 15 minutes to complete, but can take more or less time depending on your research topic.

Important Note: The survey software (Qualtrics) records your responses as well as how long you spend on the activity, and information about the date and time you do the activity. A report of your entries in the activity will be sent to your instructor. 

Why Books?

Why use books for your research?

  • They can offer an overview of a subject, in-depth treatment of a subject, and a broader view of a subject than most journal articles.
  • Yes, books are long, but you don’t need to read an entire book – using the index and/or table of contents will help you find the sections of the book that you can use for your research.

In addition to scholarly books, you'll find several other kinds of books, like fiction and popular nonfiction, in the libraries. If you need expert research to back up your paper, look for a scholarly book.

Finding Books at WSU

To find books in the WSU Libraries, your best bet is to start at The Libraries' homepage:

On this page, you will see a big search box under the heading Search It.

Screenshot of the Search It box on the library home page

Search It is the Libraries’ online catalog. You can enter keywords (also called search terms, these are words that reflect the key concepts of your topic) to find relevant sources in Search It. For more in-depth information about how to choose search terms, check out The Libraries’ How Do I Develop Keywords tutorial:

For example, if you were searching for the effects of social media on teens' romantic relationships, you might try the keywords social media use romance adolescents. In Search It, this pulls up a list of books, articles, and media materials. To see only the sources in the list that are books, you can select Print Books and/or eBooks from the "Type" options on the the left side of the page.

Screen shot of Search It results for the terms social media use romance adolescents


After you limit your search by type, the only results you see should be the type you selected, in this example, eBooks. Keep in mind that eBooks that are available to you will include an Online Access link. 

Screen shot of a Search It search narrowed to eBooks


If you see a title that looks promising, click on it to get more information about the book. Looking at this information can help you decide if the book will be useful to your research.

When you find an e-book you'd like to use, look in the "Access Options" section for the link to the full text of the e-book. You may have to sign in with your WSU Network ID and password to get to the full text.

Screen shot of a Search It eBook record with the full text link highlighted


When you find a print book you’d like to check out, look for the Call Number, a combination of letters and numbers that will help you locate the book in the libraries. You can also use the "Map it! button to pull up a map highlighting the location of your book.

Helpful Links for Com 101 Library Research Using Books

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us