If you have your NEC handbook you can read the notes for each wiring method in chapter 3. That may be on the technical side but it is what you will need to know eventually. For the purposes of this kind of study you could even use an old handbook. This kind of stuff is fairly stable although they do add new rules now and then.
Otherwise, spend some time at the big box stores and check out the different selections of wiring methods and materials. This is a good way to attach the name of a product to what it looks like.
When I instructed a first year apprenticeship class, I would make arrangements to meet at a local supply house that allowed me to tour the stock room. The students always remarked how helpful that lesson was.
I also believe the American Electrician's Handbook provides good detail and pictures of all sorts of wiring methods and materials.
Bryan P. Holland, ECO. Secretary - IAEI Florida Chapter
Since saras is from Vancouver Island, maybe this post should be moved to the Canadian section to avoid confusion. In Canada our wire is designated by the CSA type. Also, as well as Table D1, I should have added Table 11 of the CEC to my previous post.
"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"
Since you are on Vancouver Island,(as pretty much everywhere)(I'm not sure whee you are) there are some different code requirements for each municipal district because of the different salt air stuff going on around the West Coast of BC. They vary wildely, as I found out about 30 years ago.
I'd suggest, as a start with the CEC and then get the municipality to supply you with their own local changes to the codes. Some of the ones I found one time would not let AL anywhere near the atmosphere. - i.e. corrosion.
Your only solution is to check the CEC and their amendmnts for the municipality you are in.
Check There has been growing consistency from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in BC over the last 30 years. As far as cables go there is a big difference from Vancouver to the rest of BC in air return plenums. Vancouver requires FT-6 flame ratings for cbles in plenums. I think the rest of BC goes with the NBC as ammended for BC. or FT-4. I don't know where aluminum wire is prohibited and I'd be surprised to learn that BC Hydro does not use it for it's distribution. I know there are a lot of people that just use copper and some of that is due to a mis understanding of the issues surrounding the aluminum wiring for branch circuits from the 80's.