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Before you start your research, make sure you understand the task of your assignment and try to answer each of the following questions: Do I have to write an essay, a term paper or an opinion paper? How long is it supposed to be? How many sources do I need? What sources (primary or secondary, or both) am I looking for? If there are any doubts about the answer to one of these questions please talk to your instructor again. We at the American Studies Leipzig Institute are always happy to answer any question concerning your academic studies. If you are interested in how to use the ASL Gateway, please click here.

If you need general advice on how to write a scholarly paper please refer to the following links. Please be aware that that you still need to ask your professor about their specific requirements:

Institute for Writing and Rhetoric

The Dartmouth Institute for Writing and Rhetoric fosters students’ abilities as writers, speakers, and critical thinkers. Its Materials for Students section provides extensive textbook-quality advice about all aspects of writing in an academic environment.

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

This is the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University. It provides many good suggestions for academic writing, including information about common writing assignments (such as term papers), but also more general information about the writing process (including questions from the introductory paragraph) and grammar.

At the OWL, you can also find a handy guide to the MLA (Modern Language Association) style, including a poster that you can print out.

Harvard University’s Writing Center

Harvard University’s Writing Center offers a wealth of writing resources, including brief guides to writing papers in different disciplines (History, Philosophy, English)

Sacramento State University’s Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program

The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program at Sacramento State University has a “Guide to Writing an Undergraduate Research Paper” that includes a research itinerary for eight weeks as a handy table.

UW-Madison Writer’s Handbook

Features advice on style and typical academic writing assignments. Provided by the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Yale University Library Guide on “How to Research a History Paper”

The Yale University Library offers a step by step guide on how to go about writing a research paper with a focus on history.

If you need some advice on how to read a (non-fiction) book, especially when you have a lot of material to cover and are short on time, Paul N. Edwards of the School of Information at the University of Michigan has a handy guide on“How to Read a Book” (.pdf).

ASL Gateway Home|How To Use The ASL Gateway|How To Organize Your Sources