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French: A Guide to Research

Time to Write

typing a paper with coffee and notesYou have your topic, you've done your research, and now it is time to write or create. Start by double checking the class syllabus or assignment documents to see what your instructor expects, and consider making an outline to be sure you cover all the requirements and topics. Make sure you leave time before the assignment is due to review and revise your work. 

This page has helpful links to writing and study support, information about citing your sources, and a guide to type special characters (like ñ or é)

Image by on pxhere, CC0

Study & Writing Support

Informal study groups

Your instructors encourage you to set up study groups with your classmates. If you want help getting one started, ask your instructor to make an announcement during class. Study group members can help you get started on a paper or offer suggestions to revise your research assignments. 

SLC writing and tutoring help

Did you know that the Student Learning Center offers tutoring for French students? Get help with general study skills (trust us, this helps in French, too!) or language-specific help. Tutoring is included in your tuition, so there is no fee to use these services. Request tutoring here.

Peer tutoring

Peer tutors can't help with graded materials (like homework or essays) but will answer your questions, review class topics, and help build up your studying, writing, and research skills. 

Professional tutoring

Professional tutors are not subject-specific -- alas, no language tutors -- but they can help improve your studying, writing, and research skills in one-on-one sessions. They can help with graded materials, unlike the peer tutors. 

  • One-to-one tutoring, not in French
  • Academic coaching (multiple sessions with a targeted goal)
  • Writing consultations (one-time sessions focused on a specific assignment)

Study skills and writing workshops

The SLC runs workshops on a broad array of subjects to help students succeed. Check out the current workshop list and access the registration links here.

Guide to Citation

Cite your Sources

An important part of research is giving credit to scholars who informed your learning and writing. Plus, your reference list can act like a "how to" for other researchers to follow -- they can see what papers, articles, or other documents you used in your research to learn more about your topic. Finally, citing your research sources is essential to avoiding plagiarism. 

Milne Library Citation Guide

Whichever citation style your instructor prefers, you will find the details about how to cite in the handy guide linked below. You can also ask your instructor, librarian, or tutor for help -- citation is an important skill to learn, but it takes practice. Don't hesitate to ask for help.

Typing Special Characters

How do I type ñ or é?

Dr. Elizabeth Small from the Foreign Languages & Literatures department created this helpful keyboard shortcut document that works with special characters in French, Spanish, and more:


MLA (the citation people) also offer an online guide about applying accents in MS Word documents. Visit the Accent Marks In MS Word guide here.

Zotero Citation Management Guide

Zotero organizes your sources for you

Got a handle on the basics of citation? Level up your citation skills by learning how to use the open access (free!) Zotero citation management software.

Zotero keeps a library of your research sources, citations, and (where available) PDF copies. Then, it can automatically add & update them in your research papers. Once you learn how, it can be a HUGE time saver. 

Check out the Milne Library Zotero Citation Guide