Two graphic organizers have been designed to help you break down and fully understand original documents.

First, Decipher the Text's Meaning is designed to support students in working their way through dense, complicated texts. If you are having trouble understanding what you're reading as you go through a passage, then this is the graphic organizer for you.

Second, Analyze the Text's Argument is sdesigned to help students identify an author's main idea and the evidence the author uses to support that idea. Being able to do this can help students recognize strengths and weaknesses in an author's point of view.

To view the full version of Decipher the Text’s Meaning click here.
To view the full version of Analyze the Text’s Argument click here.
For additional tips on reading more effectively click here.


"Researchers found that if important information was contained in notes, it had a 34 percent chance of being remembered (Howe, 1970, in Longman and Atkinson, 1999). Information not found in notes had only a five percent chance of being remembered." (Student Learning Center, “Effective Note Taking,” University of California Berkeley, 1.html)

Find out how to listen actively and how to effectively take notes by using the links below.

To view a PDF version of How to Listen Actively click here.
To view a PDF version of Effective Note Taking click here.


Specific strategies can distinctly improve your Lab experience. Find out more about what TAs recommend you do before, during and after Lab to make the most of the experience here.


The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences has its own Writing Lab. Trained tutors are available to review drafts of papers, either on a drop-in or appointment basis. These tutors are especially prepared to help with papers for departments within the FHSS College, including American Heritage.

Before you go to the writing lab, here are a few tips to look over.

Steps to Writing a Good Paper
Checklist before Submitting a Paper
Elements of the Academic Essay


Study Groups
Study groups are highly recommended for American Heritage because they will help you expand your notes and understanding of the concepts.
For information on Forming Effective Study Groups click here.
For tips for preparing for the exams click here.

Sample Exams
The following is a sample exam. Use the first file to practice taking an exam and the second file (“with answers”) to check your responses:
Sample exam questions (without answers).
Sample exam questions with answers.


Having a positive learning attitude can distinctly improve your experience in American Heritage and throughout your life. Find out more about having a growth mentality and how to develop the right attitude as well as how changing your goal orientation can change your approach to education.

To learn how to cultivate a “learning attitude” click here.