In American higher education, independent research, including library research, is very important. Your professors will often expect you to find books and articles on your topic rather than tell you what you need to read. You will eventually have to present the results of your research, often in the form of a research paper. UC Libraries have a book that may be very helpful to you:
Beyond the Answer Sheet : Academic Success for International Students by William B. Badke.
See also Academic writing : a handbook for international students by Stephen Bailey.
You also need to be aware of plagiarism, using another writer’s words or ideas as your own. Take our interactive tutorial to learn how to to recognize and prevent plagiarism.