Signed language academic papers are a new possibility that recent developments in technologies for recording, editing, presenting, and reviewing visual materials have made practical in an academic setting. This article presents guidelines the authors developed for papers specifically in American Sign Language (ASL)interpreting courses; however, signed language academic papers can be effectively used in signed language classes of all levels in any country.

The authors offer rationales for assigning signed language academic papers to bilingual students and suggest style and practical guidelines analogous to guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA). Recommended guidelines address practical and academic considerations. The recommendations arose from a collaborative process with students and have been refined over time through implementation in an interpreting program. Observed benefits of signed language academic papers are a transformative change in students' conception of the capacities of signed language as a language; opportunities for linguistic analysis and improved fluency; opportunities for planned, formal, and academic use of signed language; and transfer of skills to interpretations and translations. The end result has produced successful student outcomes from the perspectives of students and instructors.