I assume you’re writing in American English, but you might still encounter accented characters in foreign words. Foreign words arise in two situations:
- In proper names, like people and places (Albrecht Dürer, François Truffaut, Plácido Domingo). In names, accented characters must always appear accurately. Otherwise, the name is misspelled.
- In loanwords used in American English. Some of these words have become naturalized citizens and should be spelled without accents (naive for naïve, melee for mêlée, coupe for coupé). Others have not and should not (cause célèbre, piña colada, Götterdämmerung). Check a dictionary or usage guide.
The inside back cover of the book has a table of the most common accented characters and how to type them. (But you are not holding the book. Maybe you should order it.)