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HST 387/388: Islamic Civilization: Quick Start

This library course page recommends research databases, catalogs and other sources for Hst 387/388.

Middle East Studies Overview

The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa illuminates the lives of the most influential and controversial figures in the Middle East and North Africa who came to prominence during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Includes profiles of contemporary leaders who belong to various political, ethnic, and religious groups, as well as notable individuals associated with business, law, science, social issues, sports, entertainment, literature, and the fine and performing arts.

Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

In general, start your searching with just one or two keywords. Add more as needed.
Be sure to try your topic in more than one database.
Read citations and abstracts to get ideas of different keywords that represent your topic.

Quick Quiz

This quick quiz tests your knowledge about accurate paraphrasing. Evaluate each students' attempt at citing for possible plagiarism.

Finding Books

Use 1Search to find books located at OSU Libraries. While OSU is under remote instruction, OSU Libraries is purchasing and borrowing books as we can. 

Home delivery of print books, while OSU is teaching remotely for all campus courses. Yes, this means mailing of print books (when available and when we can't get as an ebook) to your home.

Tip! Use the date limits in 1Search and elsewhere to see if there are materials published during the time your are studying.

Google Books: Use the advanced search and limit by publication date, full view, and public domain to find primary sources. 

library stacks

Index Islamicus

Index Islamicus is a print index to scholaly books and journal articles. Look for your topic. Once you find a citation, check the library catalog or Summit if it is a book, if not found request it from InterLibrary Loan. For journal articles, check the library catalog for the journal, if not found request it from InterLibrary Loan .

Primary Sources in Translation

Use these compilations consisting of translated documents related to contemporary Islamic thinking:

Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook. ed. Charles Kurzman (NY: Oxford University Press, 1998).
The Middle East and the Islamic World Reader. ed. Marvin F. Gettleman and Stuart Schaar (NY: Grove, 2003). Currently available via Summit.

Modernist and Fundamentalist Debates in Islam: A Reader. ed. Mansoor Moaddel and Kamran Talattof (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).

Modernist Islam, 1840-1940. ed. Charles Kurzman (NY: Oxford University Press, 2002). More extensive than most in terms of topics and geography. Also available via Summit/WorldCat catalog.

Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East. ed. Akram Fouad Khater (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004). Also available via Summit/WorldCat catalog.

Older but still useful sourcebooks are:

Political and Social Thought in the Contemporary Middle East, Revised and Enlarged Edition. ed. Kemal H. Karpat (NY: Praeger, 1982).

Expectation of the Millennium: Shi`ism in History. ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr et al. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989).

Katz Recommends

Encyclopaedia of Islam Reference DS 37 .E5

Index Islamicus Z7835 .M6 L6

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World Reference DS35.53 .O95 1995

The Cultural Atlas of Islam Reference DS36.85 .A39 1986

Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World Online. This has brief, rudimentary articles. Useful only as an initial overview.

A History of the Arab Peoples DS37.7 .H67 1991

A History of Islamic Societies, 2002 ed. order from Summit or get the 1988 ed. at Valley DS35.63 .L37 1988

Book to Avoid: The New Encyclopedia of Islam and The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, both edited by Cyril Glassé.

Websites for Middle East Studies

Information on Arabic names and the Muslim Calendar

Columbia University Libraries Middle East & Jewish Studies Internet Resources

Portland State University Guide to Resources on Islam, the Middle East & the Current Crisis

Islam and Islamic Studies Resources from Professor Alan Godlas of the University of Georgia. This is a prize-winning site.

UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies

The University of Washington Library has a well-constructed site with links to other sites.

Middle East maps listed in the Perry-Castañeda Library

Map Collection at the University of Texas.

The CIA's online World Factbook is also useful for maps and up-to-date information.

Historical maps can be found at

Writing & Citing

Your paper should be well-written, free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It should exhibit a mature writing style (varied sentence structure and length, varied vocabulary, avoidance of the 1st-person singular "I", correct use of apostrophe and other punctuation). It should not be predominantly direct quotations.

Quotations longer than three lines in length should be single-spaced, indented, and thus set off from the body of your text as a "block." When you have block quotations, you do not use quotation marks.

Use endnotes for your citations to document the source of your facts and to acknowledge the opinions of others. Follow the Chicago Manual of Style in preparing your endnotes. Do not use APA, MLA or any style involving notes in parentheses.

Use the Chicago Manual of Style to format your paper. The full version is in print and is shelved at the Valley Reference Desk Z253 .U69 2003. Here is an abbreviated online version .

Check out examples of how to avoid plagiarism:

OSU's Center for Writing & Learning has lots of writing advice &  will meet with you for free to review your paper.