RELG 379: Islamic Mysticism
1. Create or significantly improve a Wikipedia entry, using high-quality research resources.
2. Craft a well-researched, thesis-driven paper on a topic of your choice related to Islamic mysticism.
These two scholarly encyclopedias are excellent places to begin your research. Unlike many encyclopedias, both are suitable for citing in a researched paper.
Encyclopaedia of Islam (Library website --> Databases --> History, Religion, & Philosophy --> Religion)
The EI is the most important and comprehensive reference resource about Islam. We have access to the 2nd edition (which is complete) and the 3rd edition (which is in progress). Use the 3rd edition if the topic you are researching is available there; otherwise, use the 2nd.
Encyclopaedia Iranica (http://www.iranicaonline.org/)
Peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary Internet encyclopedia. It will be useful if your topic is connected to Iran or Persia.
**Plan ahead! You will more than likely need books from other libraries for your research, so order early to ensure you get the materials in time.**
ALiCat and I-Share
Augustana's collection of books on Islamic mysticism is solid and growing, but it's not enormous. For that reason, you will definitely need I-Share for this project. Set up your I-Share account if you do not yet have one; ask a librarian for help, if necessary.
WorldCat (linked underneath the ALiCat search box on the library website)
As you search through the bibliographies of good sources (such as entries from the encyclopedias), you may find citations to useful books that are not in I-Share. If that happens, use WorldCat to place an interlibrary loan request: find the book you need, click the title in the result list, and follow the link to interlibrary loan.
- If you do not yet have an interlibrary loan account, click "First Time Users" to set one up.
- Order from I-Share if at all possible, because books from WorldCat take longer to arrive.
Find the library's religion databases via this path:
- Library website --> Databases --> History, Religion, & Philosophy --> Religion
At the top of the list of religion databases you will see a link to Ebsco Databases in Religion. This allows you to select among several of the library's religion resources, or search two or more at once. The databases I recommend for this class are:
- ATLA Religion Index. ATLA is the library's most important religion database. Everyone in this class will find it useful for the Wikipedia project and research paper.
- Philosopher's Index. Although not directly a religion database, this will be useful if you need information on Sufi thought.
Further up on the History, Religion, & Philosophy page you will see a list of more general databases suitable to "All Humanities." The database I recommend from this list is JSTOR, a full-text journal archive that covers a large variety of subjects. Start at the Advanced Search, where you can limit your results to particular subject areas.
**Help! My article isn't available in full-text!**
An article that is not full-text in one database may be available in a different one, or in print. Follow these steps to obtain a copy of the article:
- On the library website, click "Journals and Magazines." Search the title of the journal (which is often labelled as the "Source" in ATLA and Philosopher's Index) in which the article you want was published. The results will tell you whether Augustana has access to the publication, what date range we have, and what format so you can obtain your article.
If you see here that Augustana does not have access to the journal and/or the date of the journal that you need, go to step 2.
- On the library website, click "Interlibrary Loan." Login (or create an account if you don't yet have one), choose "Article" from the menu, and fill out the form. You can also use your interlibrary loan account to order book chapters or entire books if they are not available through I-Share.
In some of the library's databases -- including ATLA and Philosopher's Index -- there is a direct link to ILL within the article record.
Online guides to common citation styles are available here:
Libarary website --> Citing Sources (under "Research Tools")
You are welcome to contact me with questions about your research. My email address is StefanieBluemle@augustana.edu, and I work at the research help desk off and on during the week.
You may also request an in-depth research appointment via a new form on the library website: click "Ask a Librarian," then scroll down to the section on in-depth research help.
Or, approach any Augustana librarian for help at the research help desk: in-person, or by phone (309-794-7206), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), text (563-223-TEXT), or the chat box on the main library webpage.
Page created by Stefanie Bluemle, librarian for history, religion, and philosophy. Updated March 2013.