Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Research and Writing Resources

Research & Dissertation Resources

Please also visit our Funding Resources page (links in right-side column)

UT Austin Gradaute School and College of Liberal Arts resources

COLA's Summer Dissertation Bootcamp (including 2015 syllabus)

Versatile PhD

Graduate Student Writing Group

Grants for Grad Students (PDF)

Dissertation Listserv and Resources

Sample Dissertation Proposals

Career Resources

Other Quick & Helpful Reading

The Compeltion Agenda (Chronicle of Higher Education)

The Professor Is In

Robin Bernstein's list of resources (Harvard)

The Art of Writing Proposals

Scholarly Pursuits

The Dissertation Workshop

Selected books to help write your dissertation/thesis

Writing Resources

We strongly encourage students to utilize the University Writing Center, located at PCL 2.330, 471-6222. The UWC offers free, individualized help with writing for any UT student, by appointment or on a drop-in basis. They work with students from every department on campus, for both academic and non-academic writing. This service is not just for writing with "problems." Getting feedback from an informed audience is a normal part of a successful writing project. The UWC consultants are trained to work with you on your writing in ways that preserve the integrity of your work and help you become a stronger, more independent writer. Please visit their events page.

The Sanger Center has a Graduate Student Writing Services program, whose motto is "We see any student in any discipline for any writing project." All graduate students are awarded credits to use for this one-to-one service. Trained consultants, all of whom have at least a master's degree, can work with students at any point in the writing process - brainstorming to help attain an end product. You may schedule an appointment through this page.

Bibliographic Software

Bibliographic software applications allow writers to import references and create bibliographies according to particular style guides.

Zotero is a free 2.0 Firefox extension whose functionality allows writers to import references from online databases, organize references and create bibliographies. The UT General Libraries offers classes throughout the year.

EndNote is a citation management software program that imports references from online databases, maintains personalized databases, organizes references, and creates bibliographies. EndNote is available for purchase at the Campus Computer Store at a student price.

NoodleBib 6 — “Generate, edit, and publish an MLA Works Cited list, an APA References list, or a Chicago/Turabian Bibliography that complies with the rules of the current handbooks and manuals for each style.”

General Resources for Grammar, Structure, and the Writing Process

Online Writing Lab (OWL)  — Purdue University
This lab offers resources for all stages of drafting and revising. Purdue OWL is particularly good for issues of grammar/mechanics, structure, ESL, research, and citation.

Writing @CSU — Colorado State University

The Elements of Style — William Strunk, Jr.

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation — Jane Straus

Oxford English Dictionary — This dictionary is the definitive resource for the English language. It will allow you to track the first usage of a word and the development of its meaning over time. Merriam-Webster is a good basic online dictionary and thesaurus. 

"Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the Wars Over Usage" — David Foster Wallace
If you are interested in the nuances of grammar, the late David Foster Wallace wrote a very interesting analysis of many of the canonical guides to grammar, language, and English usage. Because Wallace uses the footnote in an idiosyncratic, integral way as part of his essay’s structure, the original from Harper’s Magazine is the best archival version. Unfortunately, the original is not publicly available, hence this link to a simple text version.


Comparison of Citation Styles — In addition to providing resources for a wide range of citation styles, this Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation website gives a brief overview of each style. The website also identifies the format preference for various disciplines.

Tools for particular citation styles:

Citations for Electronic Sources — Library of Congress

UT Comparison of Citation Tools — This UT library site allows you to compare Zotero, NoodleBib, and two versions of EndNote. In addition to detailed information on each tool, the site lists schedules for training classes.

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    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712