The following pages contain information that will prove useful to students in Islamic and Arabic studies, particularly research students. That which I have included is primarily what I wish I knew or was told at the onset of my research. As you may be able to decipher from the table of contents it is divided into five main sections:
- The first section, called Arabicizing Windows, draws attention to the very basic supplements and configurations you need to make to your hardware and software to be Arabic friendly. It also gives instructions for Arabic text input and also how to include neatly formatted qaṣīdah You no longer need to be a computer whiz nor do you need to know the Arabic keyboard to do this and be able to access Arabic and Islamic digital and online resources.
- The second section on Digital Resources, after providing a very brief overview of resources available through the library, focuses attention on the rich and very useful corpus of texts available online for free. The great advantage of these resources is that they are full text searchable and easily accessible. An absolute necessity for anyone pursuing research in this field. It would have taken me at least an extra year if I did not have access to these.
- The third section on Thesis Standardization focuses on the key issue of consistency of referencing, dates, translations, transliterations etc from the very onset. It is very painful and time consuming to do this later in your research. I put forward the system that I (eventually and after much pain) came to use, but of course since SOAS has no strict set of rules you are free to use any system you like as long as you are consistent.
- The fourth section on Thesis Organization provides suggestions for organizing various parts and stages of PhD research. This includes tips on creating outlines, notes, timelines, writing and drafts, back up, supervision and revision. Points that I found helpful to me in the timely completion of my thesis.
- The final section very briefly broaches information on activities supplementary to doctoral research. These include suggestions for taking advantage of the rich and vibrant network of academics, institutions and libraries in and around London, joining the research society, attending conferences, and publications.