Arab American Studies

Dive Deeper into your Research

Background Articles

Getting background info on your topic is a great place to start your research.

Learn about the history, issues, stakeholders, terminology, and more - before searching for more in-depth information.

Background sources are also a great place to find keywords on a topic and leads to helpful resources.

Search Tips:

  • Start with broad concepts rather than a specific focus
    • example: urban 
Find Reference in One Search

You can also search your topic in the main search box on the library's homepage. This is Primo One Search and it will point you to articles and resources that are housed inside the library as well as inside the library's databases. As shown in the search below, you can enter in your simple search terms, then limit the results to narrow just to this kind of background article. 

  • Under Source Types, select "Reference Entries"
  • You can use Show Only and select "View Online" for online reference or Available in the Library for print reference 

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screenshot of one search showing to pick the two limiters listed in the text above.

Newspaper and Magazine articles

Use the links below to search in library databases for current news and analysis of the news. You can also find editorials and opinion on the op-ed pages.

Search tips:
  • Search by keyword to find relevant sources. Look for additional relevant keywords as you search.
  • Limit to "full-text" if you need to access only articles that you can immediately download. 
  • Set an appropriate date limit to find current enough information.
  • To limit your search to only magazine and/or new articles, select magazines or newspapers at Publication Type.
  • If you choose newspaper articles, look for substance! Try limiting to cover story, feature, front page for longer articles.
  • You can limit to editorials or opinion to find argumentative essays on current issues.
Search directly in Newspaper collections:
Regional Newspapers

Sample search limited to magazines and newspapers of the keywords: depression OR anxiety AND pandemic AND college OR "higher education"

Newspaper and Magazine Search in ProQ

Print & Ebooks

You can easily limit your search to find only print, physical books that you can check out and/or use inside the library.

  • Search titles, authors, or keywords in the box below.
  • Use the filter to limit to Available in the Library for print books.
  • Once you find a title, jot down the Call Number, which tells you the book's location on the shelves. Be sure to ask a librarian for help locating items if you need help.
  • Note the limiter for Book Chapters too!

Holman Library logo

Electronic Books

Use the database links below to go directly to the library's collection of ebooks. Be sure to search by title, author, or just general keywords.

Multimedia Journalism

Multimedia refers to educational and documentary film and video, news and analysis in radio journalism and television, and some current issues podcasts.

Streaming films

Use the library's Films on Demand database to find streaming educational films & journalism in order to learn more about your topic.

A Small Selection of Radio & Podcast Journalism

Find the Debate in Editorials, Viewpoints, & Opinion

Use the resources below to find a range of informed opinions on your topics.

Current Issues Databases
Find Opinion in Newspapers & Magazines

Newspaper editorials are a great way to find reasoned opinions on current controversial topics.

  • To find opinion:
    • type editorial OR commentary into a search field
    • or select editorial and commentary as an option at document type.

Example 1: Academic Search Complete

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Example 2: Proquest 

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screenshot of Proquest, showing the search boxes, highlighting the "full-text" box to check, and the date range option to narrow your results if needed. 

  • Then, as shown in the image below, scroll down on the advanced search page to limit by "Document Type" - choosing "Editorials" from the options before searching.

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screenshot of the "document type" limiting option on the advanced search page of ProQuest


Step into the Scholarly Conversation

Dive deep into a subject with scholarly research and analysis found in peer reviewed journals and in some academic books.

To find Scholarly Peer Reviewed Journal Articles, be sure to check the limiter.

To find book and book chapters that may be scholarly, be sure to assess if the author has academic expertise of the subject, if the discussion is in-depth and sophisticated, if claims and sources are thoroughly and extensively cited. 

Subject-Specific Holman Library Databases
Multi-Disciplinary Library Databases
Search in all Library Databases at once with One Search

Holman Library logo

Use Holman Library One Search to:
  • Search for a range of source types at once, including books, articles, audiovisual, and more from Holman Library
  • Get an overview of information on a subject
  • Track down citations

Finding Sources on the Web

You will find a range of Web sources throughout the pages of this research guide, from advocacy and activist organizations, research institutes, not-for-profit support agencies, and governmental sources

As with any source, be sure to assess for:

  • authority and expertise (authority is contextual, and it may range from firsthand experience to academic study)
  • bias
  • currency
  • reliability
  • purpose
Tips for effective Web searching:

Target specific source types with URL searching within specific domains. 

  • for governmental sources (variant: for a state government)
  • for sites registered as not-for-profit (assess! Some are organizations working on an issue. Use the About Us tab to learn more about their perspective. You will also find some news sources, wikipedia, and other .orgs).
  • for education sites (beware student work you find online. .edu does not guarantee scholarly)
  • for military info
  • for commercial websites (news sources are usually .coms. In other words, we don't need to throw out all .coms!) 

You can also use Google Advanced Search, linked below.

Useful Search Terms

Holman Library One Search

Search with Keywords

Keywords capture what you want to learn about. Identify useful keywords, keyword phrases, and keyword combinations to find relevant information. 

Example: Arab Americans AND education

  • Arab Americans
  • Syrian Americans, Lebanese Americans, & other national backgrounds
  • artists, activists, etc.
  • religion
  • Islam, Judaism, Christianity
  • mass media
  • diaspora
  • pan-arabism
  • racial identity
  • racial profiling
  • discrimination
  • racial or ethnic stereotypes
  • 9/11/ September 11
  • immigrants, immigration

Holman Library One Search 

Click on the link and enter your subject term. Change "Any field" to Subject for subject headings. 

You can mix and match subject terms or subject terms and keywords! The example below shows a search of the subject: Arab Americans and the keyword: education.

Arab American Studies

Searching with Subject Headings

Books and articles are organized using "subject headings"--words attached to them that describe what they are about. Here is a list of subject headings used in the GRCC catalog; search these as subjects or keywords to find resources at GRCC.

  • Arab American writing
  • Arab Americans in literature.
  • Arabs in literature.
  • Arab American authors
  • Arab Americans in literature--Juvenile literature.
  • American literature--Muslim authors--History and criticism--Juvenile literature.
  • American literature--Muslim authors--Themes, motives--Juvenile literature.
  • Muslim authors--Biography--Juvenile literature.
  • Muslims in literature
  • Arabs--Migrations--History.
  • Arab countries--Emigration and immigration--History.
  • United States--Emigration and immigration--History.
  • Arab American youth
  • Race awareness--United States.
  • United States--Race relations.
  • Arabs in motion pictures.
  • Arab Americans.
  • Al Jazeera (Television network)
  • Television broadcasting of news--Arab countries.
  • Minorities--United States.
  • Multiculturalism--United States.
  • Culture conflict--United States.
  • Muslim
  • Muslims
  • Europe--Ethnic relations.
  • United States--Ethnic relations.
  • MuhŐ£ammad, Prophet, d. 632.
  • Arab countries
  • Islamic civilization
  • Islamic Empire--History.
  • Bahrain
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen