Middle East History

The second paper required for this course is an analytic paper focused on a narrow topic of the student’s choice.  It is worth 30 percent of the total course grade.  As stated in the syllabus, the paper may focus on the history of a certain commodity.  Alternatively, you may choose to focus on other topics as long as your topic is chosen from the list of “Suggested Topics” below.

Although you may make use of books and articles other than the ones listed, you are required to consult the books on the list.  It is your responsibility to locate those books: at LMU’s library, your local library, or by purchasing them.




Daniel Yergin.  The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power.


This book is very long; it is also the best work on oil to date.  Read only Parts IV and V, with a special focus on Part V.              




Your paper must focus on a specific historical commodity, event, or issue.

State and briefly introduce your research focus in the introductory paragraph.

In the rest of the paper discuss the most interesting lessons/insights that you have learned from your reading.  This does not mean “summarize” the book.

References to relevant material (from lectures and the textbook) are highly recommended.

Feel free to use additional scholarly sources, but it is not required.

Do not spend too much time on historical narrative.  In other words, your paper must have a specific focus and you should refrain from writing a simple chronology of events.

I am interested in your thoughtful opinions and responses.








Use the past tense to discuss past events.

Your essay must be five to six double-spaced pages long in 12 pt. font.

Do not change your margin settings: they must be no more than one inch wide.

Do not justify your right margins.

Page numbers are required.

A title page is required.

You must staple your paper.

Avoid frequent quotations and do not use quotations that are longer than a single sentence.

Spell-check and edit and edit.


A bibliography is required.

No footnotes are required.  Instead, simply cite your source in the body of the

text. For example, for first citation: (Norton, Hezbollah, 65).  Subsequent

citations: (Norton, 90).

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