Ibn Sina


HIST120: World Civilizations, Fall 2015


Final Research Project

Question Prompt

Select one primary source from a place or time that interests you (circa 1000-1815CE). Remember that a primary source is a document or object that existed during the period that you are studying. Even Ibn Battuta’s travel log can be a primary source if you are using it as a historical document rather than a guidebook to find the kingdom of Mali. The primary source should be relatively well known. Once you find a suitable primary source, you must find an additional three or more secondary sources that use the primary source or discuss the time period and place from which the primary source came. Remember that a secondary source is a document that was written after the event has occurred and it usually describes and contextualizes a period or topic. These sources should come from peer-reviewed journals or books, not from websites.


Using your sources (1 primary source, at least 3 secondary sources) answer the following question prompts: What is your primary source? Where is it from? What was happening when it was made? How can it tell a broader history of the time period and location from which it comes? Who wrote or made the source? Who or what does the source represent? How have historians used it?



An ideal project will feature a strong thesis statement that answers the prompt questions, supporting evidence and ample examples from the primary and secondary sources (roughly 8 citations), a clear and polished presentation, and minimal grammatical mistakes. If you choose to do an audio or video presentation, you should email that file to me, or send me a link via “Youtube” before the regular due date. Be sure to include a full bibliography at the end of your project (include separate sheet for audio- visual projects and treat this as your regular paper when uploading to TurnItIn). Please use Times New Roman with 12pt font and double-space your essays and bibliography. A research paper should be 4-6 pages (not including bibliography), an audio project should be 4-6 minutes, and a video projects should be 3-4 minutes. For research proposal instructions, see below.


Research Proposal

Upload your research proposal to TurnItIn on Moodle. In the research proposal you should include your tentative title, a full bibliography of sources you plan to use (use Chicago citation), a brief description of the sources (1 paragraph), and your early hypothesis and expected outcomes (1 paragraph).


Total à 40/40 à A approx. 36 or above, C approx. 30 or above

Introduction à 10/10

10-9 8-7 6-5 4-0
Excellent thesis, clear outline, good setup Good thesis, some outline, some setup Poor thesis, unclear direction Thesis missing, don’t answer question

Body à 20/20

20-18 17-15 14-12 11-0
Clear and logical arguments, excellent use of evidence, good


Good arguments, sufficient evidence, useful examples Weak arguments, spotty evidence, and insufficient examples Illogical or missing arguments, limited or irrelevant evidence

Presentation à 10/10

10-9 8-7 6-5 4-0
Few to no grammatical errors, concise, good flow, good topic


Some grammatical errors, some confusing spots, decent flow,

clear topic sentences

Significant grammatical errors, general confusion, lack clarity I don’t know what you are trying to say





Ibn Sina

Background and Context

In the pursuit of learning History in my undergraduate studies, I was interested in learning the life and travels of Muhammad Ibn Battuta. Ibn Battuta was born in an Islamic family in Morocco. Battuta started traveling in his early twenty.  Over twenty-four years, Ibn Battuta explored various Muslims and Non-Muslims cities in the world (Dunn, p. 1). The travel has made Battuta to be one of the icons of globalization.

Over the years, various scholars have written the story of Battuta travel and his achievements. My primary source is “The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the 14th Century” by Ross E. Dunn. Dunn got the idea of writing this book as he was preparing to lecture about the International Scope of Islamic civilization. According to Dunn (p. 5), when History’s students explore pre-modern centuries, they always meet Battuta because he witnessed the different culture of people of many different locations he visited. The travel for Battuta took place in the 14th Century. Ibn Battuta records the dates of his exploration based on Muslim’s calendar that follows the cycles of the moon. In his journal, Barsoum (p. 193) notes that many authors have read the primary source, and has been used as a teaching reference by learning institution.

Thesis Statement

Historical evidence revealing the life history and travels of Muhammad Ibn Battuta as an icon of globalization

Research questions

The main research questions are as follows;

  1. Who was Muhammad Ibn Battuta and why was he important?
  2. What were the motives for the travel of Muhammad Ibn Battuta?
  3. What entailed Battuta’s travel and achievements?
  4. What were the challenges that Battuta faced in his travel?

Research objectives

The primary objective of the study is to identify the importance of Battuta’s travel to the modern history and how this can be of help to History students.


Both qualitative and quantitative method will be used to explain the life history and travels of Battuta. The qualitative method will be used to analyze the social life of Battuta while his achievements will be evaluated using the quantitative methods.






Works Cited

Barsoum, Marlène. “The Traveler and his Scribe: In the footsteps of Ibn Battuta and their rendering by Ibn Juzayy.” Journal of North African Studies 11.2 (2006): 193-203.

Dunn, Ross E. The Adventures of Ibn Battuta. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. Print.

Harris, Jessica B. High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2011.

Lippi, Marta Mariotti, Tiziana, Gonnelli, and Pasquino, Pallecchi. “Rice chaff in ceramics from the archaeological site of Sumhuram (Dhofar, Southern Oman).” Journal of Archaeological Science 38.6 (2011): 1173-1179.

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