You've done your search in a database and found a list of articles. Or you have some book titles to consider. You now have to decide whether or not these potential sources help you accomplish your purpose. One way to do that is to see how you might use those sources in your research paper.
The BEAM model below might be helpful. As you examine your results ask yourself, does this source fall into one (or more) of the categories below?
- Rely on them for information accepted as unquestionable fact
- Provide general information to explain a topic
- Sources to consider: books, encyclopedias (either general or subject-specific), articles.
- Materials a writer is interpreting or analyzing
- Used to provide an example of or give evidence for a claim
- Sources to consider: Depending on your topic and discipline, scholarly books or articles, a film, novel, a data set, an interview, experimental results, a diary, letters, a work of art, etc.
- Information from other authors you are agreeing with, disagreeing with, or building upon
- Citing them puts your research in the context of other scholarship on that topic--brings you into the conversation
- You use your exhibit sources as examples of why you agree with, disagree with, or want to add more to what was claimed in your argument sources
- Sources to consider: articles, books.
- Materials an author follows to determine how they are doing their research
- Sources to consider: Course readings, books, articles, Can include research procedures, theories
Graphic and List: Created by Pam Morgan, Central Library, August 2016
Adapted from: http://libguides.heidelberg.edu/eval/beam#s-lg-box-2260491
Woodward, Kristin M. and Ganski, Kate L., “BEAM Lesson Plan” (2013). UWM Libraries Instructional Materials. Paper 1. http://dc.uwm.edu/lib_staff_files/1
Rubick. Kate. 2014. "Flashlight: Using Bizup's BEAM to Illuminate the Rhetoric of Research." Presentation at Library Instruction West 2014.
Rumble, Juliet, Carter. Toni and Noe, Nancy. 2015. "Teaching Students the 'How' and 'Why' of Source Evaluation: Pedagogies that Empower Communities of Learning and Scholarship." Presentation at 2015 LOEX Conference.
BEAM originally developed by Joseph Bizup.
Bizup, Joseph. "BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing." Rhetoric Review 27, no. 1 (2008): 72-86. doi:10.1080/07350190701738858