Think about the type of information that you need to understand the topic and complete the needed task. The BEAM model was originally proposed by Joseph Bizup in 2008. He suggested that there are four main groups of information that we use in research papers. Below, we break-down Bizup's four elements:
|BACKGROUND||General information that is accepted as facts. It helps us understand the topic. We consider this type of information as reliable and authoritative. Encyclopedias and dictionaries are great places to start! They are great places for a grounded understanding of the author, the story, and the timeframe in from which they came.|
|EXHIBIT||Information to analyze and interpret. These are examples that support or provide claims. The primary text (the short story) and literary analyzes from peer-reviewed journals will offer you various ideas.|
|ARGUMENT||The content that one engages in a conversation or argument. How and why do you support, dispute, refine, or extend the ideas? Like the exhibit, you will get your ideas from the primary source and have supporting texts from scholarly articles.|
|METHOD||The way in which one analyzes the issue. Perhaps there is a set language, a procedure, or a model/perspective that one uses to structure the paper. This might not be a source of information that you cite, like the MLA Style for formatting your paper and citing the sources used.|
Bizup, Joesph. "BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing." Rhetoric Review, vol. 27, no. 1, 2008, pp. 72-86. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20176824.
Are you an expert? Do you know everything there is to know about your topic? Probably not.
Finding background information at the beginning of your research is important to help familiarize yourself with the topic. It will allow you to identify a way to approach the topic or question(s) that you may seek to explore or answer in the course of your research and in your paper. Information that may give you more context include:
Here are some great places to start:
The internet is a great source for all kinds of information. You will be expected to use credible sources to support research papers, discussions and other projects in your online classes. While there are many newspapers, virtual archives, and even open source research journals available freely on the Web, always check with your instructor to determine what sources they consider acceptable. LSCS-Libraries, like most academic and many public libraries, subscribe to databases that index and, in most cases, provide the full-text of published books, articles from newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals, and even videos that will support your assignments, as well as update and extend your knowledge of the subjects you study in the classroom.