Scholarly research typically involves information published in academic, or scholarly journals. These journals are published by professional organizations or by academic institutions. They are written by experts. They tend to be long articles with graphs, charts, tables, and a long list of references. Scholarly articles are not easily accessible from the web. Many publishers charge $20+ for one article. Because of the cost, the best way to access this information is through the library's databases.
Reliable sources may come from a variety of publication styles. Watch the video below to learn how to assess a piece of information for it's credibility.
Use CAPOW as a starting point to evaluate the sources of information that you find.
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||The 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 which they came.|
|EXHIBIT||Information to analyze and interpret. These are examples that support or provide claims. The primary texts like scientific research published in 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.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are algorithms working in the background that alter the search results on the web based on your previous search history. Learn more about this below.