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Wilson International Baccalaureate Program: BEAM - Background, Evidence, Argument, Methods

Knowing Your Sources - BEAM Method

When you work on a research paper, you want to use a variety of sources to help your readers understand issues of the topic that you are addressing in your paper, to observe the evidence of the issues, and to support your position in these issues while you systematically explore all the sources to obtain in-depth understanding of this topic and research for answers.

Many writing teachers may require you to include certain type of sources in your paper.  It is important for you to not only know the type of sources, but also how you utilize them in your paper.  BEAM is a way that helps you sort out your sources and use them efficiently in your paper.   BEAM stands for Background, Exhibit, Argument and Method.  Check the individual boxes below to learn about the definitions of these terms and examples of where you can find these sources.