Figuring out what kind of information you need for your assignments can be hard. You need to evaluate various kinds of evidence and claims, as well as the credibility of authors. You also need to think about how you want to use information in your own writing. The BEAM method provides a framework to help you think about the range of information sources and their value to your purpose.
Background: using a source to provide general information to explain the topic. For example, using an education encyclopedia or expert website to define some of the stages of early childhood development.
Exhibit: using a source as evidence or examples to analyze. For your classroom management portfolio, this could be a strategy used by another teacher, reported in a professional education magazine. It could also be results from a study of a specific classroom management strategy.
Argument: using a source to engage its argument. For your classroom management portfolio, you could build on or refute the techniques cited in a research study on classroom management.
Method: using a source’s way of analyzing an issue to apply to your own issue. For example, you might use a study’s methods, definitions, or conclusions on classroom management in older children to conduct your own study of classroom management in pre-school children.
BEAM model developed by: Bizup, Joseph. “BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing.” Rhetoric Review 27.1 (2008): 72-86. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 4 February 2014.