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Michigan State University

MC 498: American Health Care and Policy

Fall 2021 | Dr. Susan Stein-Roggenbuck

Research Log Example

The BEAM Model

The BEAM Model can help you think about the different ways to use sources in your writing. There are four major types of sources that you will engage with during your research process:

Source type Description
B - Background Background sources provide you with context for your research or a broad overview of a topic. Common types of background sources are encyclopedias, textbooks, or other summaries.
E - Exhibit Exhibit sources are the material that you analyze and interpret. Commonly, exhibit sources are primary sources, including data, pictures, documents, laws, first-hand narratives, etc.
A - Argument Argument sources provide you insight into the current state of research on your topic. They are most commonly peer reviewed or scholarly sources. In your writing, you may refute, refine, affirm, or extend the arguments of these sources.
M - Method Method sources demonstrate ways of analyzing your exhibit sources, or definitions of critical concepts. These might be research studies or peer reviewed articles. They can be about topics related to or adjacent to yours, as long as you can apply the methods used to your own research.

Adapted from Bizup, Joseph. “BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing.”

BEAM Example: American Health Care and Policy

Example topic: Disability rights advocacy and COVID-19

Source type Description
B - Background An encyclopedia article outlining the history of the disability rights movement
E - Exhibit Data showing how COVID-19 has affected people with disabilities that you plan to analyze / A blog post from a disability rights activist from 2020
A - Argument A peer reviewed article about how the disability rights community has responded to COVID-19 (some might just be coming out in late 2021)
M - Method A study analyzing the response of disability rights activists to another public health event, whose methods you can use to analyze the response to COVID-19
Michigan State University