I often read Steven Francoeur's Digital Reference blog, and I really appreciated his recent post about Joseph Bizup's article titled ?BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing.? To quote Stephen,
"Arguing convincingly that the traditional model of sources that we teach to students?primary, secondary, tertiary?is limiting and confusing, Bizup goes on to suggest that we instead teach students to think about the different way that we use sources in writing.
Specifically, he recommends divvying up source types into four categories:
- Background: sources in which you want to assert that something is a fact and which can contextualize your claims
- Exhibits: sources that you offer an analysis or interpretation of
- Arguments: sources that are part of the discourse about your topic
- Method: sources that you use to delineate the method of analysis you will use or the terminology you will employ
Put more succinctly, Bizup wants us to teach students that ?[w]riters rely on background sources, interpret of analyze exhibits, engage arguments, and follow methods? (76). As a mnemonic aid, the system is referred to as the BEAM model. Not only is this model useful in getting students to think about how they will use their sources in their paper and whether they have the right number from each category, but is also useful in teaching students how to analyze a source critically. In his classes, Bizup asks his students to read a source and, following the BEAM modelm, to indicate to what use each source is put."
Read Bizup's article and let me know what you think. I've already started using this framework in my RAS appointments today, and it seemed helpful. I know it will be useful in my ISF thesis classes.