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SSI2-189: The Experience of World War II in Europe: Getting Started

Background & Overviews

Tertiary sources, such as subject encyclopedias and textbooks, are excellent starting points in your research.  Use them to find:

  • Helpful overviews of key facts:  who? what? when?
  • Bibliographies of especially key scholarly works.
  • Identification of important primary sources.
  • Brief descriptions of main scholarly arguments:  how? why?

At Collins Library, you can access subject encyclopedias in a variety of formats: print, ebook, or via larger digital collections.

Print encyclopedias are located on the first floor of the library, across from the Learning Commons. An example:

Online encyclopedias can be accessed via PRIMO, the library's discovery platform.  An example:

Large digital collections of subject encyclopedias can be accessed via several publisher-based platforms:

BEAM is an acronym intended to help you think about the various ways you might use sources when writing a researched argument. Joseph Bizup, an English professor at Boston University, outlined the framework in a 2008 article. The idea has since been refined and adapted by many others.

The BEAM Framework and Researching/Writing History

Different academic disciplines will value different aspects of sources and how one uses them.  The discipline of history privileges the two vowels in the BEAM framework:

EXHIBIT:  Historians analyze and interpret primary sources.

ARGUMENT:  Historians join a scholarly conversation by placing their analysis and interpretation in dialog with the work of other historians.  Historians publish their work in the form of scholarly articles and monographs (scholarly books).

Interim Associate Director

Peggy Burge's picture
Peggy Burge
Contact:
Collins Library 119
253.879.3512

Peer Research Advisor Hours

Fall 2019 Hours

Beginning on Sunday, September 15, 2019

Ilana Dutton '20 and Kate Roscher '20 are available for research consultations as follows:
 
Sundays   7:00 to 9:00 pm
Mondays   7:00 to 9:00 pm
Tuesdays   7:00 to 9:00 pm
Wednesdays   7:00 to 9:00 pm
 
Collins Library, Library 118 (just off of the Learning Commons)