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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.
Online Subject Encyclopedia Collections
Provides full text access to over 100 encyclopedias, including the Encyclopedia of Religion, Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, and the MacMillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks in Religion.
Contains hundreds of specialized handbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries published by Oxford, ranging from the Dictionary of Buddhism to the Oxford Companion to the Mind, and much more.
Art Online (Oxford)
This is an especially good reference resource if you are researching intersections between Buddhism and art, architecture, or aesthetics. Access limited to 3 simultaneous users.
Music Online (Oxford)
Excellent resource for researching aspects of religious music, chant, instruments, and more.
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.
Specific online encyclopedias can be searched for and accessed via PRIMO, the library's discovery platform.
Large digital collections of subject encyclopedias can be accessed via several publisher-based platforms.
Recommended Subject Encyclopedias
The following subject encyclopedias are likely to be especially useful for this course.
Encyclopedia of Buddhism by
Call Number: Click the title above for online access.
Publication Date: 2005
This encyclopedia describes the Buddhist world view, basic teachings and practices of Buddhism, as well as its different schools and sects.
Encyclopedia of Religion by
Call Number: BL31 .E46 2005 Reference or online
Publication Date: 2004
Widely regarded as the standard reference work in the field. This second edition includes almost all of the 2750 original entries - many heavily updated - as well as approximately 600 entirely new articles.
Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions by
Call Number: BL2210.5 .N36 2006 Reference (Main floor of library)
Publication Date: 2005
The Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions combines state-of-the-field theoretical and critical discussions.
Associate Director for Public Services
Work with a Peer Research Advisor!
Hannah Bahls and Maya Horten are your Peer Research Advisors for 2021-22!
Beginning on September 12, Hannah and Maya will be available in Library 146 as follows:
Sundays: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Mondays: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Tuesdays: 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Wednesdays: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Need help with citations?
If you have any questions about when or how to cite the sources you are using, consult the library's Citation Tools page. If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to ask any librarian! We're here to help you!