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SSI1-145: Anime Bodies: Metamorphoses and Identities: Working with BEAM

BEAM Framework

BEAM is an acronym intended to help students think about the various ways we 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.

  • Background for materials a writer relies on for general information or for factual evidence;
  • Exhibit for materials a writer analyzes or interprets;
  • Argument for materials whose claims a writer engages;
  • and Method for materials from which a writer takes a governing concept or derives a manner of working.

BEAM as Reading Strategy

Let's return to the article by Shamoon:

Shamoon, Deborah. "The Yōkai in the Database: Supernatural Creatures and Folklore in Manga and Anime." Marvels & Tales, vol. 27 no. 2, 2013, pp. 276-289. Project MUSE,

Working in your group, identify one place where Shamoon uses a source as an exhibit source, and another instance when she uses a different source as argument source.  Be ready to explain your thinking!

BEAM as Research Strategy

You are in charge of deciding whether and how to use any given source.  Working in your groups, respond to the following scenarios.

1.  Consider this source:

Keeline, Kim. "Animé." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, edited by Thomas Riggs, 2nd ed., vol. 1, St. James Press, 2013, pp. 107-108. Gale Virtual Reference Library,

Using the BEAM framework, how might you consider using this source?  Identify two BEAM categories where you might use this source and explain your reasoning.

2.  Consider this source:

Saito, Kumiko. "Magic, Shōjo, and Metamorphosis: Magical Girl Anime and the Challenges of Changing Gender Identities in Japanese Society."  The Journal of Asian Studies. 73.1 (2014): 143-164.

What exhibit sources does Saito analyze?  How do you know?

3.  Consider this source:

Lindwasser, Anna.  "The 20 Best Magic Anime You Can't Afford to Miss.Ranker.  2019 [?].

Would you use this source in your academic writing?  If so, as what kind of BEAM category, and in what circumstances?