Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
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).
Associate Director for Public Services
Work with a Peer Research Advisor!
Virtual Drop-in Hours
(Spring Semester hours begin on Sunday, January 24)
Sunday through Wednesday: 6:30 to 8:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)
We use Google Meet:
Allie and Hannah are also available for individual appointments, beginning the week of January 25. Go to our Schedule a Research Appointment page, click the request button, and select either Hannah or Allie from the drop-down menu to see what appointment times they have available.