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6. Using Information: BEAM: Method Sources

While argument sources help you frame your paper within the larger scholarly discussion about your topic and exhibits provide a focal point, method sources help provide underlying and sometimes implicit assumptions for your argument or analysis.

For some research, these are literally the methods you use to collect data like a focus group or particular statistical analysis and provide justification for it. In other research, your paper might reveal a leaning toward a major attitude or school of thought within a discipline.


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"Your paper is clearly indicative of that of a creamy peanut butter lover."

As a persuasive piece of writing, the essay has this intrinsic thread of caution and warning that is summed up in its conclusion:

"The children's film industry might not be quite as sinister as the tobacco industry, with its efforts to addict children to cigarettes. [...] Meanwhile, the lives of those audiences are now being increasingly saturated by popular culture, making it more and more difficult for individuals to form attitudes, opinions, and values that are independent of the messages promulgated by the Culture Industry."

While this is a subtle example, you would generally cite or at least credit your methods and theories that frame your analysis in your bibliography.


Pop Quiz

Which of the follow best defines an argument source in the BEAM framework?

  1. It's one piece of research or scholarship that your paper is directly responding to.
  2. It's one of many voices in a larger conversation that your research paper participates in.
  3. It's one of several articles that disagrees with the premises of your paper.
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