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.

SSI1-106: Cleopatra: History and Myth: Getting Started

Quick Review: Types of Sources

In academic research, it's important to be able to distinguish between different types of sources.  These differences often are contextual, meaning that a single source might fit in different categories depending on how you are using it and in what academic discipline you are writing.

Primary sources are the raw materials of scholarship.

Secondary sources report on or interpret primary sources.

Tertiary sources synthesize and present overviews of primary and secondary sources.

Scholarly sources present sophisticated, researched arguments using both primary and secondary sources and are written by experts.

Popular sources aim to inform or entertain and are intended for a general, non-specialized audience.  In academic writing, popular sources most often are analyzed as primary sources.

BEAM Framework

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.

Associate Director for Public Services

Profile Photo
Peggy Burge
she/her/hers
Contact:
Collins Library 119
253.879.3512

Work with a Peer Research Advisor!

Fall 2022 Hours
Peer research advisor drop-in hours are in Library 118 as follows:

Sunday:  6-9 pm
Monday: 6-9 pm
Tuesday: 6-9 pm

Additional times and locations (just look for the sign!):
Diversions: 
Tuesday:  10-11 am
Wednesday:  12-1 pm
Oppenheimer: 
Thursday: 1-2 pm
 
Or schedule an appointment and select Caroline, Kai, or Neil.

Peer Research Advisors