Monday, August 26, 2013

Tika & A Really Good Research Plan

Years, ago, EWGS (the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society) had Patricia Law Hatcher as our Spring Seminar speaker. She was fabulous in every way. I still have some of the notes I took that day.

Pat explained the difference between A Typical Researcher's Cycle and A Top Notch Researcher's Cycle.

It's really quite simple............. think of a circle divided into four equal parts. In a Typical Researcher's Cycle, 1/4 of the circle is allotted to Preparation,  1/2 of the circle to Research, and only the 1/4 remaining is devoted to Analysis & Writing.

In a Top Notch Researcher's Cycle the divisions are much different:  3/4 of the circle is allotted to Preparation & Analysis & Writing and only the 1/4 remaining is for Research.

Think about the difference. An "ordinary" researcher spends little time in preparation and little time in analysis and the writing up of the findings or the story but spends the majority of their genealogy time in research.  A top notch" researcher spends fully 3/4 of their time in preparation and analysis and writing and a scant 1/4 of the time in research.

I've thought about this and pondered upon Pat's words for many years now and the truth of her words have become clearer and clearer to me as time has passed. To be an effective genealogist, you cannot just spend time in research. You must be specific in your research and really study what you've found. And you really must write up your findings in a narrative. There is no better way to "lay all the cards on the table" so to speak and see if you have really found all the correct answers. I encourage you to follow Pat's direction.

She ended the day with us by sharing this quote: "Writing, then pondering what you wrote is the best preparation for research." 

Well, you know Tika by now. She listened, but was not really interested in all of this.

1 comment:

  1. Tika is such a ham! But I love this way of explaining research; it has only taken me 15 years, but I have finally gotten the principle, now to put it into practice. Thanks for the reminder!