About five days ago, I started working on my Case Study and I have been steadily working at it since! Finally, some real progress for. I wonder if it was because I requested and received an extension of time to my portfolio? Being “on the clock,” I certainly know that I don’t want to ask for another extension a year from now.1 If that was the motivation–I’ll take it.
I have always liked my BCG Case Study focus. I am finding it a challenge to get it organized in a way that is very clear and very convincing to the reader. To refresh my memory about writing these proof arguments, I reviewed Tom Jones’s book, Mastering Genealogical Proof. This became a very good thing to do. I have taken the Mastering Genealogical Proof class under the tutelage of Karen Stanbury, so I am familiar with the book and have done the exercises. I learned a lot but this time different topics resonated.
- Writing a good research question is not as easy as it sounds–at least for me! I find myself redrafting the question as I write. Probably not a good attribute. This chapter added some clarity to my writing. (Chapter 2)
- My comfort with source citations (Chapter 4) has increased but not due to this chapter. I have gained a new perspective on source citations because of the lectures Dr. Jones gave at the Professional Management Conference in 2015 in Salt Lake City. I need to review those notes and his syllabus again from that conference. I do “get” the idea that Evidence Explained by ESM is a “style manual” and not a “rule book,” a concept some have difficulty with.
- I need to spend some time in analyzing my sources–but not too much as I have all original documents. ( Chapter 5) Also reading some Q articles might help me better understand the amount of analysis of my sources I need to incorporate into my writing.
- I love tables! There is not a table I have ever met that I didn’t like! But, I think I have an overabundance of tables. :-) I need to consider what is the best approach for presenting the information in the best way not resorting to what method I like best, i.e. a table. I suspect I will lose some of the tables and use some of the other tools instead. (Chapter 5)
- How does one best “close the deal?” Some proof arguments I read have weak written conclusions–I need to read Q articles by strong writers (Henderson, Bittner, etc.) to analyze what makes a strong proof argument conclusion. Chapter 6 does a good job answering some of my questions about the issue of conflicting evidence and my Case Study.
- And when I get to the “Nirvana Point”–the time when I feel I am 90% done with the paper, I want to remember to review the 11 questions in chapter 8 about my genealogical conclusion. I want to be able to answer “yes” to every one.
The NGSQ Study Group is meeting next Tuesday morning and I plan on being on the call. I learn much from the collective wisdom of the group and certainly will be especially watchful of the items noted above. I can then improve my Case Study, which I have been working on so diligently for the past five days.
What I have been doing since my last post: I have been working on my Case Study. Woo hoo! In addition, I have presented to the Eastside GS and Skagit Valley GS. Both were great fun. Upcoming is Seattle GS and British Columbia GS. I have put together a presentation on “Insanity in the 19th Century: One Family’s Story.” But, so far no one wants to hear it–yet i constantly have people who tell me that some relative of theirs was in an insane asylum in the 1800s or early 1900s. Do you know someone who wants to hear it? I will be working on the SGS newsletter this coming week and printing the Spring Seminar Syllabus. I approached Seattle Public Library to teach some genealogy classes.
1The photo was taken by me on 11 April 2015 at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, 750 Mercer, Seattle, Washington in the CERID lab.