Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.
Research Like a Pro, A Genealogist’s Guide
I’ve been friends with fellow Arizonans Diana Elder and her daughter, Nicole Dyer, for a couple of years through our common interests of genealogy and blogging.
Diana has proudly earned the credentials of AG (Accredited Genealogist) and started Family Locket Genealogists with Nicole. One of the services offered by Family Locket is her Research Like a Pro Study Group.
Although I’ve not participated in this study group, I know people who have and have raved about it – even though they were not inexperienced genealogists by any means.
Because I had only heard excellent comments about the online study group, I was very much looking forward to reading the book, which is divided into 8 chapters – Research Objectives, Analyze Your Sources, Locality Research, Research Planning, Source Citations, Research Logs, Report Writing and What’s Next for a Researcher?
Although at a bit of a disadvantage not having taken Diana’s research class, I will make a leap here and state that I suspect that this book mirrors the research study group process taught in in the formal group setting.
The process – which consists of the steps outlined in the 8 chapters of the book – is clear, easy to follow and well organized. In addition, I really like several things about the format of the book:
1. Chapters are short and to the point. This isn’t an encyclopedic reference, it’s a hands on guide to good research practices.
2. I love that there is an example relating to the chapter’s topic with questions to be answered, followed by a task relating to one’s own research, at each chapter’s end.
3. Since this is a stand alone book, I really, really like the four appendices, which provide Work Templates, Work Samples, Source List (a short bibliography) and Supplemental Material. Work Samples is, by far, the lengthiest of the four appendices and at 120 pages, makes up about half of the entire book.
For those who don’t feel that a structured educational experience is in the cards for him/her right now, this book provides the “how to” for beefing up one’s own research skills, following the process used by a successful accredited genealogist.
I highly recommend this book whether or not you elect to sign up for the (fee-based) study group online. The steps in this guide are so well ordered and clearly explained that any researcher can implement them immediately to Research Like a Pro. (I couldn’t pass that up!)
Just as an aside, which isn’t part of this review-
Why take the class if the book details the research process? Well, as a retired teacher, I value the interaction and feedback gained from classmates and the instructor during the learning experience. Questions can be asked and clarifications provided in a small group setting from the comfort of one’s own home. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Disclaimer: Although I received a complimentary copy of this book for review, I have not received any other compensation or remuneration from the authors. This review reflects my own opinion and, if I didn’t like the book, you can be sure I would have said so!