By Shannon Combs Bennett, Student
These last two modules of the course Writing for Genealogy: Articles, Blogs, Research Reports and so much more is chock full of information. It was very hard to pick which subject I wanted to tell you about since there is not enough room to talk about them all here! However, I picked the information on writing reports from Module 5 to focus on and I am sure some of you are groaning right now. Trust me, keep reading.
I can hear some of you now “I am never going to be a professional” or how about “no one is ever going to see my research.” Well, how do you know? Besides, don’t you think the work you do for yourself should be the best you can offer? I do. Creating professional quality reports for your own research is a great way to let future generations, or even the current ones, know you take your work seriously.
In the introduction for Module 5 the instructor takes her time walking you through why knowing how to write reports are a good idea. One thing that I had not really thought about before was creating a report for individuals who request help from my genealogy society. I would expect a professional type report from a library or archive but I can see how it would make my society stand out from other groups if we took our answer one step further.
Thankfully our instructor takes the time to go through the different types of reports that you can create. There are four in total: narratives, standard report, letter, or formal report. In my opinion, narratives would be what most typical family historians would write. However, letters I think would be the next.
I am sure you can guess what a narrative report is. These reports are told like a story focusing on biographical information more than the methodology. I have seen reports like these written and then collected together for sharing at family reunions or other functions after a person has completed their research.
Letter writing is another common report people should know because of the amount of correspondence most people do in conjunction with their family history. Knowing how to create a good letter that contains all the information from your research can lead to a great correspondence chain. Even if it is just an email, you can’t deny a great letter will get your attention!
Excuse me while I go write some letters! Oh, and take my final.
See you online!