By Shannon Combs Bennett, Student
Well, I have entered the realm of the Intermediate coursework. I decided that I am going to first take Methodology 3, 4 and 5 back-to-back to lay the ground work for the other courses that are coming in this section. Following those three, I will work on the rest of the required courses for the American Records Certificate and then a few electives. So, hang on to see what I am up to over the next few months.
Methodology 3 is broken into six steps the instructor thinks you need to know to be successful. The first three steps are covered in Methodology 3 with the last three covered in Methodology 4. Which made me thankful that I was taking these two courses back-to-back since they really read as a part 1 and part 2 of the same course.
These steps are:
- Defining your goals
- Learning the basics
- Deciding on strategies for research
- Effective searching and recording
- Presenting and preserving your research
For this post I will focus on my takeaways from the first steps listed. The next post will cover Methodology 4 and the last three steps.
To be honest, Methodology 3 focuses primarily on setting up your office space and further honing your research skills. Now “office space” may be too formal of a term. I started out at my kitchen table with boxes that I shifted around when we actually had to use it. Just recently I have moved into the ranks of a office with a door. No matter where you may be on that scale you will get valuable information here.
However, the section on performing oral history interviews was, for me, the most valuable lesson in this course. Many people are nervous about doing this or have no experience performing any type of interview. The step-by-step instructions were great and I think perfect for anyone no matter their comfort level. I have done several interviews and I am very comfortable talking to people in general but I will be adding a few of the course suggestions in future interviews.
Finally, the sections covering research strategies were excellent. Many newer genealogists are intimidated by the process and actually doom themselves to not doing complete research on the problems or getting caught going down rabbit holes. We have all done it, I still do it! But understanding the process of creating a plan and sticking to it will help any researcher do better work.
See you online!