Documenting your research is also about including in your notes why a record caused you to reach the conclusion that you did. Some records state things pretty clearly and explicitly–we say those are “direct” statements. Other times the researcher needs to take statements from several documents, combine them with other known facts to reach a conclusion not specifically stated in any one document. We say those statements are “indirect.”

That reasoning needs to be included in your notes.

Just in case anyone else wonders how you got a “piece of information” that’s not explicitly stated in any one record.

Or in case you forget.

But that would never happen, right?

A reminder:

For several years, quite a few years ago, I wrote a how-to newsletter, Casefile Clues. It contained brief case studies of problems, transcriptions and analysis of records, and problem-solving suggestions. Now that I’m retired from my day job and that the second tip of the day book is done, I’m considering bringing it back.

If you’d like to get an email announcement, add your address to the list here.



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