The process of writing a research report is a great way to capture your analysis and collect your thoughts. Although your report does not have to be a formal document, you will want to include your name, the date of the report, and the research question.
Sometimes we find that we have completed an exhaustive search, but perhaps misunderstood a key point in a record, missed a relevant piece of data, or had not properly analyzed all of the data as a whole. Seeing our research in a different perspective may have been the key to solving our problem. If you feel that you have reached a solid answer to your question you should include a section in your report that contains your conclusion.
If a conclusion is not reached, you should include a section in your report that outlines your research plan. In some cases, this will be a simple task of filling in obvious gaps such as a missing census year or other typical genealogy records. When developing your research plan, think about what sources might answer your research questions.
Once your report is complete, take a moment to review what you have found against your individual summary and family group sheets. Be sure to follow through on your plan and do not forget to record your findings in your research log.
Our "Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls" course will help you in developing these reports and research plans.