08 January 2010

The Genealogical Proof Standard, step 5

The last step in the Genealogical Proof Standard is the written conclusion:

5.  We arrive at a soundly reasoned, and coherently written conclusion.[1]

There are many formal written conclusions. Among these, include:
  • Proof arguments and case studies
  • Research reports
  • Lineages, Pedigrees, and Genealogies
  • Hereditary-Society Applications
The most common formal written conclusions are proof arguments and case studies, which follow this format:
  • Explain the research goal (or problem)
  • Present the evidence, with analysis, including full and complete source citations
  • Discuss any conflicting evidence
  • State your conclusion
You don't always need to write out a formal report. It always held to write out what you (do or don't) know. Trying to keep track of all of all of that information in your head doesn't work. By the time you're done writing everything out, you might have a book completed!
[1] The Board for Certification of Genealogist, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Orem, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 2000), 1.


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