Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review: Research Process QuickSheet

Elizabeth Shown Mills’s QuickSheet: The Historical Biographer’s Guide to the Research ProcessToday I’m reviewing Elizabeth Shown Mills’s QuickSheet: The Historical Biographer’s Guide to the Research Process. This QuickSheet consists of four models.

Page one contains “the Research Process Model.” Mills describes a research process consisting of four stages, beginning with preparation and ending with reporting. Page one also contains “Your Research Report.” In this part she advises that you “create a formal report of the same quality you would expect from the best professional.” She describes the four sections to include in your research report.

Page two contains “the Research Analysis Model.” This is an elucidation of the evidence analysis process map found on the flyleaf of her book, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. She gives elements to be considered when analyzing evidence. Evidence comes from information, which comes from sources. Each of these three, sources, information, and evidence, can be classified in ways that assist analysis.

Since release of this QuickSheet, Mills has added additional classifications. The QuickSheet lacks the additional classes of sources (authored), information (undetermined), and evidence (negative). To see the additional classes, see “QuickLesson 17: The Evidence Analysis Process Map” on Mills’s blog, Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage.

Page three contains “the Identity Triangulation Model.” The model suggests identity is more than just a name and “random data [extracted] from convenient records.” Identity requires triangulation of persona, relationships, and origin.

Page four contains “the Reliability Model” which has almost twenty questions divided into seven groups. The questions help determine if a conclusion is reliable. One such question, categorized as conflict resolution, is “Has the researcher adequately investigated any and all evidence that contradicts the proposed conclusion?”

QuickSheet: The Historical Biographer’s Guide to the Research Process
8.5" x 11", 4 pp., folded and laminated. 2012.
ISBN 978-0-8063-1892-9
Genealogical Publishing Company
$8.95 plus shipping.

Also available as a digital publication from the author.

1 comment:

  1. You do an excellent job of describing this product, but I think you've left out one of the most crucial aspects of a product review: Value for money. For four pages, $8.95 seems like a lot of money, especially when the digital version is the same price as the paper version (barring shipping costs). Is this product really worth it?