SLIG Spring Virtual 2024

Course Information

Course 1: Bring ‘Em Back to Life: Writing Our Ancestors’ Stories

Annette Burke Lyttle, MA

Annette Burke Lyttle, MAThe goal of this course is to help researchers understand how to tell the stories of their ancestors, to equip them with skills and techniques that will give them confidence as writers, to help them avoid pitfalls, and to help them understand how best to share their stories, depending on their goals. Writing these stories can seem like a daunting task, but with instruction and coaching, researchers can learn to be not just guardians of the family history, but tellers of those family stories. Our hands-on learning approach, along with homework on their own writing projects, will allow students to immediately practice the concepts being taught in the course. They will also end up with a completed writing project and a plan for how best to share it. The course will finish with a lecture on how to get help and support for their writing projects going forward.

Course 2: You're Invited: Public Speaking from Concept to Delivery

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, FUGA

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLSThe ability to transform an initial concept to a full-fledged presentation delivered in front of an audience might seem like a daunting adventure for many professionals. This interactive course is ideal for existing speakers seeking to brush up on their skills and expand their portfolios and anyone seeking to explore how public speaking might align with their aspirations.

This intensive week explores key components of public speaking for genealogists: the “business of speaking,” outlining contracts, pricing, legal considerations, and marketing techniques; “knowing your audience,” focusing on crafting an array of presentations, keeping lectures current, and answering conference proposal requests; “development,” including details on developing handouts, slide presentations, and other visuals; and “delivery,” centered on finding a speaking style, avoiding pitfalls, structuring your presentations, and the opportunity to present two “mini-sessions” to solicit feedback and advice from fellow students and course instructors.

A variety of speaking opportunities will be discussed, including traditional one-hour sessions, seminars, workshops, webinars, institute courses, public programming, continued education courses, and national and regional conferences.

Course 3: The Art of Writing Client Reports

Debra A. Hoffman, PLCGS

Debra A. Hoffman, PLCGSWriting effective research reports can be a difficult skill to master. This course will provide instruction and hands-on experience creating each section of a report. A team of professional genealogists will share their expertise in technical writing, evidence analysis, incorporating visual elements, organizing material, time-saving strategies, and documentation. They will share examples of a variety of reporting formats covering simple to complex research problems from a variety of professional perspectives. Participants will learn both by evaluating provided reports and writing a research report during the week. Students should bring a laptop to work on practice exercises in class and complete writing assignments.

Course 4: BCG Certification: Understanding and Meeting Standards

Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA

Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGAIn this hands-on course, students review the requirements of the Board for Certification of Genealogists' application process. They study the Genealogical Proof Standard and Genealogy Standards, and learn to evaluate genealogical work using established rubrics.

This course will highlight the skills that each portfolio element tests. Students study how to assess a research problem, conduct thorough research, evaluate sources for reliability, analyze information, assemble evidence, determine kinship, integrate genetic evidence, and write conclusions. The instructors provide practice exercises in transcribing records, planning efficient research, analyzing records, correlating information, reporting on research results, and writing about evidence.

Course 5: DNA Dreamers in Action: Writing Proof Arguments

Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG

Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CGThis course’s objective is for students to craft a genealogical proof argument demonstrating that a conclusion about a genetic relationship meets the Genealogical Proof Standard. Genealogical proof arguments are complex source-cited narratives that explain the evidence and reasoning that support a conclusion. When the conclusion addresses a genetic relationship, the proof argument discusses and integrates DNA evidence with evidence from documentary research. A convincing proof argument details the evidence in a meaningful and organized sequence. Proof arguments incorporating DNA evidence include reader-friendly tables and figures showing how numerical DNA data do—or do not—help support hypotheses about genetic relationships.

This HANDS-ON course is designed for those students who have completed research about a biological relationship and now wish to “write it up” into a polished complex proof argument. We will study examples and principles in the morning. Students will have the opportunity to incorporate the morning’s learning into their own proof arguments during private writing time in the afternoon and as homework between weekly sessions. Faculty will be available during afternoon private writing time for consultation. Each day concludes with a paired peer review experience.

Course 6: Editing Genealogical Writing

Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS, FUGA

Editors are not born editors. They become skilled at their craft by editing their own writing. They play with words, massaging their thoughts, turning sentences and paragraphs on end, reducing paragraphs to sentences, ripping out irrelevant thoughts, and experimenting with organization. This course—meeting for a few hours one day a week for up to ten weeks—will provide opportunities to hone your editorial skills. By editing your own writing and that of your peers, not only will you improve your writing, you will increase your ability to improve that of others. Homework exercises will include numerous writing samples to polish. Whether your goal is just to improve your writing or to edit a scholarly journal, this course will take you in the right direction.