Next Steps in Writing Up Your Research: Articles, Monographs, and More

Length of Course: 5 months
Cost: $500
Live classrooms: August 10, September 7, October 5, November 2, 30

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Now that you have mastered the basics of genealogical writing, it is time for more complex concepts. Discover how to write an article in the style of one of the major genealogy journals or publish a monograph to create a genealogy that your family will want to read about.

Once you have mastered the building blocks, Michael J. Leclerc, CG, will show you how to boost your writing skills to the next level. These advanced methods will bring you to the point of writing an entire book of your family history.

By the end of the course, students will have the tools necessary to write up their research findings in a variety of ways. They will learn how to do the following:

  • Read and analyze a journal article
  • Write a journal article for submission or personal use
  • Add narrative to your articles to create a monograph
  • Use auto-numbering and other features of Word
  • Proofread, index, and do a light edit
  • Get an article published

This course, which runs for five months, offers the following:

  • Live video classrooms with student participation
  • Limited class size for maximum interaction
  • Assignments include reading, writing, and videos
  • Personalized feedback on assignments

The class gathers together once a month for a 3 hour online video classroom. Each session will begin by reviewing the assignment from the previous month, then focus on new topics.¬†Students can see each other and actively participate in discussion (students should have access to a computer with a webcam). In addition, between the live classrooms, students get a half-hour, one-on-one video consultation with the instructor. That’s seventeen hours of live instruction in addition to the reading, writing, and other homework assignments.

Those who complete the entire course, participate in discussions, and complete all assignments will receive a Certificate of Completion.


Course Outline

Month One

  • Dissecting Journal Articles
  • What do journal editors look for?

Assignment: Select a journal and write an article for submission.

Month Two

  • Review the articles
  • Adding Additional Narrative

Assignment: Update the original article, incorporating the comments and feedback from the instructor. Create another copy that builds up from the initial article by adding narrative storytelling.

Month Three

  • What is a Monograph?
  • Writing Monographs
  • Learn Styles, Bookmarks, and Auto-numbering in Word

Assignment: Write a a second article on a related family, incorporating the multiple articles to create a monograph.

Month Four

  • Proofreading
  • Basics of Editing
  • Introduction to Indexing
  • Getting Help
  • Art programs

Assignment: Proofread, edit, and index your monograph.

Month Five

  • Final Review of Articles and Monograph
  • Getting your Article/Monograph Published
  • Wrap up and Next Steps.

The Live Classrooms for this session will be held on five Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. Eastern time: August 15, September 12, October 10, and November 7, December 5. Live Classrooms will be recorded for later review in the event a student must miss a session. Because of the participatory and interactive nature of this class, those who miss more than one Live Classroom may not be eligible for the Certificate of Completion.

Students should be Intermediate to Advanced researchers, as they will use their own research for the assignments. They should have conducted a significant amount of research in order to have enough source material to work with.


Required texts:

Anderson, Laura. McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook, Second Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Jones, Thomas. Mastering Genealogical Documentation. Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2017.

Mulvany, Nancy C. Indexing Books, Second Edition. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Strunk, William, Jr. The Elements of Style, Classic Edition. San Luis Obispo, Calif.: Spectrum Ink Publishing, 2017.

University of Chicago Press. Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. Chicago: the Press, 2017. [Note: this new version of CMS will become available within a week or two of the start of the course.]


Additional texts that will be useful, but are not required:

Anderson, Robert Charles. Elements of Genealogical Analysis. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014.

Garner, Bryan A. The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.