Monday, September 27, 2010

Emphasizing the Research Process

One of the things we try and do at Casefile Clues is to emphasize the process. Sometimes that means we don't write the research up in the "cleanest" fashion or present things in the most orderly way. Research is not always done in strict chronological order; things are not discovered in the easiest order to understand; and the significance of details is not always immediately evident.

I hope Casefile Clues reflects that.

One of the things I don't like about some journal articles is that the package is "always neatly wrapped." Research doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes there are loose ends that are "discovered" when the writing takes place and sometimes those loose ends have to stay "loose" because deadlines loom whether loose ends have been tied or not. We do try and admit the loose ends--because that is important too.

Sometimes the suggestions are inadvertantly directed in the way I know the research is going or has gone because I know more than is in the article. I try not to write that way, but sometimes it slips out.

The John Michael Trautvetter article on his property acquisition is a good case in point. The article had already gotten long enough without going into conjecture about where he originally got his money for the first purchase (partially because I have a few loose ends to research yet). Suffice it to say that it seems very reasonable that he recevied his inheritance at a young age, before either of his parents died. His parents had a few "issues" as did his "in-laws" and we'll cover those in more details in future issues of Casefile Clues. I just hate to include things that are conjecture when I don't have as much evidence as I would like or I feel there's some research lacking. I do feel it's important to document the research process and include sources as we go and we've tried very hard to do that.

If you'd like to see where our research progresses, consider subscribing to Casefile Clues. We try to be clear, exhibit sound methodology, and include all documentation. And some of these stories I just can't make up!

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