This Semester, I was assigned two research projects. We were given many options on what casefiles we chose to research, from death certificates to criminal records and even the option to research our own family tree for the second project. When we were first introduced to the project, I was very skeptical of it, and how we’d even go about completing the assignment, but I kept a positive mindset. The options of casefiles to chose from were limitless. I managed to find a very interesting file, in my opinion probably one of the most interesting ones offered to us. It was a death certificate, of a man who died off the coast of California, never to be recovered. The death certificate itself didn’t offer many details of the incident, this is where the researching came into play.
The online resource of Ancestry.com was such a help of tying together the story of the man’s life, but surprisingly didn’t offer any information of the death itself. I couldn’t stand to end the project without including how he died out at sea. So I used the power of the internet to find the phone number of a historical society, from the area where the incident occured and talked to them on the phone for about 45 minutes or so to get any information of the incident they could possibly find. They searched their archives for me and were able to find a newspaper article regarding the incident, a phenomenal find to solve the mystery of his death. All in all it took me about 3 solid hours to search and find all the information Ancestry.com had to offer of the man, and about a 45 minute phone call to solve the mystery and obtain a scanned copy of the article mentioning the storm that killed the man.
The second, my favorite, research project I completed was of my family tree. It did not take much to find a drastic piece of information that led me to find I had a half brother I had never met before that lived in the town I’ve lived in my whole life. Ancestry.com is truly a very beneficial resource for research. Very easy to navigate, and organize your findings. To find all the documents and information it took for me to find mentioning my brother it took about an hour and a half or so, but it was a very big find. I am very thankful to have had the chance this Semester to conduct this research. I have definitely benefitted from it.
Completing the research projects, taught me how to really use the many resources offered in this generation to find information effectively. It showed me if you truly want to find something out you can, with the power of research. You can use many sources and tie the information gathered together to compose a story. It has also shown me how much work mankind has made towards writing history, conducting research and compiling it for us to read and learn from. Peer reviewing has shown me that someone else may have a better way of writing the story of your research and that you may have missed some drastic piece of information that is very important to your research. Two sets of eyes looking at something is truly better than one.
In the 21st century analytical skills and advanced research will take mankind far. Not only in the field of history, but in all fields of research and technology. The use of researching and analytical skills in the 21st century could possibly lead to the finding of a successful cure for cancer. One of the biggest health issues we have, cancer could be cured with the power of analytical skills and research. Everyday scientists are studying, thinking outside of the box, and researching in hopes of finding ways to treat or even cure cancer. Mankind has made great progress in the medical field using these methods to make these horrible conditions defeatable, and to raise the average lifespan of humans. Using research and analytical skills can even be a big part of bettering yourself and finding a successful career. With the world being a very competitive place, you must really make an effort to make yourself different from anyone else and using skills as such may help you with choosing the right career path. There are many issues left unsolved in society and the use of analytical skills and advanced research is the key to succeed solving them in the 21st century.