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            Courses            
Writing the Genealogistís Memoir
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As a genealogy researcher for your family, you can enhance the results of your work, as well as realize personal satisfaction and value, by creating a memoir to enlighten those who read it. Your memoir can tell them about the story behind your research: your inspiration, motivation and/or interest in genealogy; your process; ďahaĒ moments; roadblocks and disappointments; and successes. The professional genealogist or personal historian can also offer a service to help clients create such a companion piece for their family trees or histories.

This course will explore the importance and value of memoir, a method for accomplishing one, and special issues to consider. Exercises will offer practical application of the material and opportunities to work on writing your memoir. The course will focus on writing as a method but will explore other options, such as audio and video, as well.


Course Content

Module 1
The Value of Memoir for Individuals, Families and the Culture
 
Introduction
• Note about Web Addresses
 
Course Overview
• Short Explanation of Course Value
 
Glossary
Importance of Telling/Writing Your Story in General
Benefits to the Individual, Family and Culture
Historical Precedents
Memoir for the Genealogist
 

Module 2
Planning the Memoir
Websites
Types of Life Writing
Definition of Memoir For Purpose of This Course
What a Memoir is Not
What to Include
Who is Your Audience?
Reading Memoirs for Ideas and Inspiration
Media Available for Saving Your Story
 
An Aside on Commercial Publication
• Print/Books
• Audio
• Video
• Digital/Electronic Books
 
Summary
 

Module 3
Gathering Material for the Memoir
Journaling/Memoir Writing and the Difference
Mind Mapping
Timeline/Defining Moments
Interview/Questions
Freestyle Writing
Recording Into a Device (Audio or Video)
Use of Photographs and Other Prompts
 
Topics List for the Genealogistís Memoir
• Starting in genealogy
• Learning
• Mentors/Inspiration
• Groups
• Searching my roots
• Starting points
• Curiosity
• Other Contributors
• Travel
• To resources
• To ancestral homes
• Challenges
• Roadblocks
• Brick Walls
• Inconsistencies
• Future plans
• Mentoring
• Sharing family history

Module 4
Developing the Narrative
Transcription
 
Writing
• Narrative
• Suggestions for Better Writing
• Travel Writing
• The Writerís Voice
• Writing Dialog
 
Organizing the Material
• Putting the Pieces Together
• Wrapping Up the Memoir
• Exercise
• The Manuscript Draft
 
Revision and Editing
• Exercise
 

Module 5
Issues in Memoir Writing
Truth In and Disagreement About Memories
Dealing with Uncomfortable Memories
 
Privacy Considerations
• Exercise
 
Copyright and Fair Use
Helping a Client to Write a Memoir
 

Module 6
Producing the Final Product
Websites
 
Methods of Book Production
• Desktop Publishing and Print Shop
• Commercial Printers
• Print-on-Demand
 
Formatting the Manuscript
Cover and Front Matter
Book Design and Page Layout
Incorporation of Images
File Submission and Maintenance
Distribution of Your Memoir
 
Bibliography
• Articles
• Books
• Interviews
• Lectures/Workshops
• Websites
 
 

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