National Genealogical Society

Educational Courses

American Genealogical Studies: Guide to Documentation and Source Citation

Michael Grant Hait Jr., cgsm, is a full-time professional genealogical researcher, author, publisher, and lecturer. He is a current instructor at the Institute of Genealogical & Historical Research (IGHR); the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG); and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).

What Will I Learn?

Genealogical researchers are often confused by the best way to cite and notate the sources where they located family records and information. Knowing where we located our family information and keeping accurate notes, or citations, is the backbone of reliable genealogy. In the three-module NGS course, American Genealogical Studies: Guide to Documentation and Source Citation, Michael Hait helps genealogists understand the principles of citation for common sources such as books, periodicals, and a variety of filmed and digitized records. The principles taught in this course are based on Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace.1

American Genealogical Studies: Guide to Documentation and Source Citation is an online cloud-based course containing lessons, examples, and graded exams. It consists of three modules covering:

  1. Introduction to Documentation
  2. Basic Citation Principles
  3. Applying Basic Citation Principles

This course will answer the following questions:

  • Why are citations necessary?
  • Why use a consistent citation style?
  • Which citation style is most appropriate for genealogical research?
  • What is the difference between the formats of reference notes and source lists?
  • What are the common elements of all source citations?
  • What is the method for recording various records?

See the course syllabus to learn more about American Genealogical Studies: Guide to Documentation and Source Citation.

Requirements

Since the American Genealogical Studies: Guide to Documentation and Source Citation is a cloud-based course, you need either a computer or tablet with an Internet connection to access the lessons, examples, exercises, and quizzes. No software or material is loaded onto your computer or tablet.

To optimize your online learning experience, the Canvas system uses the current version of a number of different browsers. To check for your browser compatibility, please see https://guides.instructure.com/m/4214/l/41056-which-browsers-does-canvas-support for further information and details. 

All students work independently.

When Can I Start the Course?

Please allow 3 business days to receive your registration e-mail from Canvas by Instructure. This e-mail provides you with login instructions, which are good for the duration of the course.

Do I Need Anything Further?

Although nothing further is required for this course, when citing genealogical sources NGS strongly recommends the book, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills. 2

Note: If you plan to take either Guide to Documentation and Source Citation or the newly revised NGS Home Study Course now named Beyond the Basics (coming soon), Evidence Explained is required.

Fees

Developing Your Family Tree series

Members

Non-members

The Basics*

$30

$45

Guide to Documentation and Source Citation*

$30

$45

Beyond the Basics Part 1 (Coming Soon)

$175

$200

*To take the Beyond the Basics (coming soon), one must complete The Basics and Guide to Documentation and Source Citation within a year of signing up for Beyond the Basics.

Register online at the NGS Store now.

Term of Course

NGS gives the participant access to American Genealogical Studies: Guide to Documentation and Source Citation for six months from the date of registration.

For those who need extra time, a one-time extension is granted by contacting the NGS Course Administrator at courses@ngsgenealogy.org.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

All purchases of courses are final. No refunds are issued.

Certificate of Completion

Each person who successfully completes the American Genealogical Studies: Guide to Documentation and Source Citation receives a certificate of completion.

Although the National Genealogical Society has a variety of courses available to help you learn about the methods, skills, and standards for certification, NGS is not a licensing body. Therefore no formal genealogical credential or accreditation is implied.

Please refer to the websites of The Board for Certification of Genealogists® (BCG) or International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) for their policies or standards for certification or accreditation.

Want Something More?

NGS offers genealogists a number of quality independent learning courses. Besides the cloud-based courses, there are classes available in the PDF format:

  • Introduction to Religious Records
  • Using Federal Population Census Schedules in Genealogical Research
  • Working with Deeds

Questions?

Contact the NGS Course Administrator at courses@ngsgenealogy.org.


1 Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, rev. ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2012).

2 Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing ... to Cyberspace.


 

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