Book Review: Research Like A Pro

Learning to Research Like A Pro

If it seems like you are not making the progress you think you should in your genealogy research, you should seriously consider checking out the book Research Like A Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide written by mother/daughter team Diana Elder and Nicole Dyer.  The book is based on the “Research Like A Pro” process, which started life as a series of blog posts.

The need for a repeatable research process is critical for any genealogist who wants to make progress on those brick wall challenges and produce work of professional quality.  This is the exact same process that professional genealogist Diana Elder uses to perform work for her clients.  Her willingness to share her process provides readers with a golden opportunity to adopt her effective approach.

Professional genealogists are under pressure to produce tangible results for every billable hour they work.  They do not have the luxury of not having a precise research objective, not documenting their sources or getting sidetracked.  When a customer is paying you a hefty hourly fee, they want to see results.  There is nothing better for a family researcher than adopting the disciplined process of a professional.

Diana shares her step-by-step process in a simple straightforward way that genealogists at any expertise level will understand.  She devotes a chapter to each step of her process. Utilizing real world examples to illustrate concepts and providing exercises for the reader to work makes it easy to build research skills as you follow along.

Following the “Research Like A Pro” process will allow you to:

  • Form an objective focusing your research for an entire project.
  • Review your research with new eyes by creating your own timeline analysis.
  • Construct a locality guide to direct your research.
  • Create a plan to keep your research on track.
  • Style source citations, giving your work credibility.
  • Set up a research log to organize and track your searches.
  • Write a report detailing your findings and ideas for future research.
  • Have ability to pick up work where you left off quickly even if months or years have passed.


Adopting a more disciplined approach to your genealogy research can allow you to reap some serious rewards and this book instructs you on how exactly to, as the book’s title suggests, research like a pro. 

Regardless of how many years you have been doing genealogy, improving your craft is a goal we all should strive for.  I can't imagine anyone serious about their genealogy research not finding value in this book.

If you are interested in purchasing Research Like A Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide, click on the link below:

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