My question relates to your article, "QuickLesson 20: Research Reports for Research Success".
Correctly scoping the initial problem statement in a research report is, in my mind, absolutely crucial. If it is too specific, little is gained and likely much is missed. If it is too vague, it becomes a daunting task with less hope of reaching a clear and useful conclusion.
The examples used in the article are definitely useful in supporting the discussion of the generic process and document structure. They are, however, examples that appear to address an easily framed problem statement. But, how does one begin? Let us assume that one is just beginning their genealogical research and has not only anecdotal information from relatives, but also family certificates and other readily available family-sourced material.
In the case of anecdotal information, to me, the scope of the initial reports appears to be clear. Each piece of information first needs to to be verified and validated (V&V), which easily suggests a problem statement for that class of initial research reports.
In the case of material such as certificates, however, we may already be dealing with fairly high quality data. Yes, some V&VA is still required, but the true "problem" (of the problem statement) seems not so easily framed. Let us assume that the goal is not a scholarly article on an historical figure, but simply that of starting the family tree. What would be a typical problem statement for one of the initial research reports involving family sourced evidence (e.g. certificates)?