Yesterday I heard an interesting podcast from the UK National Archives by Dr. Kathleen Chater on ‘Researching Untold Histories’. As I listened I was struck by her statement on zeroing in on your topic, which applies to doing genealogy, writing books, working on a website, and just about anything else.

You have to formulate the question to be answered, because then all the research that doesn’t relate to it falls away. It makes it much, much easier. You can change the question later on if it’s worth it. But if you just sit there and sort of faff around, you know, you don’t go anywhere. And your research just goes off in lots of different directions.

Focus on the story you’re trying to tell, the question you’re trying to answer, the customer you’re trying to serve. You might actually finish that project you’re working on!