You may have heard from other researches that you should start with a research plan. However, you may not know what one is or what it looks like.
Put simply, a research plan is a list of resources that you want to look into while answering a specific question. Using research plans help you focus your search, it keeps you on track, it also tells you what your ultimate goal is.
There are a few parts to a research plan including the goal you want to accomplish, the analysis of what you already know, and a list of sources and repositories that you want use to help you reach the goal, and even possible future research that may add to the list of sources.
There are many great resources on writing research plans available for free on the internet including the following:
Elizabeth Shown Mills https://www.apgen.org/resources/ESMFiles/WitterResearchReport.pdf
Below is one of my research plans for my 2nd Great Grandfather John Guy Goodwin.