What is Research?

What is Research?

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Research. Function: noun, verb transitive
Etymology: Middle French recerche, from recerchier to investigate thoroughly, from Old French, from re- + cerchier to search
Date: 1577

Research is a process of investigation. An examination of a subject from different points of view. It's not just a trip to the library to pick up a stack of materials, or picking the first five hits from a computer search. Research is a hunt for the truth. It is getting to know a subject by reading up on it, reflecting, playing with the ideas, choosing the areas that interest you and following up on them. Research is the way you educate yourself.

Research is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing information to increase our understanding of the phenomenon under study. It is the function of the researcher to contribute to the understanding of the phenomenon and to communicate that understanding to others.

Research is a process through which we attempt to achieve systematically and with the support of data the answer to a question, the resolution of a problem, or a greater understanding of a phenomenon.

Research is defined as human activity based on intellectual application in the investigation of matter. The primary aim for applied research is discovering, interpreting, and the development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge on a wide variety of scientific matters of our world and the universe.



An account presented usually in detail.

A formal account of the proceedings or transactions of a group.

In writing, a report is a document characterized by information or other content reflective of inquiry or investigation, which is tailored to the context of a given situation and audience. The purpose of reports is usually to inform.

Reports may include persuasive elements, such as recommendations, suggestions, or other motivating conclusions that indicate possible future actions the report reader might take.

Reports can be public or private, and often address questions posed by individuals in government, business, education, and science.



This research is the most commonly used and the basic reason for carrying out descriptive research is to identify the cause of something that is happening. For instance, this research could be used in order to find out what age group is buying a particular brand of cola, whether a company’s market share differs between geographical regions or to discover how many competitors a company has in their marketplace.

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However, if the research is to return useful results, whoever is conducting the research must comply with strict research requirements in order to obtain the most accurate figures/results possible.
Descriptive research is used to obtain information concerning the current status of the phenomena to describe "what exists" with respect to variables or conditions in a situation. The methods involved range from the survey which describes the status quo, the correlation study which investigates the relationship between variables, to developmental studies which seek to determine changes over time.
 Statement of the problem
 Identification of information needed to solve the problem
 Selection or development of instruments for gathering the information
 Identification of target population and determination of sampling procedure
 Design of procedure for information collection
 Collection of information
 Analysis of information
 Generalizations and/or predictions
The analytical research examines a problem or issue and recommends an action. Some analytical researches function as proposals that identify or define problems and argue for specific ways of resolving them. Other analytical researches are feasibility studies that examine proposed solutions and determine their practicality.
Analytical researches are written by experts, often working in teams. The reports generally require that these experts
 Use their professional skills to define an issue, making the study large enough in scope to identify all the factors that bear on the problem and using a standard professional methodology,
 Know or learn how such issues have been resolved in other cases, inside and outside their own company; and
 Accommodate constraints like cost, time, and company policy, and union contracts, local and federal law.
The completed research will have at least three groups of readers:
 Experts, who will be asked to validate the scope of the study, the data collected, the methodology used, and the practicality of the solution
 Managers who ordered the study, and will consider the significance of the problem identified in the study, the practicality of the solution in terms of cost, duration, and affect on other operations, and the judgment of the experts asked to validate the report
 Managers from other units of the company, who will be asked to validate the results from their own perspectives such as whether the solution conforms to environmental or tax law or whether the company has adequate personnel to staff it.
Applied research: is research accessing and using some part of the research communities' (the academy's) accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, often state, commercial, or client driven purpose. Applied research is often opposed to pure research in debates about research ideals, programs, and projects.
Applied research is designed to solve practical problems of the modern world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge's sake. One might say that the goal of the applied scientist is to improve the human condition.
For example, applied researchers may investigate ways to:
 Improve agricultural crop production
 Treat or cure a specific disease
 Improve the energy efficiency of homes, offices, or modes of transportation

Fundamental research also called basic research - scientific investigation for its own sake. The goal of fundamental research is to gain knowledge and understanding of the physical world, without regard to whether or not the knowledge discovered will be of any practical use.
Fundamental research has as its primary objective the advancement of knowledge and the theoretical understanding of the relations among variables. It is exploratory and often driven by the researcher’s curiosity, interest, and intuition. It is conducted without any practical end in mind, although it may have unexpected results pointing to practical applications. The terms “basic” or “fundamental” indicate that, through theory generation, basic research provides the foundation for further, sometimes applied research.. Research is a subset of invention.
Examples of questions asked in basic research:
 Does string theory provide physics with a grand unification theory?
 Which aspects of genomes explain organismal complexity?
Lab research is a group activity. Individual scientists perform experiments to test hypotheses about biological phenomena. After experiments are completed and duplicated, researchers attempt to persuade others to accept or reject their hypotheses by presenting the data and their interpretations. The lab report or the scientific paper is the vehicle of persuasion; when it is published, it is available to other scientists for review. If the results stand up to criticism, they become part of the accepted body of scientific knowledge unless later disproved.
 Persuade other to accept or reject hypotheses by presenting data and interpretations.
 Detail data, procedures, and outcomes for future researchers.
 Become part of the accepted body of scientific knowledge when published unless later disproved.
The typical lab report includes: title, abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, references and literature cited.
 Reflect the factual content with less than ten words in a straightforward manner.

Summarize in a concise paragraph the purpose of the report, data presented, and major conclusions in about 100 - 200 words.

• Outline scientific purpose(s) and/or objective(s): "What are the specific hypotheses and the experimental design for investigation?"
Materials and methods:
• List materials used, how were they used, and where and when was the work done (especially important in field studies)
• Organize data into tables, figures, graphs, photographs, etc. Data in a table should not be duplicated in a graph or figure.
• Title all figures and tables; include a legend explaining symbols, abbreviations, or special methods.
• Interpret the data; do not restate the results.
• Include suggestions for improving your techniques or design, or clarify areas of doubt for further research.
References & literature cited:
 Cite only references in your paper and not a general bibliography on the topic
General style:
• Strive for logic and precision and avoid ambiguity, especially with pronouns and sequences.
• Keep your writing impersonal; avoid the use of the first person.
• Have a neutral person review and critique your report before submission.













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