Research is a systematic inquiry that investigates hypotheses, suggests new interpretations of data or texts, and poses new questions for future research to explore.
Research consists of:
Asking a question that nobody has asked before;
Doing the necessary work to find the answer; and
Communicating the knowledge you have acquired to a larger audience.
In practice, research methods vary widely, depending upon the academic discipline’s accepted standards, the individual researcher’s preferences, or a particular study’s needs. Research in science and engineering often involves conducting experiments in the lab or in the field. Research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences may include archival work in the library or on the internet, conducting surveys or in-depth interviews, and a wide range of creative and artistic projects- from costume design to playwriting to curating a fine arts exhibit.
Research is not a solitary activity –but an act of community. As a member of the research community, you are building on the knowledge that others have acquired before you and providing a road map for those who come after you. You are adding to a body of work that will never be complete. Research is an ongoing, collaborative process with no finish line in sight.