What is Research? Here's What No One Tells You About Research? | Digital Ritesh

What is Research?

Here's What No One Tells You About Research?

Digital Ritesh

What comes to mind when you think about research? Probably a laboratory with test tubes, microscopes, and scientists wearing white lab coats.

This setup is ideal for researchers in some disciplines, such as virologists studying viral infections, physicists developing new electronic devices, or chemists creating new materials.

Other possibilities, such as someone digging through historical archives or someone distributing surveys about consumer preferences, may also come to mind. That’s research, too! So,

What is research?
What unites these very different approaches?

They share the same fundamental goal: the creation of new knowledge or ideas. Every good research project begins with a question that has no known answer. These questions vary from field to field.

A research product can be something tangible, such as a new drug for curing a particular disease, or it can be intangible, such as a new understanding of an archival text.

Many people associate the idea of research with the scientific method - a cyclical process of posing questions and reaching conclusions. The first step in this process is making observations and asking questions.

Then, the researcher formulates hypotheses, or educated guesses, that try to answer those questions, and develops experiments to collect data and produce results. The results help the researcher to form a conclusion.

The final step of the scientific method is sharing the results of the research with other scholars so that they can observe, verify, and ask their own questions.

This process is an ongoing loop that pushes discovery and innovation forward. But the processes and principles of the scientific method aren’t limited to the sciences.

When a literary scholar reads a number of texts by authors writing in the same time period and notices thematic similarities - they’re making observations.

When they ask why these themes are important to the writers in this time period, they’re asking a research question. Then, they might argue that the particular themes they are seeing are a result of certain economic or social conditions that characterized that time period - this is a hypothesis.

In order to collect data, the scholar can read more texts from that time period and contrast them with texts from other periods to see if there are sufficient similarities and differences.

Finally, they can publish their work and allow other scholars to study it and ask their own questions. Maybe you have a burning question that you’d like to solve, or perhaps you’re itching to join an existing research team. Luckily, there are numerous ways that you can get involved with research.

One pathway that leads to a career in research involves attending college and eventually pursuing an advanced degree, such as a Ph.D. But even people who don’t have a college education can contribute to research projects, for instance by participating in surveys or helping researchers gather data.

Through research, you can contribute to tackling major obstacles of our generation, from conserving endangered species to monitoring public health crises.

As long as you’re curious and hard-working, research is for you..!

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