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Research Methodology -General Paper I

What is Research?

Research refers to a search for knowledge. But this search is a scientific and systematic search on a particular topic.Research has been defined in a number of different ways. Martyn Shuttleworth defines research as - "In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge." Creswell states - "Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue". It consists of three steps: Pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. Redman and Moray define research as "a systemized effort to gain new knowledge". In all the definitions, one thing is clear that research is about gaining new knowledge using existing facts and analysing these. Research has to have an element of discovering something new. While a literature search is one important part of a research project, it isn’t research in itself. It is scholarship.

What is the Importance Of Research

The role of research has greatly increase in every field. We do research for many reasons. A few of these are discussed here:

  • Decision Making : Research arms us from wrong information and helps in decision making.
  • Building Knowledge : We do research to continually upgrade knowledge and achieve improvement to what we currently have. for e.g. studying and finding possible cures for diseases.
  • Learning: Research is important because we are able to learn more about things, people, and events.
  • Means to Understand Various Issues : Research can shed light on issues we didn’t even know existed, and can raise questions we hadn’t realised even needed asking.
  • Technical Advances : There would be no advances in medicine, science, or anything else without research.
  • To appease curiosity : we do research to satisfy the human desire to "know".
  • Innovation : R&D plays a critical role in innovation of new and improved products.
  • A Seed to Love Reading, Writing and Analyzing: Research entails both reading and writing. Reading opens the mind to a vast horizon of knowledge, while writing helps a person use her/his own ideas and transform this into a more concrete way. They can also facilitate the critical thinking process.
  • Nourishment and Exercise for the Mind : Search or the thinking process is food for the brain, allowing creativity and logic to remain active. It also helps prevent mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s.
  • A Way to Prove Lies and to Support Truths : Research leads towards a better version of the truth. Take smoking for example. Fifty years ago, smoking was looked upon as a positive part of life. But research has proven that smoking is the root cause of many illnesses such as, heart disease, emphysema, lung cancer and even impotence among men.