The Essentials Of Research

Research is a phenomenon that has been with us since time immemorial. Simply put, it is the search for knowledge, although ideally it goes beyond just mere compilation of knowledge from various sources. One of the simplest definitions of research I have ever come across is that, it is the search for knowledge or any systematic investigation to establish facts. This is however a rather general view since even C.I.D departments of the police do carry out systematic investigations to establish crime facts but they are not necessarily doing research work.


It should be understood that research not only encompasses processes that are geared towards establishing the facts but also the relevance and practical basis of those facts. Research work can broadly be classified into applied and basic research. Basic (pure research) can be defined as curiosity triggered research aimed at increasing understanding of fundamental principles of life with the results having no direct or immediate commercial benefits. On the other hand, applied research can be thought of as research aimed at advancing human knowledge on a variety of scientific matters of the world and the universe


There are three basic tenets of applied research and these are: discovering, interpretation and development.

(a) Discovering (observation)


This is the art of detecting something new or the observation of new phenomena, new actions or new events as they unfold and attempting to provide reasoning to explain the knowledge gathered compared with previously acquired knowledge.


Most discoveries tend to be a result of questions. In academic research work, most students tend to be limited in terms of personal observation since most research topics are provided by their lecturers. Most modern research work tends to be a build up or extension of the work already in existence. This however need not impede the process of discovery since knowledge can be as wide as human imagination.


Research paper writing process needs to reflect the extent of your observation by incorporating as many original and practical ideas as possible. Remember that points of view will always differ no matter how related the subjects under study may be.


(b) Interpretation


It is commonly known as the logic and is simply the assignment of meaning to symbols. Most syntactic terms used in thesis and other academic pieces of writing make no sense unless given some interpretation. Your figures, numbers, tables and diagrams need to make sense to those who shall be reading your work, so they need to be labeled appropriately.


(c) Development


This is the systematic upgrade of knowledge from the very basic and rudimentary aspects of whatever is being researched upon to the complex and most recent discoveries. The complexity of course is relative, depending on whoever is reviewing that particular work. The bottom line however remains that research work needs to show progress with regard to what had previously been done in the same field.


Research can never ever be divorced from development. It is thus mandatory that your research work reflects a build up of ideas that are practical and progressive as far as the modern world goes. Research work is useless if it does not add value to the present pool of knowledge and provide avenues for discovery of better technologies.






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