A Case for Research; Understanding It’s Value and Learning How It’s Done

For many professionals, the need for research is as obvious as the need for food, but for high school students, the requirement to complete research is often seen as anything but necessary. After leaving behind study rooms and school cafeterias, however, graduates may find that their careers (in government, finance, medicine, technology, defense, environmental science, and other fields) require the ability to do research well. Outside of the classroom, the abilities to carefully analyze situations, to study problems, and to look further into any given situation are highly valued workplace skills.

Why Research Is Important?

One of the primary reasons students and professionals complete research is to really understand a topic completely, so the researcher fully understands multiple perspectives of a problem or situation. Other purposes that highlight the importance of research include increasing public awareness, supporting truths and uncovering misconceptions, identifying and handling opportunities, sharing valuable information, and, of course, encouraging learning. Once you understand why it’s so important to develop the skills necessary to do research, the next step is understanding how to go about the work.

One: Begin With a Specific Question

A clear focus to your research helps you stay on track. It helps you avoid distractions and map the rest of your work. As you study, you’ll probably find that other questions come up faster than your original questions can be answered. With your first research question or hypothesis at the top of the page, so to speak, you can identify subjects to look into further and recognize those that should be saved for another day.

Two: Identify the Best Sources of Information

With convenient access to modern technology, you’ll find that there are plenty of articles, blogs, papers, essays, books, and other publications that have been written about your topic. At this point, it’s important to choose resources that are relevant and trustworthy. For example, a blog about someone’s experience at the hospital is not as helpful in studying hospital-based MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) as studies completed by qualified scientists. On the other hand, if you’re researching patient satisfaction in hospitals, some blogs may be legitimate sources of information.

Three: Double-check the Validity of Your Resources

One popular way to access a wide variety of professionally written articles and scholarly papers is to go directly to a publishing site, such as the Bentham science publisher. These sites often provide access to technical, medical, and scientific writing. Once you find these sites, check into their publishing practices to make sure that each journal, article, research document, and other paper has been thoroughly vetted. Outside of Bentham science predatory publishers may post papers that don’t have quality vetting for your protection. One of the worst things to happen to your findings is to have them thrown out because you based them on someone else’s flawed research.

Four: Put Information Into an Effective Template

You will find that publishers and other professionals won’t give your research much value unless you’ve pointed out the specific purpose and use of your findings. The thesis of your paper may present your question, challenge, or hypothesis, but your paper should make clear why the information you found is important. Readers look for relevance, solutions, and meaningful connections; make sure they are easy to find.

Five: Write, Review, Write Again

As you study and learn more about your topic, you’ll write out facts, analyze information, revise your hypothesis, and recognize mistakes. You may reorganize your notes, create graphs, conduct surveys, and add other elements to your paper, and along the way, you will write and re-write multiple times.

Whether you’re currently in school or hoping to improve your career opportunities, the ability to effectively research is vital. With this understanding, students of all ages may find their research experience is more meaningful and enjoyable.

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