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Six Reasons Why Research Is Important

Updated on January 19, 2017
Leann Zarah profile image

Leann is a freelance qualitative researcher. She has been involved in projects related to gender, labor, and other social concerns.

Learning to do research is an integral part of a person's education.
Learning to do research is an integral part of a person's education. | Source

Finding reasons why research is important may seem like a no-brainer, but many would rather avoid getting involved in research. The lazy, if not mentally drained, student could say, "Not again." And a disinterested academic could just be doing it for promotion purposes. Yet, for those who like to learn - whether or not they are members of a learning institution - doing research is not just an imperative, but a need. What reasons could drive one to appreciate research and engage in doing it?

1. A Tool for Building Knowledge and Efficient Learning

Research is required not just for students and academics, but for all professionals. It is also important for budding and veteran writers, both offline and online. For those looking for a job, research is likewise a necessity.

Among professionals and scribes, finding an interesting topic to discuss and/or to write about should go beyond personal experience. Determining either what the general public may want to know about or what researchers want others to realize or to think about can serve as a reason to do research.

The Brain Research Trust acknowledges the importance of research. Undoubtedly, it is crucial to finding possible cures for diseases, as well as how to prevent them. Thus, research becomes a must to ascertain if one’s ideas are supported by previous studies or if these ideas still need proof to be considered as knowledge. An example of this is the 2016 study of several psychologists who examined how sleep affects memory reactivation. In "Relearn Faster and Retain Longer: Along With Practice, Sleep Makes Perfect", they "found that interleaving sleep between learning sessions not only reduced the amount of practice needed by half but also ensured much better long-term retention. Sleeping after learning is definitely a good strategy, but sleeping between two learning sessions is a better strategy." This study supports the fact that: "Both repeated practice and sleep improve long-term retention of information". Their findings also emphasize how highly important sleep is to healthy brain function.

Research by The World Bank in 2006 likewise underscored sleep as a key factor of efficient learning or the process of gaining optimal learning using few resources. The study reiterates the role of sleep in: (1) protecting and restoring memory, (2) advanced learning, and (3) enhancing mathematical ability and problem solving. It further notes that "knowledge is better consolidated when people study at the time when they are supposed to be awake rather than, say, late-night sessions." It also recommends the need for research on "the memory capacity of the poor in low-income countries" to enable teachers in helping underprivileged students learn basic skills.

Said studies on the effects of sleep on the human brain are among the many research topics that have already been examined by academics and specialists in various universities and medical institutions. A myriad of research ideas likewise awaits the attention of avid scholars and inquisitive writers. Indeed, research is instrumental in building and improving knowledge, as well as in facilitating efficient learning.

Research and development (R&D) plays a crucial role in business success and in a thriving national economy.
Research and development (R&D) plays a crucial role in business success and in a thriving national economy. | Source

2. An Aid to Business Success and Job Search

Research has a vital role in business. Many successful companies, such as those that produce consumer goods or mass-market items, invest in research and development or R&D. Different business industries with science and engineering processes like agriculture, food and beverage, manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, computer software, semiconductor, information and communication technology, construction, robotics, aerospace, aviation, and energy have high R&D expenditure because it is critical to product innovation and to improving services.

R&D also helps secure a vantage point over competitors. Finding out how to make things happen and what could differentiate them from others that offer similar products and services can raise the company’s market value. Certainly, having relevant knowledge in achieving a good commercial image through sound business strategies like investing in R&D can boost its profitability.

In addition, R&D in various firms and industries is essential to supporting a country's economy. For instance, the United Kingdom's Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), now known as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, used to publish an annual R&D Scoreboard. The report served "...as a benchmarking tool for companies, investors and policymakers" for 20 years. However, due to the UK government's austerity measures, it was last produced in 2010.

The unemployed can also benefit from doing research. Through this process, not only will they increase their chances of finding potential employers either through job posting sites or employment agencies, but it can inform them if work opportunities are legitimate. Without research, the gullible, yet hopeful jobseeker may fall prey to unscrupulous headhunters who might be involved in illegal recruitment and/or human trafficking.

3. Means to Understand Various Issues

Television shows and movies ooze with research - both on the part of the writer(s) and the actors. Though there are hosts who rely on their researchers, there are also those who exert effort to do their own research. This helps them get information that hired researchers missed, build a good rapport with the interviewee, and conduct a good interview in the process.

For their part, some film and TV actors would take time to interview detectives, boxers, scientists, business people, criminals, and teachers, among others. Others would even immerse themselves in situations that would make them understand social and personal issues like living behind bars or in a drug rehabilitation center. Many would read literature, biographies, or journals to have a better view or context of the story.

As what Terry Freedman says in "The Importance of Research for ICT Teachers" (2011): "Research can shed light on issues we didn’t even know existed, and can raise questions we hadn’t realised even needed asking." Thus, almost all writers of imaginary and non-fictive tales also do research because doing so helps them create a good story and/or achieve strong credibility as an academic.

The Internet provides people a convenient way to do research.
The Internet provides people a convenient way to do research.

4. A Way to Prove Lies and to Support Truths

Ever experienced feeling that your mate is having an affair behind your back? Some people would overlook that and say that it's better not to know; others though would take discreet action, hiring detectives to do the work. What does research have to do with that situation? A lot.

Doing research to reveal lies or truths involving personal affairs contributes in either making a relationship work or in breaking away from a dysfunctional one. For the monogamous lot, doing research to disprove or prove infidelity is not simply a trust issue, but a right to find out the truth - unless one's intimate partner has already admitted being polyamorous even before the relationship started. When a person dislikes answering relationship-related questions, including her or his whereabouts, it is better to see that as a red flag and take baby steps to save yourself from what could become a more serious emotional mess later.

Scientists also deal with research to test the validity and reliability of their claims or those of other scientists'. Their integrity and competence depend on the quality - and not just quantity - of their research. Nonetheless, not everything scientists come up with get accepted or learned by everyone, especially when factors like religion, state suppression, and access to resources and social services (e.g., education and adequate health programs) either feed the poor majority with lies or deter them from knowing truths to preserve the status quo.

Professional and credible journalists undertake thorough research to establish the veracity of their stories. The movie "Shattered Glass" shown in 2003 tells the rise-and-fall story of a real-life journalist who used to work for the long running The New Republic based in New York City. Sans investigative research done by fellow journalists, Stephen Glass could have written more fictitious pieces for said editorial magazine.

With the use of internet technology and social media, pseudo journalism has become a social concern. Fake news took center stage during the 2016 presidential campaign period in the United States. For instance, Snopes.com, a rumor research site, debunked the following "scoops" posted online:

  • An FBI agent believed to be responsible for the latest email leaks “pertinent to the investigation” into Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State, was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide... (Reported on November 5, 2016 by the Denver Guardian)
  • In a final speech to the synod, Pope Francis endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States... (Reported on October 26, 2015 by the National Report and USAToday.com.co)
  • Thousands of pre-marked ballots for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates were found in a warehouse in Ohio. (Reported on September 30, 2016 by the Christian Times Newspaper)
  • Assange: Bernie Sanders Was Threatened To Drop Out Of The Race (Reported on August 29, 2016 by USA Supreme)
  • News outlets around the world are reporting on the news that Pope Francis has made the unprecedented decision to endorse a US presidential candidate. His statement in support of Donald Trump... (Reported in July 2016 by the WTOE 5 News)
  • After Gay Club Massacre - Phoenix LGBT Officially Endorses Trump (Reported on June 13, 2016 by the Gateway Pundit)
  • African-American supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has died after allegedly sustaining gunshot wounds in the aftermath of Friday night's chaos in Chicago. (Reported on March 12, 2016 by the Christian Times Newspaper)

According to Pew Research, social media, especially Facebook, serve as the source of news for over 60 percent of adult Americans (Chang, Lefferman, Pedersen & Martz, 2016). Besides the platform, fake news have become profitable for pseudo journalists whose main goal is to attract reader clicks that lead to Google Adsense revenues.

Fact-checking to know the truth is integral to the process of research, for it is fueled by an inquisitive and critical mind. Murray, Social News and UGC Hub (2016) suggest that before news readers share information on social media, they need to assess the integrity of the news source and check for similar news on legitimate media outlets.

Genuine journalists do not rely on imagination for their news reports nor do they avoid doing research. They eschew propaganda and have no intention of misleading the public. They are messengers of truth, not lies.

Even with the Internet, reading books is still important to doing research.
Even with the Internet, reading books is still important to doing research. | Source

5. A Seed to Love Reading, Writing, Analyzing, and Sharing Valuable Information

Research entails both reading and writing. These two literacy functions help enable computation and comprehension. Without these skills, it is less likely for anyone to appreciate and get involved in research. Reading opens the mind to a vast horizon of knowledge, while writing helps a reader use her/his own perspective and transform this into a more concrete idea that s/he understands.

Apart from reading and writing, listening and speaking are also integral in conducting research. Interviews, attending knowledge-generating events, and casual talks with anyone certainly aid in formulating research topics. They can also facilitate the critical thinking process. Listening to experts discuss the merits of their studies helps the listener to analyze a certain issue and write about such analysis.

With the wide array of ideas available, scholars and non-scholars involved in research are able to share information with a larger audience. Some view this process as ego-boosting, while others see it as a means to stimulate interest and encourage further studies about certain issues or situations.

As literacy is integral in improving a person's social and economic mobility and in increasing awareness, research then hones necessary basic life skills and makes learning a life-long endeavor.

6. Nourishment and Exercise for the Mind

Curiosity may kill not just the cat, but the human as well. Yet, it is the same curiosity that fuels the mind to seek for answers. The College Admissions Partners (n.d.) notes how scientific research in particular "helps students develop critical reasoning skills...helpful for any field of higher education..." Such 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.

Indeed, research and doing research encourage people to explore possibilities, to understand existing issues, and to disclose truths and fabricated ones. Without research, technological advancement and other developments could have remained a fantasy. Reading, writing, observing, analyzing, and interacting with others facilitate an inquisitive mind's quest for knowledge and efficient learning. Research serves as an instrument to achieve that goal.

Think About This

Do you find research important?

See results

Ways to Improve Research Skills

Are you interested in further developing your ability to do research? There are several steps to do it.

One of the easiest ways to know more about research is to read hard copy and electronic books about it. If you do not have a computer with Internet connection, you can go to the library, a nearby bookstore, or ask a close friend or relative to lend you her/his smartphone or laptop so you could look for books or articles about research.

If you have access to the Internet, you can watch online tutorial videos on this topic. High school students can learn from this presentation, for instance:

Research Basics for High School Students by Journal Storage (JSTOR)

For those who intend to be full-fledged researchers, you might want to attend training-seminars, workshops, and conferences aimed at deepening your knowledge and honing your skills in doing research. These events are conducted by various organizations, particularly universities and "think tank" agencies. Use search engines to look for these opportunities, as well as for scholarships that could help you finance your participation in these activities.

You might also consider searching for reputable researchers in your field of interest, especially if you plan to pursue postgraduate studies. You could email an academic, a scientist, or another professional to inquire about their opinion on your thesis or dissertation topic. Having a research mentor can help you gain a broader understanding of what research is all about.

Another way is to watch films and read different kinds of books, fiction and otherwise. These sources can ignite your curiosity and drive you to seek more information. You might want to jot down notes about the topics discussed and/or what you've learned. You might wonder why this is part of the research process. Watching movies, reading books, and writing various stuff hone your comprehension and ability to analyze. These can improve your vocabulary and aid you in finding your voice as a researcher.

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    • profile image

      ssaul 6 years ago

      for me research is all about new discoveries and we all should welcome new discoveries because it can have a great influence on over next step in life

    • Leann Zarah profile image
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      Leann Zarah 6 years ago

      I agree with you, ssaul. Thanks for being the first one to read this hub. :)

    • sueroy333 profile image

      Susan Mills 6 years ago from Indiana

      Congratulations on your nomination! Research is an awesome thing. Knowledge even just for the sake of knowledge is a good thing. Usually within weeks of researching something random, I will find the knowledge comes in handy!

      Excellent article!

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 6 years ago

      Hi, Sueroy. Thanks for the kind words. I didn't expect the nomination actually. It's humbling, yet it's inspiring me to write more hubs in future. :)

      Education is very important to me and I impart the same value to my child. I hope kids like her will like research and appreciate the process and ultimate goal involved, i.e., knowledge.

      Again, THANK YOU. :D

    • profile image

      jsilva 6 years ago

      Great article! I agree, research isn't just a professional necessity, it's a wonderful way to keep your brain engaged! Congratulations on your nomination-well done!

    • profile image

      Zurwan 6 years ago

      Love it! ;p

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 6 years ago

      Thanks jsilva and Zurwan. :)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for this interesting read which I really enjoyed. I do a lot of research as I enjoy the new knowledge that I discover. In fact the discovery of stuff is always fascinating to me. And I just love reading, so it's no problem for me to research stuff - on the contrary, what is difficult is stopping the research and getting on with the writing!

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 6 years ago

      Hi, Tony.

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

      I agree with you. Research can be daunting too. Oftentimes, I find myself spending more time reading than writing. It's hard to think and organize thoughts based on researched materials. Plus, our adult minds can only absorb a little of what we've read. There's so much to learn, yet only a little is retained.

      Love and peace back at you. :)

    • saket71 profile image

      saket71 6 years ago from Delhi, India

      Agree with you. There are two reasons for writing the hubs, to feel better about the things as they are and to render understanding about changing the things from what they are to what they ought to be. Research is something which allow your readers to understand the points you are making in a better manner. At least that is what I do, I research to understand the subject better, and as a fall out to it, like making notes to what I read, I write the blog to share what I have learnt with others.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from North America

      Rate Up from a researcher, plus useful/awesome/beaytiful. Many thanks.

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 6 years ago

      Thanks, saket and Patty. :)

    • cceerpp profile image

      cceerpp 6 years ago from Ghana

      Beautiful view on Research. Rating you up.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hubnuggets Flash: This hub is a Hubnuggets nominee. We invite everyone to please read the nominated hubs and vote! You have the right to vote...hubbers and non hubbers alike! So what are you waiting for? Follow me right here: http://bit.ly/eb4vTx

      Also, participate in the Hubnuggets forum: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/65375#post1436321 See ya!

    • Leann Zarah profile image
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      Leann Zarah 6 years ago

      Thanks cceerpp and ripplemaker. :)

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      We are lucky these days that there are so many resources for research available to us online and off. I truly enjoyed my studying at the university and still live close enough to use their library every day. Great hub and congrats on the nomination.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Research is a great thing and so much has been learned through research of all types. Very good article. Congrats on your nomination.

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 6 years ago

      Thanks elayne001 and Pamela99. Hope that, like us, other readers of this hub will appreciate research and the process of doing it as well. :)

    • profile image

      Jeanette 1234 7 months ago

      All of this is true

    • profile image

      Iehl 7 months ago

      why do you think your personal reasons in conducting a research must be included?

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 7 months ago

      Thank you Jeanette 1234 and lehl for your time and your comments.

      With regard to your question lehl, I'm not sure if you didn't like that I included the "reality" that research is not only applicable to academic and work/professional settings, but if that's the case, I respect your opinion. I did not cite my personal circumstances though, but I gave an example as to how and why research helps address personal issues. Also, it is easier to complete a research project that is based on personal interests as opposed to one that a boss or an institution wants to accomplish.

    • profile image

      nampiima lillian 6 months ago

      very important to do research

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 6 months ago

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment, nampiima. :)

    • profile image

      karaba sarah 6 months ago

      thanks for the advice, further references and the information provided about research i have learnt alot thank you so much once again.

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 6 months ago

      You're welcome, karaba sarah, and thank you as well. :)

    • profile image

      Emilia Tulipamwe 4 months ago

      it is the way of shaping people's understanding about certain thing around the word.

      this also expand knowledge

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 4 months ago

      Thank you, Emilia.

    • profile image

      Jave Jowelle 4 months ago

      Thank you, Leann! Your article answered my question. By the way, when did you wrote this?

    • profile image

      CALEB DICKENS 4 months ago

      Great article, keep it up!

      i am always dull when i fail to find new ideas to issues. And your article has really actuated my interest in research-as u wrote" The lazy, if not mentally drained, student could say, "Not again."Research is really a good tool for knowledge absorption.

    • profile image

      Nagham 4 months ago

      thank you very much because i research about why and how we do conduct research and i think your advice is exactly what i need..thanks again

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 4 months ago

      @Jave, Caleb, and Nagham: Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. May you succeed in your research endeavors.

      I wrote this piece years ago, Jave. Around 2011, if I recall it right. Occasionally, I'd edit some lines. I'll probably add some info soon.

      May you continue to

    • profile image

      Joven Barsarsa 4 months ago

      By using intelligence test schools, students can be evaluated and given the correct amount of help that they need in school. For example, IQ test are given to place children in "gifted programs," by using these test these students are ensured that they will receive the best quality of learning at a pace that is just right for them. On the other hand, these test also let teachers and faculty know which students may need extra help in certain areas in school.

    • Leann Zarah profile image
      Author

      Leann Zarah 4 months ago

      Thank you, Joven.

      Yes, intelligence test scores can be used as research data to improve or reinforce a student's academic performance.

    • profile image

      Umar 2 weeks ago

      Very impressive.... Lovely collections of words...

    • profile image

      Jamila mboki charles 22 hours ago

      I do love research because it is very important especially to planners like me

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