Skip Navigation
Skip to Menu Toggle Button
Online Guide to Writing and Research

The Research Process

The Nature of Research

What is “research”?

Your friend mentions that they just knitted a sweater and you have always wanted to learn how to knit.  What could you do now? You could watch a video on YouTube, look for knitting books at your local library, or ask your friend who can knit how to start.  What you are actively doing here is “researching” the topic of knitting and learning more about it.  We do this in our everyday lives, and we also do this when writing a paper for our academic coursework.   

Simply put, research is information gathering about something that’s new to you.  We research every day, utilizing the internet for most of our research gathering, whether personal or academic. 

Academic research is information gathering under parameters specified by your coursework and assignment instructions.  For instance, if you are a political science major and you need to write a research paper about the similarities and differences between socialism and capitalism, you would then perform research to learn more about these terms and your final product (your paper) will join the scholarly community when completed.   

Mailing Address: 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. © 2022 UMGC.
All links to external sites were verified at the time of publication. UMGC is not responsible for the validity or integrity of information located at external sites.

Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing