When you engage in research, you build valuable critical skills that serve you in other areas of your daily life. You learn to ask probing and thoughtful questions, gather and interpret data, read critically, form intelligent opinions, and manage and understand conflicting information. In addition, when you write about your discoveries, your voice is then added to a scholarly community that you are now a part of.
Professors assign academic research papers to give you experience in
finding and understanding data and information
formulating informed opinions through the study of what you found researching
adding your voice to the academic conversation of other writers and scholars in your field
learning how others in your field use primary and secondary resources