What is the purpose of this thing called Research?

  • Find something out
  • Understand more
  • Validate knowledge
  • Solving problems
  • Proving/disproving something
  • Creating something new
  • Discovering patterns and trends
  • identify/understand problems
  • Inform Decisions and Actions

If we manage to push forward the boundaries of knowledge, such as a cure for cancer, we may be in line for a Nobel prize

However, Research can also result in a ‘joining of the dots’ between lots of pieces of known information.


Here is an example of a recent research project that I undertook when buying a new laptop

When buying my new laptop, I had a few ideas of what I wanted and what was important to me, the steps I followed were:

  • I decided my budget
  • I identified key factors that in the laptop design and specs that were important to me
  • I looked at various options available, particularly between Apple and windows PCs
  • I looked at various specs available for my budget, detailed information on components etc
  • I looked at specific laptops available in my budget, looked at reviews and feedback from other people
  • I spoke to a friend who knew more about current technology than me
  • I found a laptop that suited me
  • I looked at various stores that sold this model and compared prices
  • I selected a store from which to buy the laptop
  • I researched the store online and was convinced it was reputable
  • I called the store
  • I made the purchase
  • I prayed my laptop would arrive in the mail
  • The research paid off – I love my new laptop


Lets look at the three types of enquiry

critical – constantly the subject of questioning?  this is not a negative thing, we are just continually asking WHY, not accepting a fact until we are sure.

scientific – Using the western scientific process.  Using methods, comparisons, mathematical answers and statistics, we remove all emotion from the enquiry

systematic – Using the same process, scientific enquiry is by its nature a systematic approach, however systematic doesn’t have to be scientific, political polling is a type of systematic research, we use a set number of steps to come to a conclusion.