Imagine a world without the outcomes of research in any field. A world where researchers dedicated to their field and topics for research don’t exist. A world where researchers don’t find out ways to improve the quality of our lives, don’t find answers to peculiar questions and hence, don’t bring forth the understanding which we need to deal with ourselves and our environment better. Now this may not seem such a big issue, but imagine a day of your life, without any statistics or information about correlation, instruments, or even everyday things, which come as a result of research. without it, we can see that our lives tend to be a bit more distorted, and way more chaotic, than it is now, while humankind’s biggest achievements would be their mistakes, and not the outcome of their rigorous effort.
Now that the magnitude of importance of research is clearly established, let’s try and understand, what exactly is research. And to quote American sociologist Earl Robert Babbie, “Research is a systematic inquiry to describe, explain, predict and control the observed phenomenon.” To put it in simple words, research is the in depth study of a particular topic, using various scientific methodologies, according to the desired outcome of it. Research can be done in the fields of both the sciences: Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. In year 2016-2017, approximately 20 million students completed their undergrad but a small proportion of them opted for research further. Though the answer to why research is important may seem obvious, yet we find that majority of the students, don’t emphasis or opt for research. Not only is the study of research important for development but it is also important for a student’s college applications. Most of the foreign universities or colleges look for an applicant’s grasp on research, it’s methodology and its execution. Though research is reinforced in the final semester of the students, there is still a lack of enthusiasm for understanding research for what is and we find ourselves doing it just for the sake of doing.
Apart from being an added point in a student’s resume, research strongly acts as an efficient way of building knowledge and understanding and facilitating learning in active ways. Research helps us to find cure for diseases, to improve our understanding of human behaviour, to explore the outer space and so on and so forth. The very key of its importance lies in the fact that research, at its most basic level, helps to attain heaps of knowledge, which can be used for improving the quality of our lives. This expansion in the knowledge helps us clearly distinguish the facts from the faults. This pushes students as well as professionals to look beyond the conveniently available false information and go through with the process of fact checking. This inculcates the habit of choosing truth over convenience while investing in any process of data gathering and sharing.
One of the most evident uses of research is that it provides with easy to remember numbers and statistics which help us realize how grave a situation is. Research, apart from improving our knowledge, can help spread awareness about issues which are neglected or unknown. This is one of the major reasons why research and development is of utmost importance in the fields of social science. The researches help us be aware of the variations in human behaviour and thought process, all this while understanding the influence of the society and our environment on us. When this research is done on social issues, it’s important not to reduce individuals and their lives to facts and numbers. This is because researching about such issues need more of emotional intelligence to understand the subject you are trying to study and people related to it, and for this, qualitative research is done. This type of research doesn’t focus on the numbers, rather the reasons behind the issue. It is solely done to bring about the human element into the research, which is extensively important. In social sciences, we aren’t dealing with elements but rather people and their issues. Therefore, sensitivity is the key.
Another important reason to develop your skill in research is that research is important not only in the fields of natural and social sciences, but also in business. Many companies usually fund or even invest in research which is beneficial to their business adds to the economy of the country. Research and development helps the companies to have an edge over their competitors while understanding the wants and needs of their target groups. This helps them provide a better understanding of the market they exist in. The reference to previous researches similar to theirs would help them in doing so. The research results can be used to advertise the extent to which their product or service has been appreciated or has brought a significant change. We commonly turn a blind eye to the non-conventional uses of research, which aren’t pointed out in the mainstream understanding of it. One of them is the research used in books and movies, in order to provide a very realistic and relatable view of the existing world, incorporating the elements of their imaginations or their first hand life experiences.
To add to the end, research not only helps making one’s college applications look appealing or resumes appearing skilled but also works for the attainment of knowledge and information which further enables us to understand issues, or diseases or even explorations, and mould them in way that it causes the least harm to us. It helps us widen our knowledge about the world, and while attaining this knowledge, we must keep in mind that spreading factual information for research is ethical and righteous, as the information might be used by an extensive number of people for establishing their point of view of the world. Research deserves a higher emphasis, especially during the course of a student’s education to deepen his or her idea and understanding of the world.
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