Research is a process of investigation. An examination of a subject from different points of view. It’s not just a trip to the library to pick up a stack of materials, or choosing the first five hits from a Google search. Research is a hunt for quality information. It is getting to know a subject by reading up on it, reflecting, and playing with ideas.
The key to genuine research is a good research question that addresses a problem calling for analysis. Answering a research question requires that you use information, that is, data as a tool and not as a goal.
Data as a Goal is simply finding everything you can about a topic and explaining what you read.
Data as a tool is finding out the basics about your topic, identifying a problem or issue related to that topic, and then trying to solve the problem or issue.
Typical Steps in the Research Process