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LIB 151 Week 7 Module: Ways of Knowing (Spring 2021)

Created by Carolyn Caffrey Gardner and adapted by Tessa Withorn with permission at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

What is research?

Your research process probably differs depending on the context or situation, but it usually involves inquiry, or asking questions. Think back to our Week 1 module about information seeking behaviors. In everyday life, you might search for answers to questions with clear answers like "How do I get a passport?" or "What restaurants near me are open late?" The purpose of your research is to find an answer to your question or a solution to a problem. 

Asking questions is also an important part of academic research, but these questions are constantly evolving in an iterative and discipline-specific process. The primary goal of academic research is to create or discover new knowledge, and what your research process looks like will also depend on your major, program, discipline, or field of study. 

This short video provides a good introduction to how we conceptualize research as inquiry at the college level.