The purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the application of scientific procedures. The main aim of research is to find out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered as yet.
Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. Once can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation.
Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical sense. Research comprises defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis. Research is an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement. It is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and experiment. In short, the search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is research.
The systematic approach concerning generalization and the formulation of a theory is also research. As such the term â€˜researchâ€™ refers to the systematic method consisting of enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting the facts or data, analyzing the facts and reaching certain conclusions either in the form of solutions(s) towards the concerned problem or in certain generalizations for some theoretical formulation.
What makes people to undertake research? This is a question of fundamental importance. The possible motives for doing research may be either one or more of the following:
- Desire to get a research degree along with its consequential benefits.
- Desire to face the challenge in solving the unsolved problems, i.e., concern over practical problems initiates research.
- Desire to get intellectual joy of doing some creative work.
- Desire to be of service to society.
- Desire to get respectability.
However, this is not an exhaustive list of factors motivating people to undertake research studies. Many more factors such as directives of government, employment conditions, curiosity about new things, desire to understand causal relationships, social thinking and awakening, and the like may as well motivate (or at times compel) people to perform research operations.