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October 1, 2023
Difference Between Inquiry and Research

What is the Difference Between Inquiry and Research

The main difference between inquiry and research is that inquires may be less formal and systematic than research studies and therefore easier to conduct.

Inquiry is the process of finding answers to questions and may involve different procedures, epically according to disciplines. Research, on the other hand, is the systematic and formal investigation and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

What is Inquiry

Inquiry can be described simply as the process of finding answers to questions. The main aim of an inquiry is to solve problems, resolve doubts, or augment knowledge. Different subjects or fields may have different types of inquiries. Inquiries in science subjects and inquires in arts subjects usually result in different products. For example, an inquiry in medicine is different from an inquiry in social science. However, regardless of these differences, the process of asking and finding answers to questions is similar in these fields. Furthermore, it provides a lens to explore the question.

Scholarly inquiries in different disciplines can result in products like presentations, papers, works of art, posters, field reports, etc. The most important element of inquiry is asking questions, exploring answers or solutions, tackling problems, and sharing the answers in the most fitting form.

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What is Research

Research is a careful study conducted using a systematic approach and scientific methods. A research study typically involves several components: abstract, introduction, literature review, research design and method, results and analysis, conclusion, bibliography. Researchers usually begin a formal research study with a hypothesis; then, they test this hypothesis rigorously. They also explore and analyze the literature already available on their research subject. This allows them to study the research subject from multiple perspectives, acknowledging different problems that need to be solved.

There are different types of research, the main two categories being quantitative research and qualitative research. There are also mixed type research studies that involve elements of both quantitative and qualitative research. Depending on their research method and design, we can also categorize research as descriptive research, exploratory research, longitudinal research, cross-sectional research, etc.

Furthermore, research should always be objective or unbiased. Moreover, if the research involves participants, for example, in surveys or interviews, the researcher should always make sure to obtain their written consent first.

Similarities Between Inquiry and Research

  • Both aim to augment knowledge.
  • Both inquiry and research may involve systematic studies.
  • Moreover, there can be an overlap between inquires and research studies.
  • Sometimes, inquiry into a problem may take the form of a research study.

Difference Between Inquiry and Research

Definition

Inquiry is the process of finding answers to questions, whereas research is the systematic and formal investigation and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

Nature

Research studies tend to be more systematic and formal than inquiries. Therefore, inquires may be easier to carry out than research studies.

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Aims

The main aim of an inquiry is to solve problems, resolve doubts, or augment knowledge, while the main aim of a research study may involve gathering new information or testing a theory.

Conclusion

In brief, an inquiry is a process of finding answers to questions and may involve different procedures, epically according to disciplines. Research, on the other hand, is the formal and systematic investigation and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. The main difference between inquiry and research is that inquires may be less formal and systematic than research studies and therefore easier to conduct.

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