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What is Research?


To look for something again

Etymology of ‘Research’ –

“The word research is derived from the French recherche, from rechercher, to search closely where “chercher” means “to look for” or “to search”.” (Wikipedia)

“Scientific Inquiry” (1630s) (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Research is a process  ‘of not knowing that you don’t know becoming not knowing that you know’, (see the image from Atherton below):

Atherton J S (2011) Doceo; Knowing and not knowing [On-line: UK] retrieved 29 July 2011 from

(I don’t mind not knowing, but I can’t stand not learning. Teaching is the best way of learning as it shows that you know what you’re expressing. Research is a way to compile your learning, through teaching, and re-learning. In other words, research is looking for the answer to a question that hasn’t been asked yet. When you find it, you won’t even remember when you asked the question!)

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  1. Clare permalink
    02/08/2011 10:40 am

    I really like this diagram – I think the ideas originally come from NeuroLinguistic Programming. It has reminded me to use the ideas in class today 🙂 thanks!

    • 03/08/2011 10:37 pm

      Thanks Clare. I like Neuro-Linguistic Programming – I didn’t realise the diagram came from that! Even better 🙂

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