Inquiry vs. Research: What's the Difference?
Inquiry is a process of seeking information, knowledge, or truth, while research is a systematic investigation to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
Inquiry and research are pivotal elements in the acquisition of knowledge, but they operate on different levels. Inquiry is fundamentally the act of asking questions or seeking information, knowledge, or truth. It is the starting point of learning and can be informal and spontaneous. Inquiry is driven by curiosity and the desire to know or understand something, making it an integral part of learning processes in everyday situations.
Research, on the other hand, is a more formal, systematic, and intensive process of investigation with the aim of discovering, interpreting, or revising facts or knowledge. It involves a structured methodology that includes hypothesis formation, data collection, analysis, and conclusion drawing. Research is often more thorough and rigorous, aiming to contribute to the body of knowledge in a specific field or subject matter.
The scope and depth of inquiry and research differ significantly. An inquiry can be a simple question that sparks exploration and search for answers, while research typically involves a deeper, more comprehensive examination of a subject or problem. Inquiry is broader and can lead to research, as the quest for knowledge may uncover areas that require in-depth study and analysis.
While inquiry is versatile and occurs in everyday contexts, research is usually associated with academic, scientific, or professional fields. Research is grounded in existing knowledge and seeks to build upon it, often aiming to solve problems, test theories, or develop new ideas or innovations. Both inquiry and research are integral to the advancement of knowledge, serving as tools for learning, discovery, and innovation.
Act of asking questions or seeking information or truth.
Systematic investigation to establish facts or knowledge.
Can be informal and spontaneous.
More formal, structured, and intensive.
Scope and Depth
Broader, can be simple and not in-depth.
Comprehensive and in-depth.
Occurs in everyday contexts.
Usually associated with academic, scientific fields.
Contribution to Knowledge
Sparks exploration and search for answers.
Contributes to the body of knowledge in specific fields.
Inquiry and Research Definitions
An exploration or examination to learn and understand.
Through inquiry, the children learned about the lifecycle of a butterfly.
An organized study to examine, test, and draw conclusions.
The research concluded that the new medicine was effective against the virus.
A formal investigation to discover facts.
The inquiry into the company’s practices revealed several irregularities.
A thorough investigation to prove or disprove a hypothesis.
Her research disproved the prevailing theory about the chemical reaction.
A process of seeking information or knowledge.
The student’s inquiry into the historical event unveiled various perspectives.
A systematic investigation to establish facts or gather information.
His research on renewable energy provided insights into sustainable practices.
A quest or pursuit of truth or knowledge.
Her inquiry into ancient civilizations fueled her passion for archaeology.
An exploration and collection of data to solve problems or develop innovations.
Market research revealed a demand for eco-friendly products.
The act of inquiring
Engaged in scientific inquiry.
Careful study of a given subject, field, or problem, undertaken to discover facts or principles.
A question; a query
There were many inquiries about the new tax rates.
An act or period of such study
Her researches of medieval parish records.
A close examination of a matter
A Congressional inquiry into the scandal.
To engage in or perform research.
The act of inquiring; a seeking of information by asking questions; interrogation; a question or questioning.
To study (something) thoroughly so as to present in a detailed, accurate manner
Researching the effects of acid rain.
Search for truth, information, or knowledge; examination of facts or principles; research; investigation
To do research for
Research a magazine article.
The act of inquiring; a seeking for information by asking questions; interrogation; a question or questioning.
He could no path nor track of foot descry,Nor by inquiry learn, nor guess by aim.
The men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate.
Diligent inquiry or examination to seek or revise facts, principles, theories, applications, etc.; laborious or continued search after truth.
The research station that houses Wang and his team is outside Lijiang, a city of about 1.2 million people. File:The research station that houses Wang and his team is outside Lijiang.ogg
Search for truth, information, or knowledge; examination into facts or principles; research; investigation; as, physical inquiries.
All that is wanting to the perfection of this art will undoubtedly be found, if able men . . . will make inquiry into it.
A particular instance or piece of research.
A search for knowledge;
Their pottery deserves more research than it has received
(transitive) To search or examine with continued care; to seek diligently.
An instance of questioning;
There was a question about my training
We made inquiries of all those who were present
(intransitive) To make an extensive investigation into.
A systematic investigation of a matter of public interest
(transitive) To search again.
An act of asking questions to gather information.
His inquiry about the procedure clarified the steps involved.
Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a topic in the library; medical research.
The dearest interests of parties have frequently been staked on the results of the researches of antiquaries.
Systematic observation of phenomena for the purpose of learning new facts or testing the application of theories to known facts; - also called scientific research. This is the research part of the phrase "research and development" (R&D).
To search or examine with continued care; to seek diligently.
Systematic investigation to establish facts
A search for knowledge;
Their pottery deserves more research than it has received
Attempt to find out in a systematically and scientific manner;
The student researched the history of that word
A detailed examination and analysis to discover new knowledge.
The anthropologist’s research shed light on undiscovered tribal customs.
Is research formal and structured?
Yes, research is typically more formal, structured, and involves a systematic methodology.
Is an inquiry the same as research?
No, inquiry is seeking information or truth, while research is a systematic investigation to establish facts.
Can inquiry lead to research?
Yes, inquiry can uncover areas that require in-depth study, leading to research.
Does research contribute to knowledge in specific fields?
Yes, research aims to contribute to the body of knowledge in specific fields or subject matter.
Can an inquiry be informal?
Yes, inquiries can be informal and spontaneous.
Can inquiry occur in everyday contexts?
Yes, inquiry is versatile and occurs in everyday situations.
Can an inquiry be a formal investigation?
Yes, some inquiries can be formal investigations to discover facts.
Is research associated with academic and scientific fields?
Yes, research is often associated with academic, scientific, or professional fields.
Is an inquiry broad in scope?
Yes, an inquiry can be broad and not necessarily in-depth.
Is an inquiry a quest for knowledge?
Yes, inquiry is a quest or pursuit of knowledge or truth.
Can research test theories?
Yes, research can be conducted to test or develop theories.
Does research involve data analysis?
Yes, research typically involves data collection and analysis to draw conclusions.
Is research more in-depth than inquiry?
Yes, research is usually more comprehensive and in-depth compared to inquiry.
Does research require a hypothesis?
Often, research involves forming and testing a hypothesis, but some research may be exploratory without a clear hypothesis.
Does inquiry involve asking questions?
Yes, inquiry involves asking questions to gather information or understand a subject.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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