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Essential Research Skills for Workplace Writing

This tutorial is a basic introduction to doing effective and credible research for a variety of purposes and audiences

Learning Objective #1



Learn to describe the difference between the Search and Research. 

The Difference Between Searching and Researching

At Humber, we want you to become experts in your field of study. One of the ways you become an expert is to understand the spectrum (or range) of histories, voices, controversies and narratives in your field or industry. Research is really a long, connected conversation that goes on among experts. 

For example, to understand the health benefits of using standing desks in the workplace, an expert researcher will look at a number of studies on the subject. They may choose to investigate information from the fields of medicine and public health,  as well as occupational therapy; they might modify or change their research question as their knowledge of the topic develops.  In-depth knowledge and consideration of a given research topic is impossible to achieve with a few quick Google Searches! 

Research is not an easy 1-2-3. Real research takes time, effort and skill. Some people dedicate their entire lives to researching one single subject or question in an entire field of study. Just ask your professors about their own research process and interest! 


Knowing your topic well always requires good, critical, time-consuming (and dare we say exciting?) research. The video in this section, from McMaster Libraries, focuses on the difference between Searching and Researching. Do you know the difference between the two? Pay attention to this video to learn about the characteristics of the research process.