I see a lot of people on social media talking about how they’ve “done some research” and I am not sure they are taking that term seriously.
Did you decide what you wanted to prove and then go looking for things to prove it? That’s not research.
Did you spend a few minutes or even a few hours searching on google? That’s not research.
Did you accept what someone said without going to check their sources? That’s not research.
But did you have to convince people that the questions you were asking were “useful”? That might have been research.
Did you wonder if you were the only person in the world who really wanted to know the truth something? That was probably research.
Did you draw conclusions and then lose sleep wondering if you missed something and they might be wrong and someday someone would prove that? That is research.
Did you do one more experiment, one more chapter read, one more source checked just to be sure? That is research.
Did you sacrifice going to that concert, taking that afternoon at the beach, going to bed at a normal time just because you needed to be somewhere at sometime to learn something you didn’t know before now? That is research
Did you travel across the country to tell other people what you had found only to be mocked or told that what you had done was unimportant? (True story) That is research.
After all this, did you look at what you had done and think, “I’ve seen something true about this world that no one else has seen before?” That is research.
If all you did was spend some time on the internet to prove what you already believed to be true, odds are you’ve done the 21st century version of a middle school book report. That’s not research.