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Research Skills

Research skills refer to the ability to search for, find, get, manage, evaluate and use relevant information to answer questions.


Booking a flight, choosing an online course, trying to find the ideal restaurant or hotel – these are all examples of research in daily life. The internet is a large part of our lives. Using Google, or other search engines, is a way of researching.

These skills aim to help you:

  • know how to plan a research topic
  • know how to do a research topic
  • know about different kinds of information
  • know how to search for information online and in print


Why Are Research Skills Important?

Research Skills allow people to identify a problem, collect information that can help address the problem, evaluate the information for quality and relevance and come up with an effective answer to the problem.

These skills not only prepare you to write better essays or research papers, but also teach you about the problem-solving skills required to tackle issues in everyday life.

Why do you need research skills?

► they allow you to find suitable information and evaluate it for quality and relevance

► they give you the ability to create and communicate your ideas

► they encourage critical thinking

► they are transferable in education, the workplace and beyond

SAGE Research Methods

This online resource supports research at all levels by providing material to guide users through every step of the research process. 

Useful Books

Success in academic writing / Trevor Day.
The study skills handbook / Stella Cottrell
The college writer brief : a guide to thinking, writing and researching / John Van Rys
How to write better essays / Bryan Greetham
Writing up Your University Assignments and Research Projects : A Practical Handbook
Critical thinking : your guide to effective argument, successful analysis & independent study / Tom Chatfield
Mastering Academic Writing
The Guide to Learning and Study Skills : For Higher Education and at Work