Inquiry vs Research: Difference and Comparison

Inquiry and Research go hand in hand when it comes to the search for knowledge of the unknown; however, they do not mean the same thing and have some key differences.

They differ in their intent, purpose, organisational level as well as time spent conducting the search for knowledge.

Key Takeaways

  1. Inquiry is a general process of seeking information, knowledge, or truth through questioning, investigation, or exploration. At the same time, research is a more systematic and structured approach to gathering and analyzing data to draw conclusions or solve problems.
  2. Inquiry can be informal or formal and is the initial step in a learning process, while research involves a more rigorous methodology, following specific guidelines and procedures.
  3. Both inquiry and research are essential components of the learning process, with inquiry fostering curiosity and critical thinking and research ensuring the accuracy, reliability, and validity of findings.

Inquiry vs Research

The difference between Inquiry and Research is that Inquiry is the act of asking questions, whereas Research is the act of finding answers to one’s questions. Inquiry can thus be said to be just the beginning of the Research. They differ in their approach method and time spent to find the answer.

Inquiry vs Research

In the simplest of forms, an inquiry means a question that is asked, a request for information made either orally or in writing, addressed to a person or an organization.

It is a subset of the systems and methods used to manage a business, a branch of knowledge, or a discipline.

Research is the gathering of information and the organized analysis of facts in order to answer a question or to solve a problem. Research is an important part of the scientific method.

It is used to establish facts and to develop theories, either to describe the properties of things or to predict the behaviour of things under specific conditions.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonInquiryResearch
MeaningInquiry is the act of gathering information by asking questions.Research is the act of gathering, analyzing, experimenting, and deducting an answer for an inquiry. It is more in-depth in comparison to inquiry.
Who Asks QuestionsThe person who places an inquiry is called an inquirer.The person who does research is called a researcher.
ExperimentationExperimentation is not an essential part of the inquiry.Experimentation is an essential part of the Research.
Time RequiredInquiry takes less time and effort.Research is a long process and takes more effort as well.
ConclusionsInquiry is placed just to find a specific answer to a question.Research is done to deduct a conclusion like making a theory or law or publishing a new finding and so on.

What is Inquiry?

The noun inquiry refers to an act of investigating or researching. Most commonly, inquiry refers to a particular process of Research and investigation that may be either informal or formal and is undertaken to discover facts or reach a conclusion.

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Informally, inquiry can also refer to general curiosity or interest in a topic. The inquiry also refers to a formal investigation or process that is conducted to obtain information and results in a report.

The person asking the question is the inquirer. The inquirer can be an individual or a group. The goal is to understand the subject of inquiry more profoundly. The inquirer can request specific information from the subject of their inquiry.

In a business setting, inquiry refers to a type of advertisement that is conducted by a distributor. Most commonly, a distributor will send an inquiry to a business that produces a product similar to the one the distributor is selling.

A customer inquiry is a request for information from someone who has already purchased a product from you.

A “technical inquiry” is a request for information from someone for a product or service that you have been using and are facing an issue with. The question of inquiry is stated in the form of What? When? Where? Who? or Why?


What is Research?

Research is the act of investigating for information. It is a systematic investigation of a subject or field of study, a methodical inquiry.

Research involves observing, questioning, and searching in order to gain knowledge. It may involve collecting primary or secondary data through observation, interviews, and analysis of previously collected data.

Research is of two types: Primary and Secondary. Primary Research is original or new research, while secondary Research is information or ideas gathered from existing data or literature.

Primary Research is used to gather new data to solve a problem, make a report, or test a hypothesis. It consists of observation, interviews, and measurements of data sources, such as surveys and questionnaires.

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The question of the Research is mainly how? In order to do research, you need to be inquisitive and search for information.

Research can be done for the simplest of things, like Research for the best place to buy clothes from or to deduct important scientific theories and laws.

It is important in many different subjects, including biology, physics, math, American history, and human health. A major area of Research is in medicine, where researchers search for ways to cure diseases and help people recover from injuries.


Main Differences Between Inquiry and Research

  1. Inquiry or the curiosity to ask questions is the beginning of the Research.
  2. Inquiry means only asking questions to someone else concerned, whereas Research is the search for the answer by yourself.
  3. In comparison to inquiry, Research involves a more in-depth, organized process.
  4. Inquiry deals with obtaining information about a specific object or situation, whereas Research deals with obtaining information about a general subject.
  5. Inquiry is a term that can be used both as a noun and a verb, whereas Research is a verb. When you are inquiring about something, you are asking a question. When you research something, you are looking into something.
Inquiry vs Research – Difference Between Inquiry and Research

Last Updated : 26 July, 2023

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