Research Exercises: 10+ Practical Exercises To Hone & Improve Your Research Skills

The skill to research is something that everyone has. You don’t have to be super smart or special to carry out research. Even at home, school, or work, you must come across situations where you have to find the best information. This is called researching. It can help us find the best information that we can use to support our ideas or solve problems.

To become better at research, there are some things you can do. Here are some research exercises that can help you hone your research skills.

👉 Just getting started? See our overview guide on the Research process to get started!

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Research Exercises

Research Exercises: Part I

Do the following:

  • Go to the library. Spend an hour researching the history of your country.
  • Use the internet to search for the first-ever software engineer.
  • Choose any source you came across in 1 or 2. Try to find out as much as you can about the person who created that source.
  • Use the steps we discussed in this section to research any topic of your choice.

Research Exercises: Part II

  • Think about one current event in your story plot.
  • Go to a news website and search for information about it.
  • Read articles, watch videos, or listen to reports related to the topic.
  • Take notes and summarize the key points you learn in brief.
  • Think of ways that this current event could affect your character’s story.

Research Exercises: Part III

  • Go to your local newspaper. Spend an hour finding the most recent news stories related to crime, politics, or health.
  • Take a look at the sources of information used in each story and consider how that source has been used to inform the article.
  • Choose any source you came across in 1 or 2. Try to find out as much as you can about the person who created that source.
  • Using the steps we discussed in this section, use the information you have gathered to write a short article on one of the topics you researched.
  • Research the evolutionary history of technology use in your household.
  • Think about all the types of devices or programs you use on a daily basis and investigate how they were developed over time.
  • Take notes on any interesting facts or statistics you come across during your research.
  • Make sure to cite any sources used in your notes.

Research Exercises: Part IV

Do the following:

  • Identify a gap in technology that your country or region could benefit from.
  • Research current solutions to similar problems and compare them to what you propose.
  • Look for any potential challenges associated with introducing your solution and think of ways to address them.
  • Create an outline of the key points you want to make in your paper or presentation about the gap in technology and your proposed solution.
  • Make sure to include all relevant sources you used for your research.

Research Exercises: Part V

Do the following:

  • Choose a scene from your story.
  • Imagine the setting and describe it in detail, using as many senses as possible.
  • Research information about the location of the scene, such as its history, cultural background, and geography.
  • Think of ways to incorporate this research into your story.
  • Reflect on how researching this topic might influence your writing.
  • Think of ways to use the research in your story and explain how it can help you create a more vivid setting for your readers.

Research Exercises: Part VI

Do the following:

  • Search for recent articles or studies related to artificial intelligence.
  • Pay special attention to how AI is being applied in different contexts and industries.
  • Choose one article and read it closely, taking notes on any key insights or points of interest you come across.
  • Research the implications of the findings presented in your chosen article and look for potential areas of further exploration.
  • Outline the main ideas that you plan to discuss in your paper or presentation on artificial intelligence.
  • Make sure to include any sources used in your research.

Research Exercises: Part VII

Do the following:

  • Choose one of your characters from your story.
  • Research their background, personality traits, goals, and values.
  • Think about how their cultural background and upbringing might shape their thoughts and beliefs, as well as the way they interact with others.
  • Use books, articles, interviews, or videos to gain information about similar characters in real life.
  • Write down any interesting facts you find out about these characters and use them to inform your writing.
  • Reflect on how this research has affected your understanding of this character and the ways in which they might interact with other characters.
  • Think of how you can use the research to create a more realistic depiction of this character in your story.

Research Exercises: Part VIII

Do the following:

  • Conduct a survey of the current state of technology in your workplace.
  • Interview coworkers, colleagues, and supervisors to get their perspectives on how technology is used in the company.
  • Look at any existing data or reports related to the use of technology in the organization.
  • Analyze the results of your survey and research and come up with a few recommendations for how technology can be improved.
  • Create an outline of the key points you plan to include in your paper or presentation about the current state of technology and potential improvements.
  • Make sure to cite any sources used in your research.

Research Exercises: Part IX

Do the following:

  • Research the impact of social media on society.
  • Choose one aspect of this topic to focus on, such as its effect on voting behavior or its role in spreading misinformation.
  • Look for any studies or reports related to your chosen issue and take notes on the most important facts you come across.
  • Think about how different age groups use social media differently and research any potential implications of this.
  • Outline the main ideas that you plan to discuss in your paper or presentation on social media and its impact.
  • Cite all sources used in your research.

Research Exercises: Part X

Do the following:

  • Choose a person or thing that interests you and do some research. Find out details such as when and where they were born, their education, career history etc. Look for any articles, books, or websites that contain information about them.
  • Create a timeline of their life and achievements or create an infographic to illustrate the key points.
  • Try to be as creative as possible in your approach and don’t forget to cite all sources properly. Try using different mediums such as diagrams, charts, maps, etc., to present information.

Research Exercises: Part XI

Do the following:

  • Choose a controversial topic like “gun control” or “climate change” and research both sides of the issue.
  • Find articles, interviews, opinion pieces, and other sources from different authors and perspectives. Be sure to cross-check facts for accuracy.
  • Take notes on what you find and try to summarize the two sides of the argument in a concise way.
  • Finally, write an essay that explains each side of the debate and provide your own opinion on the issue. Be sure to cite all sources properly.

Research Exercises: Part XII

Do the following:

  • Find an interesting topic that hasn’t been covered much in the media or online such as “How does the current pandemic affect the mental health of teenagers?”
  • Research this topic and its related issues by visiting various websites, talking to experts in the field, or conducting surveys.
  • Gather data from as many sources as possible and do your own analysis to come up with new insights. Present your findings in a clear and readable format.
  • Finally, write a report on what you’ve learned and include any relevant sources. Make sure to cite them properly.
  • Make sure to submit your work for peer-review before you share it with others. Additionally, consider giving feedback or reviews of other people’s work in the field. This will help you become more informed and build your expertise.

Research Exercises: Part XIII

Do the following:

  • Go online and research the history of computer programming.
  • Look for information about the development, evolution, and impact of programming languages throughout time.
  • Choose a language feature that has been commonly used in modern programming and explore its roots.
  • Try to find out when it was first introduced and how it has evolved over time.
  • Write a brief summary of your findings.

👉 Interested in how to carry out research for essays, fiction, and nonfiction? Check out this guide

We hope these research exercises help you hone your research skills and become a better researcher.

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