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Information Literacy In Real Life (IL IRL)

Real-Life Research Skills

In college, you are going to be asked to do research in a few of your classes. You’ll have to choose a topic, find sources, write a paper or prepare a presentation, and cite your sources. You may be wondering why you need to write so many research papers or do presentations in your different classes; most jobs aren't going to ask you to write a formal research paper once you've graduated from SCC.

While you probably won’t be writing formal research papers, like you do in college, once you get a job after graduation, you will most likely still need to do research as part of your job. Research is going to look different depending on the job you have, but you will still need to decide what to research, look up credible sources, prepare to explain your research to others, and cite where you found your sources. Some examples of research on the job could be:

  • Researching new software to purchase for your company and presenting your supervisor with recommendations for the best one to buy.
  • Looking up and implementing new techniques for fixing a car.
  • Researching new methods and strategies for teaching elementary school students about science.

The research skills you learn at SCC can prepare you to do research on any of those topics!

You will probably also use the research skills you learn in college in your life outside of school or work. Some examples of times you may do real-life research:

  • Buying a car or a house.
  • Looking up information to see which candidate you want to vote for.
  • Looking up information regarding your health to discuss with a medical professional.

Check out the image below to see how you would follow the same steps in writing a research paper as you would if you were buying a car.

A flow chart comparing how doing a research paper is like buying a car.

A plain-text version of this image may be found here.