General Writing and Grammar Help/search - research #2

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to search something" and "to research something"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

By the way, is it "to search something" or "to search FOR something"?

As always, many, many thanks for your valuable help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to search something" and "to research
something"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

TO SEARCH SOMETHING -- If you ask me to "search something," you most likely will have in mind some source in mind -- such as a database or a library's online catalog.  You are asking me to search that resource or those resources for a particular item.

EXAMPLE:  Please search your library's collection to see if John Grisham's latest novel has been added.

TO RESEARCH SOMETHING -- The word "research" connotes a project that is more involved than just searching.  [Research = search again]

EXAMPLE:  I need help in RESEARCHING the various kinds of chemical warfare, and I do not know where to being.  Will you help me?

By the way, is it "to search something" or "to search FOR something"?

*** Both "to search something" or "to search FOR something" are correct, but it depends on how they are used.  TO SEARCH SOMETHING means that you have a particular source, such as a database, and you want to search for articles in that database.  TO SEARCH FOR SOMETHING is somewhat more general; you do not have a particular source in mind.  You do have a topic in mind, and you want to search FOR that topic in ANY available resource.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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