Research is about exploring specific topics in a systematic way. People often think of universities as places of research, but many people, such as literacy and essential skills providers do research as part of their everyday work. Think about these scenarios. An adult educator reflects on a lesson she has just presented. She knows she could improve it next time around, so she reads some articles or books on the topic. People who collect the oral histories of elders are researching the cultural traditions of a specific group of people. A family literacy provider goes online to find the best age-appropriate activities for a family literacy event. Research provides us with important information about literacy and skill development that we can apply to our work situations to help us improve our practices.