Research isn't limited to published material that can be found on the Internet or at the library. Many topics you choose to write on may not have an abundance of sources and hence may require a different kind of approach to conducting research. This approach involves collecting information directly from the world around you and can include interviews, observations, and surveys; this is called primary research.
If you are working on writing about a problem local to your school or community, you may need to conduct primary research. You may be able to find secondary sources (such as those found at the library or online) on the more general topic you are pursuing, but may not find specifics on your school or town. To supplement this lack of sources, you can collect data on your own.
Many different types of primary research exist. Some common ones used for writing classes are listed below.
A conversation between two or more people in which one person (the interviewer) asks a series of questions to another person or persons (the interviewee).
Surveys and Questionnaires
A process of gathering specific information from people in a systematic way with a set series of questions. Survey questions usually have pre-specified or short responses.
Careful viewing and documenting of the world around you.