Difference Between Inquiry & Investigation

Inquiry vs Investigation

Various methods exist for acquiring knowledge, such as collecting facts, conducting experiments, and utilizing inquiry and investigation. These tools help uncover facts and evidence, whether in pursuit of knowledge or obtaining justice for crime victims. While inquiry and investigation are similar terms often used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. This article will explore the subtle differences between these two words.


Inquiry refers to a process initiated with the purpose of resolving doubts, increasing knowledge, or finding solutions to problems. Often, authorities will establish inquiry committees to examine charges of irregularities against an officer. The committee conducts inquiries using tools such as interviewing people, reviewing documents, and questioning the accused. Inquiries are often conducted in matters of public interest. The word “inquiry” is derived from “inquire,” which means to ask questions to clear doubts and enhance knowledge.


Investigation is a more formal method of examining facts and uncovering the truth. The word “investigation” often brings to mind private investigators tasked with solving mysteries. These investigators uncover the truth by analyzing facts and piecing together parts of a puzzle. Investigation involves a systematic examination of facts to reveal the truth.

Key Takeaways

  • Inquiry and investigation are similar, but not synonymous terms
  • Investigation can be part of an inquiry, while inquiry can be part of a larger investigation
  • Investigation is typically more cumbersome and lengthy than an inquiry, but both aim to uncover the truth
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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