What is it that you want to achieve? What are the main questions that you are looking to answer? What predictions can you make? Literature Review The literature review gives you the opportunity to make a really good argument for the importance of your research, and connect it to similar research, or present it as an extension to other existing studies. You will need to list the most important sources that you have consulted thus far in your research, and how they helped you to guide your own research.
If you can, placing your work alongside others to show how it further elaborates or contributes to the more general field will show that you have adequately prepared for your proposal. There is potential to include any flaws that you may have identified within this existing work, and how you will avoid this in your own dissertation.
Only include sources that you can show will add value to your work. Limitations Part of writing an effective and informative piece of research is recognising the limits that are imposed upon your ability to explore and present your findings. Some limitations may refer directly to the word count, explaining that there are further issues that you will not have a chance to or space to address.
Completing this section clearly shows that you have engaged with your subject matter and are familiar with the wider concepts relating to your topic. Ethical Considerations Are there any ethical concerns relating to your research?
More information on ethics can be found in the following section below. Timeframe Often, dissertation proposals will include an estimated timeframe for the delivery of work to their supervisor. This may be on a chapter-by-chapter basis, or you may begin with the actual research, so that you are able to perfect this part before moving on to writing about it.
Make sure that you are realistic, and allow some time for your initial research before jumping straight in to getting words on the page. After having identified the limitations of previous studies in this field, I have worked on producing a methodology that will avoid these same pitfalls, and predict that the research will portray a strong enough relationship between the two factors to encourage further scholarship.
It does not matter how ground-breaking your findings are, they can be seriously undermined if you have not allowed room for ethical considerations within your planning, preparation, and research phases. Although this might sound complicated, once you begin to go over the basics, and continue to repeat the process for each of the studies you incorporate into your work, it will soon become second nature.
Powerpoint Presentation. Structure and Writing Style Information about the limitations of your study are generally placed either at the beginning of the discussion section of your paper so the reader knows and understands the limitations before reading the rest of your analysis of the findings, or, the limitations are outlined at the conclusion of the discussion section as an acknowledgement of the need for further study.
Statements about a study's limitations should not be buried in the body [middle] of the discussion section unless a limitation is specific to something covered in that part of the paper. If this is the case, though, the limitation should be reiterated at the conclusion of the section.
If you determine that your study is seriously flawed due to important limitations, such as, an inability to acquire critical data, consider reframing it as an exploratory study intended to lay the groundwork for a more complete research study in the future. Be sure, though, to specifically explain the ways that these flaws can be successfully overcome in a new study. But, do not use this as an excuse for not developing a thorough research paper! Review the tab in this guide for developing a research topic.
If serious limitations exist, it generally indicates a likelihood that your research problem is too narrowly defined or that the issue or event under study is too recent and, thus, very little research has been written about it. If serious limitations do emerge, consult with your professor about possible ways to overcome them or how to revise your study. When discussing the limitations of your research, be sure to: Describe each limitation in detailed but concise terms; Explain why each limitation exists; Provide the reasons why each limitation could not be overcome using the method s chosen to acquire or gather the data [cite to other studies that had similar problems when possible]; Assess the impact of each limitation in relation to the overall findings and conclusions of your study; and, If appropriate, describe how these limitations could point to the need for further research.
Remember that the method you chose may be the source of a significant limitation that has emerged during your interpretation of the results [for example, you didn't interview a group of people that you later wish you had].
If this is the case, don't panic. Acknowledge it, and explain how applying a different or more robust methodology might address the research problem more effectively in a future study. A underlying goal of scholarly research is not only to show what works, but to demonstrate what doesn't work or what needs further clarification. January 24, Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Purdue University. We all want our academic work to be viewed as excellent and worthy of a good grade, but it is important that you understand and openly acknowledge the limitations of your study.
Inflating the importance of your study's findings could be perceived by your readers as an attempt hide its flaws or encourage a biased interpretation of the results. A small measure of humility goes a long way! Negative evidence refers to findings that unexpectedly challenge rather than support your hypothesis. If you didn't get the results you anticipated, it may mean your hypothesis was incorrect and needs to be reformulated. Or, perhaps you have stumbled onto something unexpected that warrants further study.
Moreover, the absence of an effect may be very telling in many situations, particularly in experimental research designs. In any case, your results may very well be of importance to others even though they did not support your hypothesis. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that results contrary to what you expected is a limitation to your study. If you carried out the research well, they are simply your results and only require additional interpretation. Lewis, George H. Yet Another Writing Tip Sample Size Limitations in Qualitative Research Sample sizes are typically smaller in qualitative research because, as the study goes on, acquiring more data does not necessarily lead to more information.
Timing of Study Are you investigating a phenomenon long after it happened? Did you collect your data in a period that was not exactly suitable for respondents for some specific reason? All of these are examples of how timing might represent a strong limitation for studies. Financial Resources Money is always a problem at least for me.
If it is not for you, we should be friends! Sometimes we need it to purchase the necessary equipment for a study, to hire people for data collection, to purchase a specific statistical software or to simply reward participants with products or giveaways for having participated in the study.
When financial resources are scarce, all of these possibilities are compromised. Consequently, such limitations might be reflected in the results of the study. Access to Literature In the majority of cases, studies start when researchers identify gaps in the literature and try to address them. What may seem as a research gap might be a huge misconception simply because the person did not have access to a larger range of scientific literature.
Thus, access to literature can also be a limitation. Age of Data If your study is based on secondary data, pay extra care to the age of the data. Making current assumptions based on old data represents a strong limitation. Once you are done thinking and considering the limitations of your work, a simple question may arise: Where in my thesis should I include such limitations? Please note: there is no specific format to this and it may vary from supervisor to supervisor, and sometimes certain universities may have their own guidelines.
And why? Because as mentioned above, the limitations may be due to any section of your work. Got it? Now go ahead and be honest with the limitations of your work! Reviewers will be positively impressed! Feel absolutely free to discuss them with your supervisor or other academics.
Each one tends to have their own style and expectations. Hope these tips have been useful for you and wish you all the best!
You can include this point as a limitation of your research regardless of the choice of the research area. It is also important for you to explain how these limitations have impacted your research findings. For example, we know that when adopting a quantitative research design, a failure to use a probability sampling technique significantly limits our ability to make broader generalisations from our results i. Or have they been used effectively in similar studies previously? This should significantly strengthen the quality of your Research Limitations section. Determining adequate sample size in qualitative research is ultimately a matter of judgment and experience in evaluating the quality of the information collected against the uses to which it will be applied and the particular research method and purposeful sampling strategy employed.
Inflating the importance of your study's findings could be perceived by your readers as an attempt hide its flaws or encourage a biased interpretation of the results. For example, you regret not including a specific question in a survey that, in retrospect, could have helped address a particular issue that emerged later in the study. Or, perhaps you have stumbled onto something unexpected that warrants further study. More information on ethics can be found in the following section below. Normally, statistical tests require a larger sample size to ensure that the sample is considered representative of a population and that the statistical result can be generalized to a larger population. This is because one occurrence of a piece of data, or a code, is all that is necessary to ensure that it becomes part of the analysis framework.
Limited access to data If your research involved surveying certain people or organizations, you might have faced the problem of having limited access to these respondents. This is because it prevents you from making generalisations about the population you are studying e. We suggest that you divide your limitations section into three steps: 1 identify the limitations; 2 explain how they impact your study; and 3 propose a direction for future studies and present alternatives.