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Although limitations address the potential weaknesses of a study, writing about them towards the end of your paper actually strengthens your study by identifying any problems before researchers or reviewers find them.Furthermore, pointing out study limitations shows that you’ve considered the impact of research weakness thoroughly and have an in-depth understanding of your research topic.For example, you might realize that you should have addressed your survey questions from another viable perspective, or that you were not able to include an important question in the survey.
However, depending on the scope of your research topic, prior research studies that are relevant to your thesis might be limited.
When there is very little or no prior research on a specific topic, you may need to develop an entirely new research typology.
If time constraints negatively impacted your study in any way, acknowledge this impact by mentioning a need for a future study (e.g., a longitudinal study) to answer this research problem.
Researchers might be biased views due to their cultural backgrounds or perspectives of certain phenomena, and this can affect a study’s legitimacy.
But two main categories of limitations are those that result from the methodology and those that result from issues with the researcher(s).
Limitations due to methodological problems can be addressed by clearly and directly identifying the potential problem and suggesting ways in which this could have been addressed—and SHOULD be addressed in future studies.In spite of the impact it might have (and perhaps because of it) you should clearly acknowledge any limitations in your research paper in order to show readers—whether journal editors, other researchers, or the general public—that you are aware of these limitations and to explain how they affect the conclusions that can be drawn from the research.In this article, we provide some guidelines for writing about research limitations, show examples of some frequently seen limitations, and recommended techniques for presenting this information.When conducting a study, it is important to have a sufficient sample size in order to conclude a valid research result.The larger the sample, the more precise your results will be. Study limitations can exist due to constraints on research design or methodology, and these factors may impact the findings of your study.However, many researchers are reluctant to discuss the limitations of their study in their papers, feeling that bringing up limitations may undermine its research value in the eyes of readers and reviewers.If your sample size is too small, it will be difficult to identify significant relationships from the data.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.However, you might have had limited ability to gain access to the appropriate type or geographic scope of participants.In this case, the people who responded to your survey questions may not truly be a random sample.