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Continuing with the previous example, for instance, let’s suppose that the problem you are most interested in addressing is the fact that we know relatively little about elementary school teachers’ experiences of implementing a new curriculum.Perhaps you believe that knowing more about teachers’ experiences could inform their training or help administrators know more about how to support their teachers.Furthermore, you probably won’t be talking to elementary school teachers who have not yet had the experience of implementing the curriculum in question.
These other questions may be interesting and important, but, again, they are .
Common Examples of Limitations While each study will have its own unique set of limitations, some limitations are more common in quantitative research, and others are more common in qualitative research.
As interesting as their experiences might be, you can save these questions for another study.
That is the part of the beauty of research: there will always be more studies to do, more questions to ask.
You don’t have to (and can’t) do it all in one project.
Similarly, the focus of the research problem itself (and the associated research questions) is another common source of delimitations.If you’re wondering what the difference between these two terms is, don’t worry—you’re not alone!In a previous article , we covered what goes into the limitations, delimitations, and assumptions sections of your thesis or dissertation.While this may seem obvious, it’s worth acknowledging.There may be other related problems or questions that are equally worthy of study, but you must choose which one(s) you are and which ones you are not looking into with your project.You might think that would be a very interesting question, but it will have to wait for another study.In narrowing the focus of your research questions, you limit your ability to answer other questions, and again, that’s ok.Limitations may include things such as participant drop-out, a sample that isn’t entirely representative of the desired population, violations to the assumptions of parametric analysis (e.g., normality, homogeneity of variance), the limits of self-report, or the absence of reliability and validity data for some of your survey measures.Some limitations are inherent to your research design itself.If you are working on a thesis, dissertation, or other formal research project, chances are your advisor or committee will ask you to address the delimitations of your study.When faced with this request, many students respond with a puzzled look and then go on to address what are actually the study’s limitations.