It is important to narrow down your thesis topic and limit the scope of your study. The researcher should inform the reader about limits or coverage of the study. The scope identifies the boundaries of the study in term of subjects, objectives, facilities, area, time frame, and the issues to which the research is focused.
Sample phrases that help express the scope of the study:
The coverage of this study……….
The study consists of ……..
The study covers the ……….
This study is focus on……..
The delimitation of the study is delimiting a study by geographic location, age, sex, population traits, population size, or other similar considerations. Delimitation is used to make study better and more feasible and not just for the interest of the researcher. It also identifies the constraints or weaknesses of your study which are not within the control of the researcher.
Sample phrases that expressed the delimitations of the study
The study does not cover the……
The researcher limited this research to……
This study is limited to………
delimitation of the studyscope of the study
Important achievements in life are always surrounded by difficulties. As you progress in your research, you are expected to face lots of them? It is important to state them in your research? How to state them? Where? And are they the same as delimitations?
State the study delimitations and limitations
Delimitations and limitations clarify the boundaries, exceptions, and reservations inherent in every study. The two concepts are different in that:
- Delimitations aim to narrow the scope of a study. For example, the scope may focus on specific variables, specific participants, specific sites, or narrowed to one type of research design (e.g., ethnography or experimental research).
- Limitations, however, aim to identify potential weaknesses of the study. For example, all statistical procedures and research strategies, such as surveys or grounded theory studies have limitations. In introductory discussions about these strategies, authors typically mention both their strengths and their weaknesses.
Where do delimitations and limitations placed?
In proposals, authors may include them in a separate section. They also may separate them into two subsections, one on delimitations and the other on limitations. Doctoral and master’s committees vary in the extent to which they require these sections to be included in proposals.
However, in journal articles, researchers incorporate delimitations into the methodology section, and they write limitations into the final section of their studies.
Examples of delimitations and limitations
Initially, this study will confine itself to interviewing and observing the psychiatric staff nurse in a Midwest private psychiatric hospital.
The purposive sampling procedure decreases the generalizability of findings. This study will not be generalizable to all areas of nursing.
In this qualitative study, the findings could be subject to other interpretations.
Creswell, J.W. (2012). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research, 4th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.