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SCOPE &

LIMITATIONS
by: Gangoso,
Billones, & Guimbal
what is SCOPE?
Scope refers to how far the
research area has explored and
parameters in with the study will be
operating in.
The type of information to be included
in the scope of a research project
would include facts and theories
about the subject of the project.
The coverage of the study is in
terms of:
1. General purpose
2. Population or sample
3. Time or duration
4. Subject matters and topics
discussed
5. Area or locality
Example:

This investigation as conducted to


determine the status of the teaching of
science in the high schools of Province A
as perceived by the teachers and students
in science classes during the school year
1989-1990. The aspects looked into were
the qualifications of teachers, their
methods and strategies, facilities forms of
supervisory assistance, problems and
proposed solutions to the problems.
What Has Been Included...
General purpose: To determine the status
of the teaching of science.
Subject matter: The teaching of science
Topics (aspects) studied: Qualifications
of teachers, their methods and strategies,
facilities, form of supervisory assistance,
problems and proposed solutions to
problems
Population or sample: teachers and
students
Area or locality: High schools of Province
A
Time or duration: School year 1989-1990
what is
LIMITATION?
Limitations, also known as the
bounds, are influences that the researcher
cannot control. They are the
shortcomings, conditions or influences
that cannot be controlled by the researcher
that place restrictions on your methodology
and conclusions. Any limitations that might
influence the results should be mentioned.
delimitations
Delimitations are choices made by the
researcher which should be
mentioned.Theydescribe the boundaries that
you have set for the study.This is the place to
explain:
the things that you are not doing (and why you
have chosen not to do them).
the literature you will not review (and why not).
the population you are not studying (and why
not).
the methodological procedures you will not use
(and why you will not use them).
EXAMPLE:
Although the research has reached its aims,
there were some unavoidable limitations.
First, because of the time limit, this research
was conducted only on a small size of
population who were attending the Writing 3
course in their third semester at CTU.
Therefore, to generalize the results for larger
groups, the study should have involved more
participants at different levels. Second, the
students' overloaded work, to some extent,
might affect the result of the correlation
between the students' motivation in learning
When considering what
limitations there might be in your
investigation, be thorough.
Consider all of the following:

1. your analysis
2. the nature of self-reporting
3. the instruments you utilized
4. the sample
5. time constraints
to write in English and their
writing performance because
they were required to take part
in many studies at the same
time. Finally, the slow network
might discourage participants'
interests and motivation in
joining peer feedback activities.
IMPORTANCE of limitations
Always acknowledge a study's
limitations.
It is far better for you to identify and
acknowledge your study's limitations
than to have them pointed out by your
professor and be graded down because
you appear to have ignored them.

Keep in mind that acknowledgement


of a study's limitations is an
opportunity to make suggestions for
further research.
Claming limitations is a subjective
process because you must evaluate
the impact of those limitations.
Don't just list key weaknesses and the
magnitude of a study's limitattions.
Limitations require a critical, overall
appraisal and interpretation of their
impact. You should answer the question:
do these problem with errors, methods,
validity, etc. eventually matter and, if
so, to what extent?
Descriptions of possible limitations

All studies have limitations.


However, it is important that you
restrict your discussion to
limitations related to the research
problem under investigation.
* Do not apologize for not
addressing issues that you didn't
promise to investigate in your paper.
possible methodological limitations

Sample size - the number of the units


of analysis you use in your study is
dictated by the type of research
problem you are investigating.
Lack of available and/or reliable
data - lack of reliable data will likely
require you to limit the scope of your
analysis, the size of your sample, or it
can be a significant obstacle in finding
a trend and a meaningful relationship.
Lack of prior research studies on the
topic - citing prior research studies forms
the basis of your literature review and
helps lay a foundation for understanding
the research problem you're investigating.
Measure used to collect the data -
sometimes, after completing your
interpretation of the findings, you
discover that the way you gatherd data
inhibited your ability to conduct a
thorough analysis of the results.
Self-reported data - whether
you are relying on pre-existing
self-reported data or you are
conducting a qualitative research
study and gathering the data
yourself, self-reported data is
limited by the fact that it rarely
can be independently verified.
possible limitations of the researcher

Longitudinal effects - Be sure to choose


a topic that does not require an excessive
amount of time to complete the literature
review, apply the methodology, and
gather and interpret the results.
Cultural and other type of bias - Note
that if you detect bias in a prior research,
it must be acknowledged and measures
taken should be explained to avoid
perpetuating bias.
Bias - when a person, place, or thing is viewed or
shown in a consistently inaccurate way.
Access - if study depends on access to
people, organizations, or for whatever
reason, access is denied or limited, it
needs to be described.
Fluency in a language - if your research
focuses on measuring the perceived
value of after-school tutoring among
Mexican-American ESL students, and
you're not fluent in Spanish, you're
limited in being able to read and interpret
Spanish language research studies. This
deficiency should be acknowledged.
when discussing limitations, be
sure to...
Describe each limitation in detailed but
concise terms.
Explain why each limitation exists.
Provide the reasons why each limitation
couldn't be overcome using the
method/s chosen to gather the data.
Assess the impact of each limitation in
relation to the overall findings and
conclusions.
If appropriate, describe how these
limitations could point to the need of
further research.
Writing tips
Don't inflate the importance of
your findings!
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
in an attempt to hide its flaws is a big
turn off to your readers.
Negative results are not a limitation!
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 or you stumbled
onto something unexpected that warrants
further study. Don't fall into the trap of
thinking that results contrary to what you
expected is a limitation to your study.
Sample size limitations in qualitative
research

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
purposive sampling strategy employed.
Remember

Stating the study limitations not


only provides extra credence to
the study but provides the
reader caution not to expect
beyond what the study can and
promises to deliver, not
withstanding certain constraints.