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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.Therefore, it’s important to acknowledge them upfront and make note of how they restrict the conclusions you’ll be able to draw from your study.
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.
By choosing to focus your research on a particular problem or question, you are necessarily choosing not to examine other problems or questions.
Remember: You can’t answer all possible questions with one project.
Here, we will dive a bit deeper into the differences between limitations and delimitations and provide some helpful tips for addressing them in your research project—whether you are working on a quantitative or qualitative study. Defining Boundaries These concepts are easy to get confused because both limitations and delimitations restrict (or limit) the questions you’ll be able to answer with your study, most notably in terms of generalizability.
However, the biggest difference between limitations and delimitations is the degree of control you have over them—that is, how much they are based in conscious, intentional choices you made in designing your study.
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.
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.