Research project is an academic exercise that students undergo at the final year in the university. It is a show of many years of knowledge and ability gained in all the years spent in the university. It is a way of test-running what has been put in place. In the process of project writing, it is expected follow the format approved by either the school or the department. In all the format of project writing, there is always limitation of the study. Students are expected to identify the limitations of the study in the course of their study for there is no research without some limitations that may have obstructed the researchers’ research horizon. For example in terms of population, the researcher may not be able to get to the number of population he wants to and this could pose as a challenge to the whole research process. However, in the process of research writing, it is very important that you restrict your discussion to limitations that are related to the research problem under investigation. Most students however, make the mistake of not clearly stating their limitation of the study in the project and this may look as though they purposely ignored them which will grade down the whole research process by your supervisor. Students must understand that acknowledging the limitation of the study of their research is an opportunity to demonstrate to their audience and readers that they have thought about the research problem, understood the relevant literature published about it, and correctly assessed the methods chosen for studying the problem.
Therefore, the key objective of every research is not just about discovering new knowledge but also to confront assumptions and explore what we don’t know.
THE ACT OF PROJECT WRITING
The act of project writing entails more than just coming up with findings of the research but much more which means the research findings must be able to solve an existing problem. It is also a task undertaken by student(s) within a given period of time in a given subject area aimed at making the student have independent capacity for inquiries and to supplement and as well complement formal teaching in his area of study. Project work at the undergraduate level is an undertaking usually at the last lap/year of a journey of four or five years programme depending on the choice of course or academic pursuit/career. It is therefore a point where and when a student leaves a statement as a foot print on the part that he/she traversed over a period of time. The statement or the content of the project may be a building block for the future students or humanity at large. When students are at the point of entry into the university they ought to know that they will leave a footprint by way of project, for this, they ought to read widely and get focused early enough.
It is therefore important that you identify an existing problem then sort for ways of finding solution to the problem by means of carrying out a research and at the end of your findings, you make appropriate recommendations.
WHAT IS LIMITATION OF THE STUDY?
The limitations of the study are those characteristics of design or methodology that impacted or influenced the interpretation of the findings from your research. They are the constraints on generalizability and utility of findings that are the result of the ways in which you chose to design the study and/or the method used to establish internal and external validity.
Limitations of any particular study concern potential weaknesses that are usually out of the researcher’s control, and are closely associated with the chosen research design, statistical model constraints, funding constraints, or other factors.
In this respect, a limitation is an ‘imposed’ restriction which is therefore essentially out of the researcher’s control. Still, it may affect the study design, results, and ultimately, conclusions and should therefore be acknowledged clearly in the paper when submitted. For example, when exploring participants’ responses to a survey, the researcher may be limited to access only a small geographical area which would not provide an overall scope of responses.
WHY SHOULD LIMITATION OF THE STUDY COME AT THE END OF THE PROJECT
The limitations of the study are outlined at the conclusion of the discussion section as an acknowledgement of the need for further study. Statements about a study's limitations should not be buried in the body or middle of the research section unless a limitation is specific to something covered in that part of the paper. If this is the case, though, the limitation should be reiterated at the conclusion of the section. Writing the limitation of the study at the end of the project is a way of giving room for further research by other researchers. It exposes the places your research couldn’t cover.
Why your limitation of the study should come at the end of your project is because, it is expected that during your research or in the process of your research is when you encounter some difficulties/limitations and not when you just started because you couldn’t have known before had the limitations that could influence or affect your research work. Therefore, it is expected that it is at the end of your research work that the limitation of the study be written which is a clear indication that you really carried out the research and as well as gives room for further research.
Your limitation of the study of your research must be in explained in detailed but concise terms, provide the reasons why each limitation could not be overcome using the method(s) chosen to gather the data, explain why each limitation exists, Assess the impact of each limitation in relation to the overall findings and conclusions of your study; and also describe how these limitations could point to the need for further research.
In conclusion, limitation of the study is very important in any research work and must clearly stated in details but concise in terms. It is also advisable that the limitation of the study be written at the end of the project work which only shows where your research couldn’t cover and as such gives room for further research.