Limitation of Study in Dissertation – A Detailed Guide with Examples


Scientific studies help researchers explore a situation from all possible aspects. Exploring things by reviewing all possible circumstances into consideration is really a hard process. To do so, you need to take a bird-eye view and look for as minor details as possible. But the point to be ponder is whether by adopting these practices you can explore all possible aspects or not. Most probably, it is next to impossible.

Scientific knowledge is so vast; that’s why researchers keep on adding new information to the previous one. This process continues for centuries, and after passing one more century, you will still find gaps in the previous studies that need further research to get close. Thereby, to facilitate the researcher in this process, there is a specific section in all research papers and dissertations named limitation of study. This article is all about discussing this section of research in detail, along with examples:

Limitation of study- A brief introduction:

The limitation of study is those setbacks of a research work that a researcher, despite all effort, fails to overcome. In more sophisticated wording, limitations refer to the characteristics of a design and method that may have any impact on the outcomes or interpretations of a specific study. They are constraints that may cause hindrances in the generalisability of a specific study. It may include any geographical constraints, sampling problems, and validity or reliability related issues. Primary and secondary research usually has different sets of limitation of study, and the following are some examples to understand the concept.

Let’s take a primary research example:

A case study: To evaluate the effectiveness of Vancomycin (antibiotic) on infection caused by clostridium difficle bacteria. In this study, to deduce valid inferences, a researcher must collect first-hand data either by contacting the healthcare professionals and patients directly to take into consideration the recovery rate and rate of reoccurrence. Let’s discuss what  are some limitations associate with this type of study.

  • Primary research design limitations:
  • It may be expensive to contact or meet all healthcare professionals and patients.
  • It will be time-consuming to evaluate the response rate by visiting all public and private sector hospitals.
  • Meeting a large number of participants to get feedback may be influenced by many interpersonal skills as well as external factors such as long distances and more fuel costs.
  • Another limitation of study is that a study’s results extracted in one setup are sometimes difficult to apply on another geographical region. So, in this way, the generalisation of the study will be at risk.
  • The way a primary researcher perceives things and applies them to the context also influences the results, thus, imposing another limitation.
  • Secondary research limitation example:

Title: A systematic review approach to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of disease treatment by Vancomycin vs fidaxomicin on clostridium difficle bacterial infection

As the title of the study suggests that it is the secondary method of research, and a researcher must have to gather the relevant information from the literary sources. Finding the dissertation material from secondary resources is a bit risky as you have to judge the quality of the information before making it a part of your study. Additionally, the following are other limitations or setbacks that can impact the overall results of a study:

  • Lack of relevance of a study to reach the desired sample size
  • Inadequate understanding of the process of synthesising information from literary sources
  • Conducting secondary research without having open access to already published articles on similar problems
  • Using the information without checking the validity or generalizability of the research
  •  No control over the quality of the data

The above-mentioned list of limitations of study conducted by either using primary resources or secondary resources reflects that no matter which method of research you selected for a study, it must have certain limitations. The article has provided some generic limitations associated with each research design; however, you can add new points after finding the faults in your own research projects. If you need guidance at any point, you must visit the online writing service providers to buy dissertation online.

Final thoughts:

In a nutshell, all dissertation research has certain limitations; thus, the limitation of study is a mandatory part of the research. To write it, you must focus on two important points. The first is to add the general limitation associated with almost types of research projects. The second is to find some points that are specifically link to your own research project. That’s all about the writing limitation of study.


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