There is no singular way to structure this part of the dissertation work. The focus will be on three major moves which we shall take time to describe one after the other. If you want to take full control of the research limitations section; then these three moves must be clearly explained through the process:
- Announcing move
- Reflecting move
- Forward-looking move
The emphasis shall be on the three moves. If a student is in control of the three, then it will be easy to make a commanding presence with the structure of the research limitations section of the dissertation. Here are the details involved in each of the moves:
Your readers want you to throw light on the limitations of your dissertation. They also expect to know the importance of the limitations to your study. You are expected to fully explain the understanding of the limitations that you are facing and the significant role each of them will play in the final analysis.
However, you are not expected to discuss all the limitations in this section of your paper.
What is expected under this move is a discussion of the major limitations. The word count that we are looking at here is just between 200-500 words. Include only the potential limitations; it will serve the purpose of announcing the move.
You are expected to build on the announcing move under reflecting move. Greater depth should be provided on what is written in the earlier chapter. The nature of the limitations is clearly explained here. The choices that you made during your research are also clearly stated.
You are expected to go into some full details here. The word count on this part should take about 60%-70% of the total word count that is involved in this part of the dissertation. Every research has its limitations- no matter the level of study. Do not hesitate to state the limitations that you encountered in full here.
For instance, you are going to be faced with a lack of probability sampling. However, this will not be an issue if you used a qualitative design technique.
When you get to this juncture of forward-looking technique, you have mentioned and explain in detail the challenges that come with the existing order. This is now the time to look forward to the future by explaining steps that must be taken to overcome the present challenges in the future. Some volumes can be written in this section; just like with major limitations; make it brief. It should be a condensed summary of what you think should be done to improve on the existing situation. This section should not take more than 10%-20% of the word count.
It is important to show your readers that you are in full control. It is a way of making it clear to your readers that you understand the limitations of your research. A clear indication of what you must include in each of the three sections has been given above.