Limitations and Implications for Further Research

Ah, the limitations. A downtrodden view is that this is the part of the thesis in which you firmly state what your work does not accomplish. Or, framed in a more positive way, this section lays out what is beyond the scope of your paper. It is fine, normal, and reasonable that you have limitationsAll studies have limitations.  Having a limitations section just means that you are aware that you couldn’t do everything in your one studies.

How do you write the limitations? First, clearly remind the readers what you did do—in terms of scope, method, sample, timeframe, and other relevant information. Next, take the reader through different ways to approach your same topic.

So if you did a content analysis of educational video games, you would acknowledge that you used a quantitative method of a particular type of text. You did not do qualitative research, audience studies, or analyze other video game genres.

This brings me to the next part of this section. The more uplifting portion in which you outline possibilities for extending your current work. This is good. You want your study to set up further studies on the same time.  For the video game example, you might write “Further research could analyze the educational video games using qualitative analysis.  In addition to educational video games, role-playing games may provide insight into [phenomenon studied]. Studies could also explore how various audiences interpret the textual messages in the games. Such reception research is important to understanding how messages in video games are encoded and decoded.”

Layout a few different paths, but no need to go overboard.

Well done so far! You are almost there.

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