Methodological Limitations Which Every Dissertation Writer Must Know

Are you working on a dissertation? Do you have an idea of the methodological limitations that you may face? If yes, then it is good. However, if you do not know what those limitations are, then you must stay here and read this article. The limitations are basically the flaws and shortcomings in your chosen research methodology. These limitations can exist due to choosing a flawed methodology or constraints on research design.

Learning about different methodological limitations is important because they affect the validity of your research study. As you are here, it means you do not know about those limitations. Well, there is no need to worry at all. In today’s article, we will look at all the limitations that are related to the methodology. However, before that, let’s explain why you should include the limitations in your dissertation.

Why do you need to discuss methodological limitations?

Although the limitations in the methodology showcase its flaws, writing about them in the dissertation is necessary. But why? This is the question that we are going to answer now. The points below explain why doing this is necessary:

  • Discussing the methodological limitations strengthens your research study. It is because they identify the problems in your research.
  • Giving limitations in your dissertation shows the reader you have considered each aspect of your research study and that you know everything about it.
  • A discussion of the limitations related to the methodological approach increases the validity of your research study.
  • Lastly, every research has some kind of limitations. Detailing those limitations impresses your readers as you are being honest.

Most common methodological limitations of research studies

As discussed earlier, limitations can exist in the methodology and research design. However, here in this study, we will look at the limitations related to the methodology. Hence, a brief description of such limitations is as follows:

1.     Limitations with research samples

The chosen methodology always asks you to collect some research samples. However, it is not always possible that the research samples collected are all correct and represent the true picture of the population. There may be some flaws in the sampling and selection of the research participants. For example, you may be biased about certain respondents. Hence, this limitation is the first methodological limitation that we see and is known as “sampling bias.”

2.     Insufficient sample size

The second methodological limitation is having an insufficient sample size. When conducting a research study, it is very important that you have a considerably good sample size for the analysis. It is important to draw valuable conclusions from the data. The larger the sample, the more precise your results are going to be. In contrast, if the sample size is too low, you may not be able to draw good conclusions.

3.     Lack of previous studies on the topic

Another one of the most common methodological limitations is the lack of previous studies on your research topic. The prior studies provide you with the theoretical background you need to research the topic. If there are no studies available, it means it is a limitation of your field, and you do not have proper guidance about choosing the methodology. So, when there are no previous studies available on your topic, chances are that you have to develop a completely new methodology, and that methodology may not answer all your research questions.

4.     Using flawed methodology

The next methodological limitation is using a flawed methodology. This is realised when you cannot analyse the results obtained after the research study. For example, at the end of the data collection process, you realise that the research method has not answered an important question related to your study. In such cases, you must acknowledge the deficiency or flaw of your research methodology and discuss it.

Where to put the methodological limitations in your research paper?

There are some limitations that the reader can identify readily. However, some limitations cannot be identified unless you discuss them. As it is mentioned, you must list the limitations of your study. Hence, the perfect place in this regard is the discussion section. Discuss all the methodological limitations or limitations due to the research design in this section. It is important that you must not hide anything from the readers, as hiding things may affect the internal validity of your research.


To sum up, the limitations are the flaws and shortcomings of your research study. Among different kinds of limitations, methodological limitations are the most important. It is because they directly affect your research results and hit the research validity. Therefore, it is important that you know about those limitations and work on your research accordingly. Still confused? Don’t worry; the best dissertation writers from The Academic Papers UK can help you.