The Scope for a Ph. D. Research Report


Failure to limit the research problem/research question or hypothesis from the start can lead to you collecting a mass of information, much of which you will not be able to use.

The Scope of your Research Report.

Although you should limit the scope of your research project, you should still collect a good amount of data.

Consequently, your initial scope will be broad. You will need to narrow this down as you progress with your research.

You need to eliminate irrelevant data while paying more attention to valid and valuable data.

Also, make sure that you collect relevant data.

To collect relevant data, you will need to use the most effective and efficient data collection methods and ask the right questions.

The scope of your research will also be influenced by how widely shared across the population for your research the knowledge, beliefs, behavior, interest and other data relevant to your research are.

The more data is shared in the population for your research, the more likely it is that people will respond more or less the same to your questions.

Responses to more specific and personal issues, for example unique events, individual experiences, or personal opinions will probably be more varied.

The research scope is often determined by time constraints and the resources that you have available.

The more time and funds you have at your disposal, the more sophisticated data collection tools will you use.

You should then also collect more and better-quality data.

This does not mean that lots of time and resources are a precondition for doing quality research.

Creative researchers mostly manage to find the data that they need even with limited time and resources at their disposal.

Don’t be too ambitious and select a topic that is way too broad for university research purposes.

Students often choose a too broad scope for their research because they are concerned that they will not be able to write an “acceptable” number of pages.

After some initial reading, most students find that they have too much to write, and they don’t want to lose any of the data that took them so much time and effort to collect.

That is why time spent on deciding on a realistic scope before you start doing research can make your work much easier and more efficient.

Never delete data at random – this will ruin the flow of your arguments.


The scope of your research has an impact on the amount and kind of data that you will collect.

Most students collect too much data when they start with their research.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, just as long as you remember that you will need to refine the data and only keep what is relevant and necessary for your research.

Students seldom have more time and funds for research available than universities or large businesses.

That is why you will need to accept a humble scope and probably less sophisticated research tools than large organisations.

It is better to decide on a realistic scope for your research before you even start.

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