Research delimitation means, focus on concrete terms in our area of interest, specify its scope, determine its limits. That is, taking the research problem from a very large situation to a concrete reality, easy to handle.
Academics have commonly agreed that the delimitation of research will have to be made in terms of time and space, to place our problem in a defined and homogeneous context. In such a way, delimiting a research means specifying in concrete terms our areas of interest in the search, establishing its scope, and deciding the boundaries of space, time, and circumstances that we will impose on our study. The extent that the phenomenon under study is formulated and delimited determines a high percent of the researcher’s chances of not getting lost in the research. It is easier to work in specific situations than general ones.
How to delimit research
When the student intends to research, the process of delimiting the topic to be addressed requires that the academic be attentive to the main theoretical discussions present within his course.
There are always certain subjects that students tend to focus more on, whether due to the ease factor or to the topics covered in curricular components or scientific research that are sympathetic to the students’ ideas.
The recommendation is that students stay on these thematic lines that are familiar to them, which truly attract them to the development of their research work. However, the delimitation must establish the limits of the investigation in terms of space, time, universe, and content. Below are some common ways to delimit a research.
Spatial Delimitation: It refers to the geographical and/or spatial area where the research will be carried out.
Temporal Delimitation: Refers to the period selected to carry out the investigation. Choose which period on this topic you will focus on. It is the stage to determine the period and the time you will research. Take a subject and narrow it down until you reach a point where it is possible to research and work on it.
Delimitation of the sample size: This item refers to the population, units, sector in which some techniques will be applied in the collection of information. Responds to those who, in other words, units of analysis to be investigated.
Content Delimitation: Refers to the specific aspect of the topic that you want to investigate. Answer what specific aspects will be studied. For example, in a law research, it would be essential to delimit the content of the right to know when it is limiting the right, and if this limitation is constitutional. The limitations on rights are those established by the Constitution or that it authorizes the legislator to do so, limiting the right with constitutive effect.
From the above, we can see that the delimitation must clarify in particular that person, materials, situations, factors, and causes that will be considered or not.
Importance of delimiting the problem
There are several aspects that a research can present, according to which a series of parameters can be developed, which will help the researcher to correctly generate the study and offer the desired results. Thus, as one of the most preponderant aspects that all research presents are summarized in the problem, and this is the centre from which all the research starts. It marks the beginning of the study and positions the guidelines that must be followed. But for all this to be possible, it is necessary that according to the problem certain aspects must be taken into consideration, such as its correct delimitation, let us see in the next section what delimiting research is about or what it consists of.
Concept of problem delimitation
As is well known, in the area of knowledge, a term and its elements cannot be established or described without first having established a concept. That is why you must know what the delimitation of the problem is about, to understand its importance.
To delimit the problem is to proceed to establish the limits according to which it will be treated and evaluated, that is, to specify what is the field of action according to which the expert will work.
Like it has been mentioned earlier, this field of action has been delimited by three aspects, which is the temporal one, that is, it must establish the time during which the study will be carried out or the time during which the phenomenon will be contemplated, in such a way that it is conceived that no investigation is eternal.
On the other hand, a spatial delimitation must be carried out, which contemplates a series of conditions, according to which the establishment of the space according to which the study will be carried out must be carried out, that is, the research area must be indicated. This seeks to establish the limits of the study, make it specific and not extensive, to determine the space in which the data will be collected and worked on.
And finally, if the research contemplates it and is appropriate, the population delimitation must be carried out, that is, the subjects must be specified, according to which the research will proceed, that is, the people with the specific characteristics that will be studied.
The relevance of delimiting the problem
As you may have seen from the concept itself, proceeding to establish the limits of the investigation is necessary, since they will provide the researcher with the parameters according to which it should proceed. That is to say, the delimitation of the problem is in itself, the delimitation of the research, understanding that it contributes to keeping the study at bay, within the levels of research assumed and contemplated.
In any case, it must be understood that establishing the study parameters serve to maintain the investigative thread, between logic, coherence, and congruence. Pillars that will help the expert to carry out an objective investigation, which will not suffer from any act that may affect the results, thus allowing to draw truthful conclusions that are useful for the area and the scientific community.
In the same way, it is necessary to understand that reality is one, while the limits of the researcher himself are others, which must be manifested in the investigation, starting from the fact that the human mind can assume a problem at the same time. For this reason, it must be considered that the delimitation of the research keeps in itself the relevance that the student can, through it, establish a relationship harmoniously with the phenomenon and be able to treat it with the available tools.
In conclusion, it is important not to produce themes that are too broad and complex, as these leads, in the vast majority of cases, to works with superficial theses and of little scientific or social relevance, considering that the student ends up facing a series of difficulties to complete the research. or even in the analysis of the results obtained.
In sum, to delimit your research topic, you must:
- Seek to limit the scope (target) of the research: The need for a theoretical approach is fundamental for the elaboration of good academic work.
- The objective of the study: with the theme of the research delimited, the student must be able to explain who his object of study will be, how he intends to carry out his intervention, or how his approach will be (theoretical or practical) and why.