Scope and delimitation of study are two elements of a research paper that inform the reader what information is included in the research and explain why the author chose that information. Although scope and delimitation explain the way a study is limited, this information adds credibility to research.
The scope of study is a section of a research paper that explains what information or subject is being analyzed. For example, the scope of a historical research paper includes a scope section that explains what time period the writer is analyzing. Since it is impossible to study every aspect of every subject, the scope of study tells the reader which aspects of a subject the writer has chosen to analyze. Most research is limited in scope by sample size, time and geographic area. The scope of study is usually followed by an explanation of the limitations of the research.
The delimitation of study is the explanation of the scope of study. This section allows the writer to explain why certain aspects of a subject were chosen and why others were excluded. It is also common for a writer to explain the chosen research method in this section and explain why certain theories were applied to the data.