How To Write Significance of the Study (With Examples) 

How To Write Significance of the Study (With Examples) 

Whether you’re writing a research paper or thesis, a portion called Significance of the Study ensures your readers understand the impact of your work. Learn how to effectively write this vital part of your research paper or thesis through our detailed steps, guidelines, and examples.

Related: How to Write a Concept Paper for Academic Research

Table of Contents

What is the significance of the study.

The Significance of the Study presents the importance of your research. It allows you to prove the study’s impact on your field of research, the new knowledge it contributes, and the people who will benefit from it.

Related: How To Write Scope and Delimitation of a Research Paper (With Examples)

Where Should I Put the Significance of the Study?

The Significance of the Study is part of the first chapter or the Introduction. It comes after the research’s rationale, problem statement, and hypothesis.

Related: How to Make Conceptual Framework (with Examples and Templates)

Why Should I Include the Significance of the Study?

The purpose of the Significance of the Study is to give you space to explain to your readers how exactly your research will be contributing to the literature of the field you are studying 1 . It’s where you explain why your research is worth conducting and its significance to the community, the people, and various institutions.

How To Write Significance of the Study: 5 Steps

Below are the steps and guidelines for writing your research’s Significance of the Study.

1. Use Your Research Problem as a Starting Point

Your problem statement can provide clues to your research study’s outcome and who will benefit from it 2 .

Ask yourself, “How will the answers to my research problem be beneficial?”. In this manner, you will know how valuable it is to conduct your study. 

Let’s say your research problem is “What is the level of effectiveness of the lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) in lowering the blood glucose level of Swiss mice (Mus musculus)?”

Discovering a positive correlation between the use of lemongrass and lower blood glucose level may lead to the following results:

  • Increased public understanding of the plant’s medical properties;
  • Higher appreciation of the importance of lemongrass  by the community;
  • Adoption of lemongrass tea as a cheap, readily available, and natural remedy to lower their blood glucose level.

Once you’ve zeroed in on the general benefits of your study, it’s time to break it down into specific beneficiaries.

2. State How Your Research Will Contribute to the Existing Literature in the Field

Think of the things that were not explored by previous studies. Then, write how your research tackles those unexplored areas. Through this, you can convince your readers that you are studying something new and adding value to the field.

3. Explain How Your Research Will Benefit Society

In this part, tell how your research will impact society. Think of how the results of your study will change something in your community. 

For example, in the study about using lemongrass tea to lower blood glucose levels, you may indicate that through your research, the community will realize the significance of lemongrass and other herbal plants. As a result, the community will be encouraged to promote the cultivation and use of medicinal plants.

4. Mention the Specific Persons or Institutions Who Will Benefit From Your Study

Using the same example above, you may indicate that this research’s results will benefit those seeking an alternative supplement to prevent high blood glucose levels.

5. Indicate How Your Study May Help Future Studies in the Field

You must also specifically indicate how your research will be part of the literature of your field and how it will benefit future researchers. In our example above, you may indicate that through the data and analysis your research will provide, future researchers may explore other capabilities of herbal plants in preventing different diseases.

Tips and Warnings

  • Think ahead . By visualizing your study in its complete form, it will be easier for you to connect the dots and identify the beneficiaries of your research.
  • Write concisely. Make it straightforward, clear, and easy to understand so that the readers will appreciate the benefits of your research. Avoid making it too long and wordy.
  • Go from general to specific . Like an inverted pyramid, you start from above by discussing the general contribution of your study and become more specific as you go along. For instance, if your research is about the effect of remote learning setup on the mental health of college students of a specific university , you may start by discussing the benefits of the research to society, to the educational institution, to the learning facilitators, and finally, to the students.
  • Seek help . For example, you may ask your research adviser for insights on how your research may contribute to the existing literature. If you ask the right questions, your research adviser can point you in the right direction.
  • Revise, revise, revise. Be ready to apply necessary changes to your research on the fly. Unexpected things require adaptability, whether it’s the respondents or variables involved in your study. There’s always room for improvement, so never assume your work is done until you have reached the finish line.

Significance of the Study Examples

This section presents examples of the Significance of the Study using the steps and guidelines presented above.

Example 1: STEM-Related Research

Research Topic: Level of Effectiveness of the Lemongrass ( Cymbopogon citratus ) Tea in Lowering the Blood Glucose Level of Swiss Mice ( Mus musculus ).

Significance of the Study .

This research will provide new insights into the medicinal benefit of lemongrass ( Cymbopogon citratus ), specifically on its hypoglycemic ability.

Through this research, the community will further realize promoting medicinal plants, especially lemongrass, as a preventive measure against various diseases. People and medical institutions may also consider lemongrass tea as an alternative supplement against hyperglycemia. 

Moreover, the analysis presented in this study will convey valuable information for future research exploring the medicinal benefits of lemongrass and other medicinal plants.  

Example 2: Business and Management-Related Research

Research Topic: A Comparative Analysis of Traditional and Social Media Marketing of Small Clothing Enterprises.

Significance of the Study:

By comparing the two marketing strategies presented by this research, there will be an expansion on the current understanding of the firms on these marketing strategies in terms of cost, acceptability, and sustainability. This study presents these marketing strategies for small clothing enterprises, giving them insights into which method is more appropriate and valuable for them. 

Specifically, this research will benefit start-up clothing enterprises in deciding which marketing strategy they should employ. Long-time clothing enterprises may also consider the result of this research to review their current marketing strategy.

Furthermore, a detailed presentation on the comparison of the marketing strategies involved in this research may serve as a tool for further studies to innovate the current method employed in the clothing Industry.

Example 3: Social Science -Related Research.

Research Topic:  Divide Et Impera : An Overview of How the Divide-and-Conquer Strategy Prevailed on Philippine Political History.

Significance of the Study :

Through the comprehensive exploration of this study on Philippine political history, the influence of the Divide et Impera, or political decentralization, on the political discernment across the history of the Philippines will be unraveled, emphasized, and scrutinized. Moreover, this research will elucidate how this principle prevailed until the current political theatre of the Philippines.

In this regard, this study will give awareness to society on how this principle might affect the current political context. Moreover, through the analysis made by this study, political entities and institutions will have a new approach to how to deal with this principle by learning about its influence in the past.

In addition, the overview presented in this research will push for new paradigms, which will be helpful for future discussion of the Divide et Impera principle and may lead to a more in-depth analysis.

Example 4: Humanities-Related Research

Research Topic: Effectiveness of Meditation on Reducing the Anxiety Levels of College Students.

Significance of the Study: 

This research will provide new perspectives in approaching anxiety issues of college students through meditation. 

Specifically, this research will benefit the following:

 Community – this study spreads awareness on recognizing anxiety as a mental health concern and how meditation can be a valuable approach to alleviating it.

Academic Institutions and Administrators – through this research, educational institutions and administrators may promote programs and advocacies regarding meditation to help students deal with their anxiety issues.

Mental health advocates – the result of this research will provide valuable information for the advocates to further their campaign on spreading awareness on dealing with various mental health issues, including anxiety, and how to stop stigmatizing those with mental health disorders.

Parents – this research may convince parents to consider programs involving meditation that may help the students deal with their anxiety issues.

Students will benefit directly from this research as its findings may encourage them to consider meditation to lower anxiety levels.

Future researchers – this study covers information involving meditation as an approach to reducing anxiety levels. Thus, the result of this study can be used for future discussions on the capabilities of meditation in alleviating other mental health concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what is the difference between the significance of the study and the rationale of the study.

Both aim to justify the conduct of the research. However, the Significance of the Study focuses on the specific benefits of your research in the field, society, and various people and institutions. On the other hand, the Rationale of the Study gives context on why the researcher initiated the conduct of the study.

Let’s take the research about the Effectiveness of Meditation in Reducing Anxiety Levels of College Students as an example. Suppose you are writing about the Significance of the Study. In that case, you must explain how your research will help society, the academic institution, and students deal with anxiety issues through meditation. Meanwhile, for the Rationale of the Study, you may state that due to the prevalence of anxiety attacks among college students, you’ve decided to make it the focal point of your research work.

2. What is the difference between Justification and the Significance of the Study?

In Justification, you express the logical reasoning behind the conduct of the study. On the other hand, the Significance of the Study aims to present to your readers the specific benefits your research will contribute to the field you are studying, community, people, and institutions.

Suppose again that your research is about the Effectiveness of Meditation in Reducing the Anxiety Levels of College Students. Suppose you are writing the Significance of the Study. In that case, you may state that your research will provide new insights and evidence regarding meditation’s ability to reduce college students’ anxiety levels. Meanwhile, you may note in the Justification that studies are saying how people used meditation in dealing with their mental health concerns. You may also indicate how meditation is a feasible approach to managing anxiety using the analysis presented by previous literature.

3. How should I start my research’s Significance of the Study section?

– This research will contribute… – The findings of this research… – This study aims to… – This study will provide… – Through the analysis presented in this study… – This study will benefit…

Moreover, you may start the Significance of the Study by elaborating on the contribution of your research in the field you are studying.

4. What is the difference between the Purpose of the Study and the Significance of the Study?

The Purpose of the Study focuses on why your research was conducted, while the Significance of the Study tells how the results of your research will benefit anyone.

Suppose your research is about the Effectiveness of Lemongrass Tea in Lowering the Blood Glucose Level of Swiss Mice . You may include in your Significance of the Study that the research results will provide new information and analysis on the medical ability of lemongrass to solve hyperglycemia. Meanwhile, you may include in your Purpose of the Study that your research wants to provide a cheaper and natural way to lower blood glucose levels since commercial supplements are expensive.

5. What is the Significance of the Study in Tagalog?

In Filipino research, the Significance of the Study is referred to as Kahalagahan ng Pag-aaral.

  • Draft your Significance of the Study. Retrieved 18 April 2021, from http://dissertationedd.usc.edu/draft-your-significance-of-the-study.html
  • Regoniel, P. (2015). Two Tips on How to Write the Significance of the Study. Retrieved 18 April 2021, from https://simplyeducate.me/2015/02/09/significance-of-the-study/

Written by Jewel Kyle Fabula

in Career and Education , Juander How

how to create significance of the study in research

Jewel Kyle Fabula

Jewel Kyle Fabula is a Bachelor of Science in Economics student at the University of the Philippines Diliman. His passion for learning mathematics developed as he competed in some mathematics competitions during his Junior High School years. He loves cats, playing video games, and listening to music.

Browse all articles written by Jewel Kyle Fabula

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how to create significance of the study in research

How To Write a Significance Statement for Your Research

A significance statement is an essential part of a research paper. It explains the importance and relevance of the study to the academic community and the world at large. To write a compelling significance statement, identify the research problem, explain why it is significant, provide evidence of its importance, and highlight its potential impact on future research, policy, or practice. A well-crafted significance statement should effectively communicate the value of the research to readers and help them understand why it matters.

Updated on May 4, 2023

a life sciences researcher writing a significance statement for her researcher

A significance statement is a clearly stated, non-technical paragraph that explains why your research matters. It’s central in making the public aware of and gaining support for your research.

Write it in jargon-free language that a reader from any field can understand. Well-crafted, easily readable significance statements can improve your chances for citation and impact and make it easier for readers outside your field to find and understand your work.

Read on for more details on what a significance statement is, how it can enhance the impact of your research, and, of course, how to write one.

What is a significance statement in research?

A significance statement answers the question: How will your research advance scientific knowledge and impact society at large (as well as specific populations)? 

You might also see it called a “Significance of the study” statement. Some professional organizations in the STEM sciences and social sciences now recommended that journals in their disciplines make such statements a standard feature of each published article. Funding agencies also consider “significance” a key criterion for their awards.

Read some examples of significance statements from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) here .

Depending upon the specific journal or funding agency’s requirements, your statement may be around 100 words and answer these questions:

1. What’s the purpose of this research?

2. What are its key findings?

3. Why do they matter?

4. Who benefits from the research results?

Readers will want to know: “What is interesting or important about this research?” Keep asking yourself that question.

Where to place the significance statement in your manuscript

Most journals ask you to place the significance statement before or after the abstract, so check with each journal’s guide. 

This article is focused on the formal significance statement, even though you’ll naturally highlight your project’s significance elsewhere in your manuscript. (In the introduction, you’ll set out your research aims, and in the conclusion, you’ll explain the potential applications of your research and recommend areas for future research. You’re building an overall case for the value of your work.)

Developing the significance statement

The main steps in planning and developing your statement are to assess the gaps to which your study contributes, and then define your work’s implications and impact.

Identify what gaps your study fills and what it contributes

Your literature review was a big part of how you planned your study. To develop your research aims and objectives, you identified gaps or unanswered questions in the preceding research and designed your study to address them.

Go back to that lit review and look at those gaps again. Review your research proposal to refresh your memory. Ask:

  • How have my research findings advanced knowledge or provided notable new insights?
  • How has my research helped to prove (or disprove) a hypothesis or answer a research question?
  • Why are those results important?

Consider your study’s potential impact at two levels: 

  • What contribution does my research make to my field?
  • How does it specifically contribute to knowledge; that is, who will benefit the most from it?

Define the implications and potential impact

As you make notes, keep the reasons in mind for why you are writing this statement. Whom will it impact, and why?

The first audience for your significance statement will be journal reviewers when you submit your article for publishing. Many journals require one for manuscript submissions. Study the author’s guide of your desired journal to see its criteria ( here’s an example ). Peer reviewers who can clearly understand the value of your research will be more likely to recommend publication. 

Second, when you apply for funding, your significance statement will help justify why your research deserves a grant from a funding agency . The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), for example, wants to see that a project will “exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved.” Clear, simple language is always valuable because not all reviewers will be specialists in your field.

Third, this concise statement about your study’s importance can affect how potential readers engage with your work. Science journalists and interested readers can promote and spread your work, enhancing your reputation and influence. Help them understand your work.

You’re now ready to express the importance of your research clearly and concisely. Time to start writing.

How to write a significance statement: Key elements 

When drafting your statement, focus on both the content and writing style.

  • In terms of content, emphasize the importance, timeliness, and relevance of your research results. 
  • Write the statement in plain, clear language rather than scientific or technical jargon. Your audience will include not just your fellow scientists but also non-specialists like journalists, funding reviewers, and members of the public. 

Follow the process we outline below to build a solid, well-crafted, and informative statement. 

Get started

Some suggested opening lines to help you get started might be:

  • The implications of this study are… 
  • Building upon previous contributions, our study moves the field forward because…
  • Our study furthers previous understanding about…

Alternatively, you may start with a statement about the phenomenon you’re studying, leading to the problem statement.

Include these components

Next, draft some sentences that include the following elements. A good example, which we’ll use here, is a significance statement by Rogers et al. (2022) published in the Journal of Climate .

1. Briefly situate your research study in its larger context . Start by introducing the topic, leading to a problem statement. Here’s an example:

‘Heatwaves pose a major threat to human health, ecosystems, and human systems.”

2. State the research problem.

“Simultaneous heatwaves affecting multiple regions can exacerbate such threats. For example, multiple food-producing regions simultaneously undergoing heat-related crop damage could drive global food shortages.”

3. Tell what your study does to address it.

“We assess recent changes in the occurrence of simultaneous large heatwaves.”

4. Provide brief but powerful evidence to support the claims your statement is making , Use quantifiable terms rather than vague ones (e.g., instead of “This phenomenon is happening now more than ever,” see below how Rogers et al. (2022) explained it). This evidence intensifies and illustrates the problem more vividly:

“Such simultaneous heatwaves are 7 times more likely now than 40 years ago. They are also hotter and affect a larger area. Their increasing occurrence is mainly driven by warming baseline temperatures due to global heating, but changes in weather patterns contribute to disproportionate increases over parts of Europe, the eastern United States, and Asia.

5. Relate your study’s impact to the broader context , starting with its general significance to society—then, when possible, move to the particular as you name specific applications of your research findings. (Our example lacks this second level of application.) 

“Better understanding the drivers of weather pattern changes is therefore important for understanding future concurrent heatwave characteristics and their impacts.”

Refine your English

Don’t understate or overstate your findings – just make clear what your study contributes. When you have all the elements in place, review your draft to simplify and polish your language. Even better, get an expert AJE edit . Be sure to use “plain” language rather than academic jargon.

  • Avoid acronyms, scientific jargon, and technical terms 
  • Use active verbs in your sentence structure rather than passive voice (e.g., instead of “It was found that...”, use “We found...”)
  • Make sentence structures short, easy to understand – readable
  • Try to address only one idea in each sentence and keep sentences within 25 words (15 words is even better)
  • Eliminate nonessential words and phrases (“fluff” and wordiness)

Enhance your significance statement’s impact

Always take time to review your draft multiple times. Make sure that you:

  • Keep your language focused
  • Provide evidence to support your claims
  • Relate the significance to the broader research context in your field

After revising your significance statement, request feedback from a reading mentor about how to make it even clearer. If you’re not a native English speaker, seek help from a native-English-speaking colleague or use an editing service like AJE to make sure your work is at a native level.

Understanding the significance of your study

Your readers may have much less interest than you do in the specific details of your research methods and measures. Many readers will scan your article to learn how your findings might apply to them and their own research. 

Different types of significance

Your findings may have different types of significance, relevant to different populations or fields of study for different reasons. You can emphasize your work’s statistical, clinical, or practical significance. Editors or reviewers in the social sciences might also evaluate your work’s social or political significance.

Statistical significance means that the results are unlikely to have occurred randomly. Instead, it implies a true cause-and-effect relationship.

Clinical significance means that your findings are applicable for treating patients and improving quality of life.

Practical significance is when your research outcomes are meaningful to society at large, in the “real world.” Practical significance is usually measured by the study’s  effect size . Similarly, evaluators may attribute social or political significance to research that addresses “real and immediate” social problems.

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What is the Significance of a Study? Examples and Guide

Significance of a study graphic, showing a female scientist reading a book

If you’re reading this post you’re probably wondering: what is the significance of a study?

No matter where you’re at with a piece of research, it is a good idea to think about the potential significance of your work. And sometimes you’ll have to explicitly write a statement of significance in your papers, it addition to it forming part of your thesis.

In this post I’ll cover what the significance of a study is, how to measure it, how to describe it with examples and add in some of my own experiences having now worked in research for over nine years.

If you’re reading this because you’re writing up your first paper, welcome! You may also like my how-to guide for all aspects of writing your first research paper .

Looking for guidance on writing the statement of significance for a paper or thesis? Click here to skip straight to that section.

What is the Significance of a Study?

For research papers, theses or dissertations it’s common to explicitly write a section describing the significance of the study. We’ll come onto what to include in that section in just a moment.

However the significance of a study can actually refer to several different things.

Graphic showing the broadening significance of a study going from your study, the wider research field, business opportunities through to society as a whole.

Working our way from the most technical to the broadest, depending on the context, the significance of a study may refer to:

  • Within your study: Statistical significance. Can we trust the findings?
  • Wider research field: Research significance. How does your study progress the field?
  • Commercial / economic significance: Could there be business opportunities for your findings?
  • Societal significance: What impact could your study have on the wider society.
  • And probably other domain-specific significance!

We’ll shortly cover each of them in turn, including how they’re measured and some examples for each type of study significance.

But first, let’s touch on why you should consider the significance of your research at an early stage.

Why Care About the Significance of a Study?

No matter what is motivating you to carry out your research, it is sensible to think about the potential significance of your work. In the broadest sense this asks, how does the study contribute to the world?

After all, for many people research is only worth doing if it will result in some expected significance. For the vast majority of us our studies won’t be significant enough to reach the evening news, but most studies will help to enhance knowledge in a particular field and when research has at least some significance it makes for a far more fulfilling longterm pursuit.

Furthermore, a lot of us are carrying out research funded by the public. It therefore makes sense to keep an eye on what benefits the work could bring to the wider community.

Often in research you’ll come to a crossroads where you must decide which path of research to pursue. Thinking about the potential benefits of a strand of research can be useful for deciding how to spend your time, money and resources.

It’s worth noting though, that not all research activities have to work towards obvious significance. This is especially true while you’re a PhD student, where you’re figuring out what you enjoy and may simply be looking for an opportunity to learn a new skill.

However, if you’re trying to decide between two potential projects, it can be useful to weigh up the potential significance of each.

Let’s now dive into the different types of significance, starting with research significance.

Research Significance

What is the research significance of a study.

Unless someone specifies which type of significance they’re referring to, it is fair to assume that they want to know about the research significance of your study.

Research significance describes how your work has contributed to the field, how it could inform future studies and progress research.

Where should I write about my study’s significance in my thesis?

Typically you should write about your study’s significance in the Introduction and Conclusions sections of your thesis.

It’s important to mention it in the Introduction so that the relevance of your work and the potential impact and benefits it could have on the field are immediately apparent. Explaining why your work matters will help to engage readers (and examiners!) early on.

It’s also a good idea to detail the study’s significance in your Conclusions section. This adds weight to your findings and helps explain what your study contributes to the field.

On occasion you may also choose to include a brief description in your Abstract.

What is expected when submitting an article to a journal

It is common for journals to request a statement of significance, although this can sometimes be called other things such as:

  • Impact statement
  • Significance statement
  • Advances in knowledge section

Here is one such example of what is expected:

Impact Statement:  An Impact Statement is required for all submissions.  Your impact statement will be evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief, Global Editors, and appropriate Associate Editor. For your manuscript to receive full review, the editors must be convinced that it is an important advance in for the field. The Impact Statement is not a restating of the abstract. It should address the following: Why is the work submitted important to the field? How does the work submitted advance the field? What new information does this work impart to the field? How does this new information impact the field? Experimental Biology and Medicine journal, author guidelines

Typically the impact statement will be shorter than the Abstract, around 150 words.

Defining the study’s significance is helpful not just for the impact statement (if the journal asks for one) but also for building a more compelling argument throughout your submission. For instance, usually you’ll start the Discussion section of a paper by highlighting the research significance of your work. You’ll also include a short description in your Abstract too.

How to describe the research significance of a study, with examples

Whether you’re writing a thesis or a journal article, the approach to writing about the significance of a study are broadly the same.

I’d therefore suggest using the questions above as a starting point to base your statements on.

  • Why is the work submitted important to the field?
  • How does the work submitted advance the field?
  • What new information does this work impart to the field?
  • How does this new information impact the field?

Answer those questions and you’ll have a much clearer idea of the research significance of your work.

When describing it, try to clearly state what is novel about your study’s contribution to the literature. Then go on to discuss what impact it could have on progressing the field along with recommendations for future work.

Potential sentence starters

If you’re not sure where to start, why not set a 10 minute timer and have a go at trying to finish a few of the following sentences. Not sure on what to put? Have a chat to your supervisor or lab mates and they may be able to suggest some ideas.

  • This study is important to the field because…
  • These findings advance the field by…
  • Our results highlight the importance of…
  • Our discoveries impact the field by…

Now you’ve had a go let’s have a look at some real life examples.

Statement of significance examples

A statement of significance / impact:

Impact Statement This review highlights the historical development of the concept of “ideal protein” that began in the 1950s and 1980s for poultry and swine diets, respectively, and the major conceptual deficiencies of the long-standing concept of “ideal protein” in animal nutrition based on recent advances in amino acid (AA) metabolism and functions. Nutritionists should move beyond the “ideal protein” concept to consider optimum ratios and amounts of all proteinogenic AAs in animal foods and, in the case of carnivores, also taurine. This will help formulate effective low-protein diets for livestock, poultry, and fish, while sustaining global animal production. Because they are not only species of agricultural importance, but also useful models to study the biology and diseases of humans as well as companion (e.g. dogs and cats), zoo, and extinct animals in the world, our work applies to a more general readership than the nutritionists and producers of farm animals. Wu G, Li P. The “ideal protein” concept is not ideal in animal nutrition.  Experimental Biology and Medicine . 2022;247(13):1191-1201. doi: 10.1177/15353702221082658

And the same type of section but this time called “Advances in knowledge”:

Advances in knowledge: According to the MY-RADs criteria, size measurements of focal lesions in MRI are now of relevance for response assessment in patients with monoclonal plasma cell disorders. Size changes of 1 or 2 mm are frequently observed due to uncertainty of the measurement only, while the actual focal lesion has not undergone any biological change. Size changes of at least 6 mm or more in  T 1  weighted or  T 2  weighted short tau inversion recovery sequences occur in only 5% or less of cases when the focal lesion has not undergone any biological change. Wennmann M, Grözinger M, Weru V, et al. Test-retest, inter- and intra-rater reproducibility of size measurements of focal bone marrow lesions in MRI in patients with multiple myeloma [published online ahead of print, 2023 Apr 12].  Br J Radiol . 2023;20220745. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20220745

Other examples of research significance

Moving beyond the formal statement of significance, here is how you can describe research significance more broadly within your paper.

Describing research impact in an Abstract of a paper:

Three-dimensional visualisation and quantification of the chondrocyte population within articular cartilage can be achieved across a field of view of several millimetres using laboratory-based micro-CT. The ability to map chondrocytes in 3D opens possibilities for research in fields from skeletal development through to medical device design and treatment of cartilage degeneration. Conclusions section of the abstract in my first paper .

In the Discussion section of a paper:

We report for the utility of a standard laboratory micro-CT scanner to visualise and quantify features of the chondrocyte population within intact articular cartilage in 3D. This study represents a complimentary addition to the growing body of evidence supporting the non-destructive imaging of the constituents of articular cartilage. This offers researchers the opportunity to image chondrocyte distributions in 3D without specialised synchrotron equipment, enabling investigations such as chondrocyte morphology across grades of cartilage damage, 3D strain mapping techniques such as digital volume correlation to evaluate mechanical properties  in situ , and models for 3D finite element analysis  in silico  simulations. This enables an objective quantification of chondrocyte distribution and morphology in three dimensions allowing greater insight for investigations into studies of cartilage development, degeneration and repair. One such application of our method, is as a means to provide a 3D pattern in the cartilage which, when combined with digital volume correlation, could determine 3D strain gradient measurements enabling potential treatment and repair of cartilage degeneration. Moreover, the method proposed here will allow evaluation of cartilage implanted with tissue engineered scaffolds designed to promote chondral repair, providing valuable insight into the induced regenerative process. The Discussion section of the paper is laced with references to research significance.

How is longer term research significance measured?

Looking beyond writing impact statements within papers, sometimes you’ll want to quantify the long term research significance of your work. For instance when applying for jobs.

The most obvious measure of a study’s long term research significance is the number of citations it receives from future publications. The thinking is that a study which receives more citations will have had more research impact, and therefore significance , than a study which received less citations. Citations can give a broad indication of how useful the work is to other researchers but citations aren’t really a good measure of significance.

Bear in mind that us researchers can be lazy folks and sometimes are simply looking to cite the first paper which backs up one of our claims. You can find studies which receive a lot of citations simply for packaging up the obvious in a form which can be easily found and referenced, for instance by having a catchy or optimised title.

Likewise, research activity varies wildly between fields. Therefore a certain study may have had a big impact on a particular field but receive a modest number of citations, simply because not many other researchers are working in the field.

Nevertheless, citations are a standard measure of significance and for better or worse it remains impressive for someone to be the first author of a publication receiving lots of citations.

Other measures for the research significance of a study include:

  • Accolades: best paper awards at conferences, thesis awards, “most downloaded” titles for articles, press coverage.
  • How much follow-on research the study creates. For instance, part of my PhD involved a novel material initially developed by another PhD student in the lab. That PhD student’s research had unlocked lots of potential new studies and now lots of people in the group were using the same material and developing it for different applications. The initial study may not receive a high number of citations yet long term it generated a lot of research activity.

That covers research significance, but you’ll often want to consider other types of significance for your study and we’ll cover those next.

Statistical Significance

What is the statistical significance of a study.

Often as part of a study you’ll carry out statistical tests and then state the statistical significance of your findings: think p-values eg <0.05. It is useful to describe the outcome of these tests within your report or paper, to give a measure of statistical significance.

Effectively you are trying to show whether the performance of your innovation is actually better than a control or baseline and not just chance. Statistical significance deserves a whole other post so I won’t go into a huge amount of depth here.

Things that make publication in  The BMJ  impossible or unlikely Internal validity/robustness of the study • It had insufficient statistical power, making interpretation difficult; • Lack of statistical power; The British Medical Journal’s guide for authors

Calculating statistical significance isn’t always necessary (or valid) for a study, such as if you have a very small number of samples, but it is a very common requirement for scientific articles.

Writing a journal article? Check the journal’s guide for authors to see what they expect. Generally if you have approximately five or more samples or replicates it makes sense to start thinking about statistical tests. Speak to your supervisor and lab mates for advice, and look at other published articles in your field.

How is statistical significance measured?

Statistical significance is quantified using p-values . Depending on your study design you’ll choose different statistical tests to compute the p-value.

A p-value of 0.05 is a common threshold value. The 0.05 means that there is a 1/20 chance that the difference in performance you’re reporting is just down to random chance.

  • p-values above 0.05 mean that the result isn’t statistically significant enough to be trusted: it is too likely that the effect you’re showing is just luck.
  • p-values less than or equal to 0.05 mean that the result is statistically significant. In other words: unlikely to just be chance, which is usually considered a good outcome.

Low p-values (eg p = 0.001) mean that it is highly unlikely to be random chance (1/1000 in the case of p = 0.001), therefore more statistically significant.

It is important to clarify that, although low p-values mean that your findings are statistically significant, it doesn’t automatically mean that the result is scientifically important. More on that in the next section on research significance.

How to describe the statistical significance of your study, with examples

In the first paper from my PhD I ran some statistical tests to see if different staining techniques (basically dyes) increased how well you could see cells in cow tissue using micro-CT scanning (a 3D imaging technique).

In your methods section you should mention the statistical tests you conducted and then in the results you will have statements such as:

Between mediums for the two scan protocols C/N [contrast to noise ratio] was greater for EtOH than the PBS in both scanning methods (both  p  < 0.0001) with mean differences of 1.243 (95% CI [confidence interval] 0.709 to 1.778) for absorption contrast and 6.231 (95% CI 5.772 to 6.690) for propagation contrast. … Two repeat propagation scans were taken of samples from the PTA-stained groups. No difference in mean C/N was found with either medium: PBS had a mean difference of 0.058 ( p  = 0.852, 95% CI -0.560 to 0.676), EtOH had a mean difference of 1.183 ( p  = 0.112, 95% CI 0.281 to 2.648). From the Results section of my first paper, available here . Square brackets added for this post to aid clarity.

From this text the reader can infer from the first paragraph that there was a statistically significant difference in using EtOH compared to PBS (really small p-value of <0.0001). However, from the second paragraph, the difference between two repeat scans was statistically insignificant for both PBS (p = 0.852) and EtOH (p = 0.112).

By conducting these statistical tests you have then earned your right to make bold statements, such as these from the discussion section:

Propagation phase-contrast increases the contrast of individual chondrocytes [cartilage cells] compared to using absorption contrast. From the Discussion section from the same paper.

Without statistical tests you have no evidence that your results are not just down to random chance.

Beyond describing the statistical significance of a study in the main body text of your work, you can also show it in your figures.

In figures such as bar charts you’ll often see asterisks to represent statistical significance, and “n.s.” to show differences between groups which are not statistically significant. Here is one such figure, with some subplots, from the same paper:

Figure from a paper showing the statistical significance of a study using asterisks

In this example an asterisk (*) between two bars represents p < 0.05. Two asterisks (**) represents p < 0.001 and three asterisks (***) represents p < 0.0001. This should always be stated in the caption of your figure since the values that each asterisk refers to can vary.

Now that we know if a study is showing statistically and research significance, let’s zoom out a little and consider the potential for commercial significance.

Commercial and Industrial Significance

What are commercial and industrial significance.

Moving beyond significance in relation to academia, your research may also have commercial or economic significance.

Simply put:

  • Commercial significance: could the research be commercialised as a product or service? Perhaps the underlying technology described in your study could be licensed to a company or you could even start your own business using it.
  • Industrial significance: more widely than just providing a product which could be sold, does your research provide insights which may affect a whole industry? Such as: revealing insights or issues with current practices, performance gains you don’t want to commercialise (e.g. solar power efficiency), providing suggested frameworks or improvements which could be employed industry-wide.

I’ve grouped these two together because there can certainly be overlap. For instance, perhaps your new technology could be commercialised whilst providing wider improvements for the whole industry.

Commercial and industrial significance are not relevant to most studies, so only write about it if you and your supervisor can think of reasonable routes to your work having an impact in these ways.

How are commercial and industrial significance measured?

Unlike statistical and research significances, the measures of commercial and industrial significance can be much more broad.

Here are some potential measures of significance:

Commercial significance:

  • How much value does your technology bring to potential customers or users?
  • How big is the potential market and how much revenue could the product potentially generate?
  • Is the intellectual property protectable? i.e. patentable, or if not could the novelty be protected with trade secrets: if so publish your method with caution!
  • If commercialised, could the product bring employment to a geographical area?

Industrial significance:

What impact could it have on the industry? For instance if you’re revealing an issue with something, such as unintended negative consequences of a drug , what does that mean for the industry and the public? This could be:

  • Reduced overhead costs
  • Better safety
  • Faster production methods
  • Improved scaleability

How to describe the commercial and industrial significance of a study, with examples

Commercial significance.

If your technology could be commercially viable, and you’ve got an interest in commercialising it yourself, it is likely that you and your university may not want to immediately publish the study in a journal.

You’ll probably want to consider routes to exploiting the technology and your university may have a “technology transfer” team to help researchers navigate the various options.

However, if instead of publishing a paper you’re submitting a thesis or dissertation then it can be useful to highlight the commercial significance of your work. In this instance you could include statements of commercial significance such as:

The measurement technology described in this study provides state of the art performance and could enable the development of low cost devices for aerospace applications. An example of commercial significance I invented for this post

Industrial significance

First, think about the industrial sectors who could benefit from the developments described in your study.

For example if you’re working to improve battery efficiency it is easy to think of how it could lead to performance gains for certain industries, like personal electronics or electric vehicles. In these instances you can describe the industrial significance relatively easily, based off your findings.

For example:

By utilising abundant materials in the described battery fabrication process we provide a framework for battery manufacturers to reduce dependence on rare earth components. Again, an invented example

For other technologies there may well be industrial applications but they are less immediately obvious and applicable. In these scenarios the best you can do is to simply reframe your research significance statement in terms of potential commercial applications in a broad way.

As a reminder: not all studies should address industrial significance, so don’t try to invent applications just for the sake of it!

Societal Significance

What is the societal significance of a study.

The most broad category of significance is the societal impact which could stem from it.

If you’re working in an applied field it may be quite easy to see a route for your research to impact society. For others, the route to societal significance may be less immediate or clear.

Studies can help with big issues facing society such as:

  • Medical applications : vaccines, surgical implants, drugs, improving patient safety. For instance this medical device and drug combination I worked on which has a very direct route to societal significance.
  • Political significance : Your research may provide insights which could contribute towards potential changes in policy or better understanding of issues facing society.
  • Public health : for instance COVID-19 transmission and related decisions.
  • Climate change : mitigation such as more efficient solar panels and lower cost battery solutions, and studying required adaptation efforts and technologies. Also, better understanding around related societal issues, for instance this study on the effects of temperature on hate speech.

How is societal significance measured?

Societal significance at a high level can be quantified by the size of its potential societal effect. Just like a lab risk assessment, you can think of it in terms of probability (or how many people it could help) and impact magnitude.

Societal impact = How many people it could help x the magnitude of the impact

Think about how widely applicable the findings are: for instance does it affect only certain people? Then think about the potential size of the impact: what kind of difference could it make to those people?

Between these two metrics you can get a pretty good overview of the potential societal significance of your research study.

How to describe the societal significance of a study, with examples

Quite often the broad societal significance of your study is what you’re setting the scene for in your Introduction. In addition to describing the existing literature, it is common to for the study’s motivation to touch on its wider impact for society.

For those of us working in healthcare research it is usually pretty easy to see a path towards societal significance.

Our CLOUT model has state-of-the-art performance in mortality prediction, surpassing other competitive NN models and a logistic regression model … Our results show that the risk factors identified by the CLOUT model agree with physicians’ assessment, suggesting that CLOUT could be used in real-world clinicalsettings. Our results strongly support that CLOUT may be a useful tool to generate clinical prediction models, especially among hospitalized and critically ill patient populations. Learning Latent Space Representations to Predict Patient Outcomes: Model Development and Validation

In other domains the societal significance may either take longer or be more indirect, meaning that it can be more difficult to describe the societal impact.

Even so, here are some examples I’ve found from studies in non-healthcare domains:

We examined food waste as an initial investigation and test of this methodology, and there is clear potential for the examination of not only other policy texts related to food waste (e.g., liability protection, tax incentives, etc.; Broad Leib et al., 2020) but related to sustainable fishing (Worm et al., 2006) and energy use (Hawken, 2017). These other areas are of obvious relevance to climate change… AI-Based Text Analysis for Evaluating Food Waste Policies
The continued development of state-of-the art NLP tools tailored to climate policy will allow climate researchers and policy makers to extract meaningful information from this growing body of text, to monitor trends over time and administrative units, and to identify potential policy improvements. BERT Classification of Paris Agreement Climate Action Plans

Top Tips For Identifying & Writing About the Significance of Your Study

  • Writing a thesis? Describe the significance of your study in the Introduction and the Conclusion .
  • Submitting a paper? Read the journal’s guidelines. If you’re writing a statement of significance for a journal, make sure you read any guidance they give for what they’re expecting.
  • Take a step back from your research and consider your study’s main contributions.
  • Read previously published studies in your field . Use this for inspiration and ideas on how to describe the significance of your own study
  • Discuss the study with your supervisor and potential co-authors or collaborators and brainstorm potential types of significance for it.

Now you’ve finished reading up on the significance of a study you may also like my how-to guide for all aspects of writing your first research paper .

Writing an academic journal paper

I hope that you’ve learned something useful from this article about the significance of a study. If you have any more research-related questions let me know, I’m here to help.

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Research Method

Home » Background of The Study – Examples and Writing Guide

Background of The Study – Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Background of The Study

Background of The Study

Definition:

Background of the study refers to the context, circumstances, and history that led to the research problem or topic being studied. It provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and the significance of the study.

The background of the study usually includes a discussion of the relevant literature, the gap in knowledge or understanding, and the research questions or hypotheses to be addressed. It also highlights the importance of the research topic and its potential contributions to the field. A well-written background of the study sets the stage for the research and helps the reader to appreciate the need for the study and its potential significance.

How to Write Background of The Study

Here are some steps to help you write the background of the study:

Identify the Research Problem

Start by identifying the research problem you are trying to address. This problem should be significant and relevant to your field of study.

Provide Context

Once you have identified the research problem, provide some context. This could include the historical, social, or political context of the problem.

Review Literature

Conduct a thorough review of the existing literature on the topic. This will help you understand what has been studied and what gaps exist in the current research.

Identify Research Gap

Based on your literature review, identify the gap in knowledge or understanding that your research aims to address. This gap will be the focus of your research question or hypothesis.

State Objectives

Clearly state the objectives of your research . These should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Discuss Significance

Explain the significance of your research. This could include its potential impact on theory , practice, policy, or society.

Finally, summarize the key points of the background of the study. This will help the reader understand the research problem, its context, and its significance.

How to Write Background of The Study in Proposal

The background of the study is an essential part of any proposal as it sets the stage for the research project and provides the context and justification for why the research is needed. Here are the steps to write a compelling background of the study in your proposal:

  • Identify the problem: Clearly state the research problem or gap in the current knowledge that you intend to address through your research.
  • Provide context: Provide a brief overview of the research area and highlight its significance in the field.
  • Review literature: Summarize the relevant literature related to the research problem and provide a critical evaluation of the current state of knowledge.
  • Identify gaps : Identify the gaps or limitations in the existing literature and explain how your research will contribute to filling these gaps.
  • Justify the study : Explain why your research is important and what practical or theoretical contributions it can make to the field.
  • Highlight objectives: Clearly state the objectives of the study and how they relate to the research problem.
  • Discuss methodology: Provide an overview of the methodology you will use to collect and analyze data, and explain why it is appropriate for the research problem.
  • Conclude : Summarize the key points of the background of the study and explain how they support your research proposal.

How to Write Background of The Study In Thesis

The background of the study is a critical component of a thesis as it provides context for the research problem, rationale for conducting the study, and the significance of the research. Here are some steps to help you write a strong background of the study:

  • Identify the research problem : Start by identifying the research problem that your thesis is addressing. What is the issue that you are trying to solve or explore? Be specific and concise in your problem statement.
  • Review the literature: Conduct a thorough review of the relevant literature on the topic. This should include scholarly articles, books, and other sources that are directly related to your research question.
  • I dentify gaps in the literature: After reviewing the literature, identify any gaps in the existing research. What questions remain unanswered? What areas have not been explored? This will help you to establish the need for your research.
  • Establish the significance of the research: Clearly state the significance of your research. Why is it important to address this research problem? What are the potential implications of your research? How will it contribute to the field?
  • Provide an overview of the research design: Provide an overview of the research design and methodology that you will be using in your study. This should include a brief explanation of the research approach, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques.
  • State the research objectives and research questions: Clearly state the research objectives and research questions that your study aims to answer. These should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Summarize the chapter: Summarize the chapter by highlighting the key points and linking them back to the research problem, significance of the study, and research questions.

How to Write Background of The Study in Research Paper

Here are the steps to write the background of the study in a research paper:

  • Identify the research problem: Start by identifying the research problem that your study aims to address. This can be a particular issue, a gap in the literature, or a need for further investigation.
  • Conduct a literature review: Conduct a thorough literature review to gather information on the topic, identify existing studies, and understand the current state of research. This will help you identify the gap in the literature that your study aims to fill.
  • Explain the significance of the study: Explain why your study is important and why it is necessary. This can include the potential impact on the field, the importance to society, or the need to address a particular issue.
  • Provide context: Provide context for the research problem by discussing the broader social, economic, or political context that the study is situated in. This can help the reader understand the relevance of the study and its potential implications.
  • State the research questions and objectives: State the research questions and objectives that your study aims to address. This will help the reader understand the scope of the study and its purpose.
  • Summarize the methodology : Briefly summarize the methodology you used to conduct the study, including the data collection and analysis methods. This can help the reader understand how the study was conducted and its reliability.

Examples of Background of The Study

Here are some examples of the background of the study:

Problem : The prevalence of obesity among children in the United States has reached alarming levels, with nearly one in five children classified as obese.

Significance : Obesity in childhood is associated with numerous negative health outcomes, including increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.

Gap in knowledge : Despite efforts to address the obesity epidemic, rates continue to rise. There is a need for effective interventions that target the unique needs of children and their families.

Problem : The use of antibiotics in agriculture has contributed to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which poses a significant threat to human health.

Significance : Antibiotic-resistant infections are responsible for thousands of deaths each year and are a major public health concern.

Gap in knowledge: While there is a growing body of research on the use of antibiotics in agriculture, there is still much to be learned about the mechanisms of resistance and the most effective strategies for reducing antibiotic use.

Edxample 3:

Problem : Many low-income communities lack access to healthy food options, leading to high rates of food insecurity and diet-related diseases.

Significance : Poor nutrition is a major contributor to chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Gap in knowledge : While there have been efforts to address food insecurity, there is a need for more research on the barriers to accessing healthy food in low-income communities and effective strategies for increasing access.

Examples of Background of The Study In Research

Here are some real-life examples of how the background of the study can be written in different fields of study:

Example 1 : “There has been a significant increase in the incidence of diabetes in recent years. This has led to an increased demand for effective diabetes management strategies. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a new diabetes management program in improving patient outcomes.”

Example 2 : “The use of social media has become increasingly prevalent in modern society. Despite its popularity, little is known about the effects of social media use on mental health. This study aims to investigate the relationship between social media use and mental health in young adults.”

Example 3: “Despite significant advancements in cancer treatment, the survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer remains low. The purpose of this study is to identify potential biomarkers that can be used to improve early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer.”

Examples of Background of The Study in Proposal

Here are some real-time examples of the background of the study in a proposal:

Example 1 : The prevalence of mental health issues among university students has been increasing over the past decade. This study aims to investigate the causes and impacts of mental health issues on academic performance and wellbeing.

Example 2 : Climate change is a global issue that has significant implications for agriculture in developing countries. This study aims to examine the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers to climate change and identify effective strategies to enhance their resilience.

Example 3 : The use of social media in political campaigns has become increasingly common in recent years. This study aims to analyze the effectiveness of social media campaigns in mobilizing young voters and influencing their voting behavior.

Example 4 : Employee turnover is a major challenge for organizations, especially in the service sector. This study aims to identify the key factors that influence employee turnover in the hospitality industry and explore effective strategies for reducing turnover rates.

Examples of Background of The Study in Thesis

Here are some real-time examples of the background of the study in the thesis:

Example 1 : “Women’s participation in the workforce has increased significantly over the past few decades. However, women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions, particularly in male-dominated industries such as technology. This study aims to examine the factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles in the technology industry, with a focus on organizational culture and gender bias.”

Example 2 : “Mental health is a critical component of overall health and well-being. Despite increased awareness of the importance of mental health, there are still significant gaps in access to mental health services, particularly in low-income and rural communities. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based mental health intervention in improving mental health outcomes in underserved populations.”

Example 3: “The use of technology in education has become increasingly widespread, with many schools adopting online learning platforms and digital resources. However, there is limited research on the impact of technology on student learning outcomes and engagement. This study aims to explore the relationship between technology use and academic achievement among middle school students, as well as the factors that mediate this relationship.”

Examples of Background of The Study in Research Paper

Here are some examples of how the background of the study can be written in various fields:

Example 1: The prevalence of obesity has been on the rise globally, with the World Health Organization reporting that approximately 650 million adults were obese in 2016. Obesity is a major risk factor for several chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. In recent years, several interventions have been proposed to address this issue, including lifestyle changes, pharmacotherapy, and bariatric surgery. However, there is a lack of consensus on the most effective intervention for obesity management. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of different interventions for obesity management and identify the most effective one.

Example 2: Antibiotic resistance has become a major public health threat worldwide. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are associated with longer hospital stays, higher healthcare costs, and increased mortality. The inappropriate use of antibiotics is one of the main factors contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance. Despite numerous efforts to promote the rational use of antibiotics, studies have shown that many healthcare providers continue to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately. This study aims to explore the factors influencing healthcare providers’ prescribing behavior and identify strategies to improve antibiotic prescribing practices.

Example 3: Social media has become an integral part of modern communication, with millions of people worldwide using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media has several advantages, including facilitating communication, connecting people, and disseminating information. However, social media use has also been associated with several negative outcomes, including cyberbullying, addiction, and mental health problems. This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on mental health and identify the factors that mediate this relationship.

Purpose of Background of The Study

The primary purpose of the background of the study is to help the reader understand the rationale for the research by presenting the historical, theoretical, and empirical background of the problem.

More specifically, the background of the study aims to:

  • Provide a clear understanding of the research problem and its context.
  • Identify the gap in knowledge that the study intends to fill.
  • Establish the significance of the research problem and its potential contribution to the field.
  • Highlight the key concepts, theories, and research findings related to the problem.
  • Provide a rationale for the research questions or hypotheses and the research design.
  • Identify the limitations and scope of the study.

When to Write Background of The Study

The background of the study should be written early on in the research process, ideally before the research design is finalized and data collection begins. This allows the researcher to clearly articulate the rationale for the study and establish a strong foundation for the research.

The background of the study typically comes after the introduction but before the literature review section. It should provide an overview of the research problem and its context, and also introduce the key concepts, theories, and research findings related to the problem.

Writing the background of the study early on in the research process also helps to identify potential gaps in knowledge and areas for further investigation, which can guide the development of the research questions or hypotheses and the research design. By establishing the significance of the research problem and its potential contribution to the field, the background of the study can also help to justify the research and secure funding or support from stakeholders.

Advantage of Background of The Study

The background of the study has several advantages, including:

  • Provides context: The background of the study provides context for the research problem by highlighting the historical, theoretical, and empirical background of the problem. This allows the reader to understand the research problem in its broader context and appreciate its significance.
  • Identifies gaps in knowledge: By reviewing the existing literature related to the research problem, the background of the study can identify gaps in knowledge that the study intends to fill. This helps to establish the novelty and originality of the research and its potential contribution to the field.
  • Justifies the research : The background of the study helps to justify the research by demonstrating its significance and potential impact. This can be useful in securing funding or support for the research.
  • Guides the research design: The background of the study can guide the development of the research questions or hypotheses and the research design by identifying key concepts, theories, and research findings related to the problem. This ensures that the research is grounded in existing knowledge and is designed to address the research problem effectively.
  • Establishes credibility: By demonstrating the researcher’s knowledge of the field and the research problem, the background of the study can establish the researcher’s credibility and expertise, which can enhance the trustworthiness and validity of the research.

Disadvantages of Background of The Study

Some Disadvantages of Background of The Study are as follows:

  • Time-consuming : Writing a comprehensive background of the study can be time-consuming, especially if the research problem is complex and multifaceted. This can delay the research process and impact the timeline for completing the study.
  • Repetitive: The background of the study can sometimes be repetitive, as it often involves summarizing existing research and theories related to the research problem. This can be tedious for the reader and may make the section less engaging.
  • Limitations of existing research: The background of the study can reveal the limitations of existing research related to the problem. This can create challenges for the researcher in developing research questions or hypotheses that address the gaps in knowledge identified in the background of the study.
  • Bias : The researcher’s biases and perspectives can influence the content and tone of the background of the study. This can impact the reader’s perception of the research problem and may influence the validity of the research.
  • Accessibility: Accessing and reviewing the literature related to the research problem can be challenging, especially if the researcher does not have access to a comprehensive database or if the literature is not available in the researcher’s language. This can limit the depth and scope of the background of the study.

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What is the Significance of the Study?

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  • By DiscoverPhDs
  • August 25, 2020

Significance of the Study

  • what the significance of the study means,
  • why it’s important to include in your research work,
  • where you would include it in your paper, thesis or dissertation,
  • how you write one
  • and finally an example of a well written section about the significance of the study.

What does Significance of the Study mean?

The significance of the study is a written statement that explains why your research was needed. It’s a justification of the importance of your work and impact it has on your research field, it’s contribution to new knowledge and how others will benefit from it.

Why is the Significance of the Study important?

The significance of the study, also known as the rationale of the study, is important to convey to the reader why the research work was important. This may be an academic reviewer assessing your manuscript under peer-review, an examiner reading your PhD thesis, a funder reading your grant application or another research group reading your published journal paper. Your academic writing should make clear to the reader what the significance of the research that you performed was, the contribution you made and the benefits of it.

How do you write the Significance of the Study?

When writing this section, first think about where the gaps in knowledge are in your research field. What are the areas that are poorly understood with little or no previously published literature? Or what topics have others previously published on that still require further work. This is often referred to as the problem statement.

The introduction section within the significance of the study should include you writing the problem statement and explaining to the reader where the gap in literature is.

Then think about the significance of your research and thesis study from two perspectives: (1) what is the general contribution of your research on your field and (2) what specific contribution have you made to the knowledge and who does this benefit the most.

For example, the gap in knowledge may be that the benefits of dumbbell exercises for patients recovering from a broken arm are not fully understood. You may have performed a study investigating the impact of dumbbell training in patients with fractures versus those that did not perform dumbbell exercises and shown there to be a benefit in their use. The broad significance of the study would be the improvement in the understanding of effective physiotherapy methods. Your specific contribution has been to show a significant improvement in the rate of recovery in patients with broken arms when performing certain dumbbell exercise routines.

This statement should be no more than 500 words in length when written for a thesis. Within a research paper, the statement should be shorter and around 200 words at most.

Significance of the Study: An example

Building on the above hypothetical academic study, the following is an example of a full statement of the significance of the study for you to consider when writing your own. Keep in mind though that there’s no single way of writing the perfect significance statement and it may well depend on the subject area and the study content.

Here’s another example to help demonstrate how a significance of the study can also be applied to non-technical fields:

The significance of this research lies in its potential to inform clinical practices and patient counseling. By understanding the psychological outcomes associated with non-surgical facial aesthetics, practitioners can better guide their patients in making informed decisions about their treatment plans. Additionally, this study contributes to the body of academic knowledge by providing empirical evidence on the effects of these cosmetic procedures, which have been largely anecdotal up to this point.

The statement of the significance of the study is used by students and researchers in academic writing to convey the importance of the research performed; this section is written at the end of the introduction and should describe the specific contribution made and who it benefits.

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Home » Feature » Thesis » Significance of the Study Samples | Writing Tips

Significance of the Study Samples | Writing Tips

When you write a thesis , there is a section there that is allocated for the significance of the study. This article will provide different  significance of the study examples and will discuss tips on how to write this part.

Tips in Writing the Significance of the Study

Here are the tips that may be helpful when writing the significance of the study. These tips will tell you the basic components expected to be seen in the significance of the study content.

1. Refer to the Problem Statement

In writing the significance of the study, always refer to the statement of the problem. This way, you can clearly define the contribution of your study. To simplify, your research should answer this question, “What are the benefits or advantages of the study based on the statement of the problem?”

Start by explaining the problem that your study aimed to solve. For example, if you conducted a research study on obesity rates among elementary school students, you would start by explaining that obesity is a major health concern in the Philippines and discuss why it is important to find ways to address this issue.

2. Write it from General to Particular

Determine the specific contribution of your thesis study to society as well as to the individual. Write it deductively, starting from general to specific. Start your significance of the study broadly then narrow it out to a specific group or person. This is done by looking into the general contribution of your study, such as its importance to society as a whole, then moving towards its contribution to individuals like yourself as a researcher.

Discuss how your study fills a gap in the literature. If you conducted an experiment on the effects of a certain type of food on children, for example, you might start by explaining that no research has been done on this topic before. This section would also include a discussion about why your study is important.

Your problem statement might help you determine the unique contribution of your research. This can be accomplished by ensuring that the aim of the problem and the study’s objectives are identical. For instance, if your research question is “Is there a significant relationship between the use of Facebook Messenger and the performance of students in English spelling? “, you could write as one of the contributions of your study: “The study will identify common errors in spelling and grammar by Messenger users and recommend its appropriate use in a way that can improve performance in spelling.”

You may also read: How to Make a Conceptual Framework

Significance of the Study Samples

Here are some examples to help you draft your own introduction:

Title: Number of Clinical Internship Hours: A Determinant of Student’s Effectiveness and Skill  Acquisition in the Hospital Area for Velez College Students

Significance of the study.

The results of the study will be of great benefit to the following:

College of Nursing Dean . Data given will provide the dean with information on how the number of duty hours in a week affects the student’s academic and RLE performance. The results will enable the dean to improve the scheduling of RLE and different academic subjects. Data gathered will help the dean initiate collaboration among faculty and chairpersons to help plan the advancement of nursing education in relation to the new curriculum.

Clinical Instructors . The results of the study will help the clinical instructors evaluate the quality of care rendered by the nursing students, academic performance, attitude and skills acquired in relation to the number of hours given in a week. Results would also develop the clinical instructor’s teaching-learning and evaluating strategies in enhancing knowledge, skills and attitude to the students in the time frame given.

Students . This study will provide information regarding which time arrangement is effective: 8-hr of clinical internship from the 5-hr clinical internship with additional academic classes. This study will evaluate the academic performance, the student nurse’s attitude and approach, the skills learned in the clinical area, and the quality of care rendered in the given time frame. Data gathered will also help the students improve both academic and clinical performance.

Velez College . This study will improve the school in the development of nursing education. This study will foster new ways of enhancing knowledge, skills, and attitude, thus preparing globally-competitive nurses in the future. This study will also help in the advancement of school management, clinical leadership, and the teaching-evaluation approach.

Title: The Effectiveness of Isuzu’s Blue Power Technology in Fuel Efficiency of Diesel Engines

The generalization of this study would be a great contribution to the vast knowledge in relation to the brand awareness of Isuzu’s Blue Power Euro 4 Technology. Furthermore, the results of this investigation could be highly significant and beneficial for the following:

Current Customers

They refer to consumers that have already bought products from Isuzu. They are considered to be the main beneficiaries of the business. The findings of this study would provide them with adequate information about the product, most especially for those clients that have already bought units with the Blue Power Euro 4 Technology but have no idea of its benefits and advantages.

Potential Customer

They are the consumers that have not yet purchased this brand. This study aims to give them insights and overviews of the product and would help them choose the right variant to purchase.

They are the main beneficiaries of this study, which may help them to improve their marketing strategies. It would provide substantial data to the business that they could make use of in boosting their sales. Moreover, developing brand awareness will cater to more demands and loyalty in the future.

For they also play a vital role in the business and as consumers. This research would give them the idea that such private vehicles exist, which helps them to conserve energy rather than exploit it. Hence, giving back to the community and making it a better place to live.

Proponents of the Study

This refers to the students conducting the study. They will find self-fulfillment and gain knowledge and skills in this study. This study will help and inspire more researchers to be more innovative and creative in their future endeavors.

Future Researchers

This study will serve as a reference for researchers on the subject of research in the field of marketing. This will serve as a guide to further developing the research with the connection to the variables used.

The significance of a study is a key component of a strong scientific paper. By following these tips, you can create a clear and concise explanation of the importance of your work. I hope that these tips and samples will help you create a perfect Significance of the Study for your thesis. Apply these tips to prevent your mind from wandering aimlessly as you draft the significance of the study. It will allow you to focus on the next section of your thesis, helping you finish it on time. Good luck!

guest

good and interesting

ASDASD

thanks for information

Femi Johnson

Very useful. Thanks

davara

Thank you for a very informative article

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  • Writing Tips

How to Discuss the Significance of Your Research

How to Discuss the Significance of Your Research

  • 6-minute read
  • 10th April 2023

Introduction

Research papers can be a real headache for college students . As a student, your research needs to be credible enough to support your thesis statement. You must also ensure you’ve discussed the literature review, findings, and results.

However, it’s also important to discuss the significance of your research . Your potential audience will care deeply about this. It will also help you conduct your research. By knowing the impact of your research, you’ll understand what important questions to answer.

If you’d like to know more about the impact of your research, read on! We’ll talk about why it’s important and how to discuss it in your paper.

What Is the Significance of Research?

This is the potential impact of your research on the field of study. It includes contributions from new knowledge from the research and those who would benefit from it. You should present this before conducting research, so you need to be aware of current issues associated with the thesis before discussing the significance of the research.

Why Does the Significance of Research Matter?

Potential readers need to know why your research is worth pursuing. Discussing the significance of research answers the following questions:

●  Why should people read your research paper ?

●  How will your research contribute to the current knowledge related to your topic?

●  What potential impact will it have on the community and professionals in the field?

Not including the significance of research in your paper would be like a knight trying to fight a dragon without weapons.

Where Do I Discuss the Significance of Research in My Paper?

As previously mentioned, the significance of research comes before you conduct it. Therefore, you should discuss the significance of your research in the Introduction section. Your reader should know the problem statement and hypothesis beforehand.

Steps to Discussing the Significance of Your Research

Discussing the significance of research might seem like a loaded question, so we’ve outlined some steps to help you tackle it.

Step 1: The Research Problem

The problem statement can reveal clues about the outcome of your research. Your research should provide answers to the problem, which is beneficial to all those concerned. For example, imagine the problem statement is, “To what extent do elementary and high school teachers believe cyberbullying affects student performance?”

Learning teachers’ opinions on the effects of cyberbullying on student performance could result in the following:

●  Increased public awareness of cyberbullying in elementary and high schools

●  Teachers’ perceptions of cyberbullying negatively affecting student performance

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●  Whether cyberbullying is more prevalent in elementary or high schools

The research problem will steer your research in the right direction, so it’s best to start with the problem statement.

Step 2: Existing Literature in the Field

Think about current information on your topic, and then find out what information is missing. Are there any areas that haven’t been explored? Your research should add new information to the literature, so be sure to state this in your discussion. You’ll need to know the current literature on your topic anyway, as this is part of your literature review section .

Step 3: Your Research’s Impact on Society

Inform your readers about the impact on society your research could have on it. For example, in the study about teachers’ opinions on cyberbullying, you could mention that your research will educate the community about teachers’ perceptions of cyberbullying as it affects student performance. As a result, the community will know how many teachers believe cyberbullying affects student performance.

You can also mention specific individuals and institutions that would benefit from your study. In the example of cyberbullying, you might indicate that school principals and superintendents would benefit from your research.

Step 4: Future Studies in the Field

Next, discuss how the significance of your research will benefit future studies, which is especially helpful for future researchers in your field. In the example of cyberbullying affecting student performance, your research could provide further opportunities to assess teacher perceptions of cyberbullying and its effects on students from larger populations. This prepares future researchers for data collection and analysis.

Discussing the significance of your research may sound daunting when you haven’t conducted it yet. However, an audience might not read your paper if they don’t know the significance of the research. By focusing on the problem statement and the research benefits to society and future studies, you can convince your audience of the value of your research.

Remember that everything you write doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can go back and tweak the significance of your research after conducting it. At first, you might only include general contributions of your study, but as you research, your contributions will become more specific.

You should have a solid understanding of your topic in general, its associated problems, and the literature review before tackling the significance of your research. However, you’re not trying to prove your thesis statement at this point. The significance of research just convinces the audience that your study is worth reading.

Finally, we always recommend seeking help from your research advisor whenever you’re struggling with ideas. For a more visual idea of how to discuss the significance of your research, we suggest checking out this video .

1. Do I need to do my research before discussing its significance?

No, you’re discussing the significance of your research before you conduct it. However, you should be knowledgeable about your topic and the related literature.

2. Is the significance of research the same as its implications?

No, the research implications are potential questions from your study that justify further exploration, which comes after conducting the research.

 3. Discussing the significance of research seems overwhelming. Where should I start?

We recommend the problem statement as a starting point, which reveals clues to the potential outcome of your research.

4. How can I get feedback on my discussion of the significance of my research?

Our proofreading experts can help. They’ll check your writing for grammar, punctuation errors, spelling, and concision. Submit a 500-word document for free today!

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Examples

Significance of the Study

Ai generator.

how to create significance of the study in research

The significance of the study underscores the research’s importance, illustrating its impact on existing knowledge and potential applications. It highlights how the findings address gaps, resolve problems, or contribute to advancements in a specific field. By emphasizing the study’s relevance, it demonstrates the broader implications for society, academia, or industry, justifying the research effort and investment.

What is the Significance of the Study?

The significance of the study illustrates the research’s importance, highlighting its impact on existing knowledge and potential applications. It addresses gaps, resolves problems, or contributes to advancements in a specific field. Emphasizing the study’s relevance, it demonstrates broader implications for society, academia, or industry, justifying the research effort and investment.

Significance of the Study Format

When writing the “Significance of the Study” section in a research paper , follow this format to ensure clarity and impact:

1. Introduction

  • Contextual Background: Provide a brief background of the research topic.
  • Research Problem: State the problem the study addresses.

2. Purpose of the Study

  • Objective Statement: Clearly define the main objective of the study.
  • Scope of the Study: Outline what the study covers.

3. Importance to the Field

  • Contribution to Knowledge: Explain how the study will add to existing knowledge.
  • Theoretical Significance: Discuss the study’s theoretical implications.

4. Practical Implications

  • Real-world Application: Describe how the findings can be applied in practical setting .
  • Beneficiaries: Identify who will benefit from the research (e.g., policymakers, practitioners, educators).

5. Advancement of Future Research

  • Foundation for Future Studies: Indicate how the study can serve as a basis for further research.
  • Research Gaps: Highlight any gaps the study aims to fill.

6. Societal Impact

  • Broader Implications: Discuss the potential societal benefits or changes resulting from the study.
  • Public Awareness: Explain how the study can raise awareness or understanding of the issue.

7. Conclusion

  • Summary of Significance: Recap the main points that underline the importance of the study.
  • Call to Action: Encourage specific actions or further studies based on the research findings.
Significance of the Study on Impact of Remote Work on Employee Productivity in the Tech Industry 1. Introduction The rapid shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the dynamics of workplace productivity, especially within the tech industry. This study aims to examine how remote work influences employee productivity compared to traditional office settings. 2. Purpose of the Study The primary objective of this research is to evaluate the productivity levels of tech employees working remotely versus those working in office environments. The study analyzes various productivity metrics, such as task completion rates, quality of work, and employee satisfaction. 3. Importance to the Field This research contributes significantly to the existing body of knowledge by providing empirical data on the productivity impacts of remote work. It refines theoretical models of workplace productivity and offers new insights into remote work dynamics specific to the tech sector. Understanding these dynamics helps scholars and practitioners alike in shaping effective productivity strategies in the evolving work landscape. 4. Practical Implications The findings from this study have crucial practical implications for tech companies aiming to optimize their remote work policies. By understanding how remote work affects productivity, managers and HR departments can develop strategies to enhance employee performance and well-being in remote settings. These insights can also assist in designing training programs that equip employees with the skills needed for effective remote work. 5. Advancement of Future Research This study sets the stage for future research on long-term remote work trends and their impacts across various industries. It addresses existing gaps by providing a detailed analysis of how remote work influences productivity in the tech sector. Future researchers can build on this work to explore remote work dynamics in other fields and under different conditions. 6. Societal Impact The study highlights the broader societal implications of remote work, such as promoting work-life balance, reducing urban congestion, and lowering environmental pollution. By demonstrating the potential benefits of remote work, this research can influence public policy and corporate strategies towards more sustainable and flexible working conditions, ultimately contributing to societal well-being. 7. Conclusion Understanding the impact of remote work on productivity is essential for developing effective work policies and creating healthier work environments. This study provides valuable insights that can guide tech companies in optimizing their remote work strategies. Future research should explore the long-term effects of remote work across different sectors to provide a comprehensive understanding of its benefits and challenges.

Significance of the Study Examples

  • Significance of the Study: Research Paper
  • Significance of the Study: Qunatitive Research
  • Significance of the Study: Qualitative Research

Research Paper

Significance-of-the-Study-Research-Paper-Edit-Download-Pdf

Qunatitive Research

Significance-of-the-Study-Quantitative-Research-Edit-Download-Pdf

Qualitative Research

Significance-of-the-Study-Qualitative-Research-Edit-Download-Pdf

More Significance of the Study Examples

  • Educational Resources and Student Performance
  • Business Innovation and Competitive Advantage
  • Social Media Influencers and Brand Loyalty
  • Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activ ity
  • Sustainable Food Practices and Consumer Behavior
  • Green Building and Energy Efficiency
  • Technology in Healthcare
  • Employee Engagement and Job Performance
  • Business Strategies and Market Adaptation
  • Mindfulness at Work

Purpose of Writing the Significance of a Study

When writing academic research or scholarly articles, one critical section is the significance of the study . This part addresses the importance and impact of the research, both theoretically and practically. Here are the main purposes of writing the significance of a study:

1. Establishing Relevance

The primary purpose is to explain why the study is relevant. It connects the research to existing literature, highlighting gaps or deficiencies that the current study aims to fill. This helps to justify the research problem and demonstrates the necessity of the study.

2. Highlighting Contributions

This section outlines the contributions the study will make to the field. It discusses how the findings can advance knowledge, theory, or practice. The significance emphasizes new insights, innovative approaches, or advancements that the study will provide.

3. Guiding Further Research

The significance of the study often includes suggestions for future research. By identifying limitations and unexplored areas, it encourages other researchers to pursue related questions. This helps to build a foundation for continuous inquiry and discovery.

4. Demonstrating Practical Applications

Beyond theoretical contributions, the significance of the study highlights practical applications. It shows how the research can solve real-world problems, improve practices, or influence policy-making. This connects academic research to practical outcomes that benefit society.

5. Engaging Stakeholders

Writing the significance of a study engages various stakeholders, including scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and funders. It communicates the value of the research to different audiences, making it easier to garner support, funding, or collaboration.

6. Enhancing Research Impact

A well-articulated significance section enhances the overall impact of the research. It underscores the importance and potential influence of the study, increasing its visibility and recognition in the academic community and beyond.

Benefits of Significance of the Study

Writing the significance of a study offers several benefits that enhance the research’s value and impact. Here are the key benefits:

1. Clarifies Research Value

The significance section clarifies the value of the research by explaining its importance and relevance. It helps readers understand why the study matters and what contributions it aims to make to the field.

2. Justifies the Research Problem

This section provides a rationale for the study by highlighting the research problem’s importance. It justifies the need for the study by identifying gaps in existing literature and explaining how the research will address these gaps.

3. Engages and Motivates Readers

A well-articulated significance section engages and motivates readers, including scholars, practitioners, and policymakers. It draws their interest by showcasing the study’s potential impact and benefits.

4. Secures Funding and Support

Explaining the significance of the study can help secure funding and support from stakeholders. Funding agencies and institutions are more likely to invest in research that demonstrates clear value and potential impact.

5. Guides Research Focus

The significance section helps guide the research focus by clearly defining the study’s contributions and goals. This clarity ensures that the research stays on track and aligns with its intended purpose.

6. Enhances Academic Credibility

Demonstrating the significance of a study enhances the researcher’s academic credibility. It shows a deep understanding of the field and the ability to identify and address important research questions.

7. Encourages Further Research

By identifying gaps and suggesting future research directions, the significance section encourages other researchers to build on the study’s findings. This fosters a continuous cycle of inquiry and discovery in the field.

8. Highlights Practical Applications

The significance section highlights practical applications of the research, showing how it can solve real-world problems. This makes the study more appealing to practitioners and policymakers who are interested in practical solutions.

9. Increases Research Impact

A clear and compelling significance section increases the overall impact of the research. It enhances the study’s visibility and recognition, leading to broader dissemination and application of the findings.

10. Supports Academic and Professional Goals

For researchers, writing a strong significance section supports academic and professional goals. It can contribute to career advancement, publication opportunities, and recognition within the academic community.

How to Write the Significance of the Study

How to Write the Significance of a Study

Writing the significance of a study involves explaining the importance and impact of your research. This section should clearly articulate why your study matters, how it contributes to the field, and what practical applications it may have. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you write an effective significance of the study:

Start with the Context

Begin by providing a brief overview of the research context. This sets the stage for understanding the importance of your study. Example : “In today’s digital age, digital literacy has become a critical skill for students. As technology continues to integrate into education, understanding its impact on academic performance is essential.”

Identify the Research Gap

Explain the gap in existing literature or the problem your study aims to address. Highlighting this gap justifies the need for your research. Example: “Despite the growing importance of digital literacy, there is limited empirical evidence on its direct impact on high school students’ academic performance. This study seeks to fill this gap by investigating this relationship.”

Explain the Theoretical Contributions

Discuss how your study will contribute to existing theories or knowledge in the field. This shows the academic value of your research. Example : “The findings of this study will contribute to educational theory by providing new insights into how digital literacy skills influence student learning outcomes. It will expand the current understanding of the role of technology in education.”

Highlight Practical Implications

Describe the practical applications of your research. Explain how the findings can be used in real-world settings. Example : “Practically, the results of this study can inform educators and policymakers about the importance of incorporating digital literacy programs into the curriculum. It will help design more effective teaching strategies that enhance students’ digital competencies.”

Mention the Beneficiaries

Identify who will benefit from your study. This could include scholars, practitioners, policymakers, or specific groups affected by the research problem. Example: “This research will benefit educators, school administrators, and policymakers by providing evidence-based recommendations for integrating digital literacy into educational practices. Additionally, students will benefit from improved learning outcomes and better preparedness for the digital world.”

Suggest Future Research

Point out areas for future research that stem from your study. This shows the ongoing relevance and potential for further inquiry. Example : “Future research could explore the long-term effects of digital literacy on career readiness and job performance. Additionally, studies could examine the impact of specific digital literacy interventions on diverse student populations.”

Use Clear and Concise Language

Ensure your writing is clear and concise. Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences to make your significance easily understandable.

What is the significance of a study?

The significance explains the importance, contributions, and impact of the research, highlighting why the study is necessary and how it benefits the field and society.

Why is the significance of a study important?

It justifies the research, engages readers, secures funding, guides the research focus, and highlights practical and theoretical contributions, enhancing the study’s impact and visibility.

How do you identify the significance of a study?

Identify gaps in existing literature, potential contributions to theory and practice, and practical applications that address real-world problems, demonstrating the study’s relevance and importance.

What should be included in the significance of a study?

Include the research context, identified gaps, theoretical contributions, practical applications, beneficiaries, and suggestions for future research to comprehensively explain the study’s importance.

How long should the significance of a study be?

Typically, the significance section should be concise, around 1-2 paragraphs, providing enough detail to clearly convey the study’s importance and contributions.

Can the significance of a study influence funding decisions?

Yes, a well-articulated significance section can attract funding by demonstrating the study’s potential impact and relevance to funding agencies and stakeholders.

How does the significance of a study benefit researchers?

It clarifies the research focus, enhances credibility, guides the research process, and supports academic and professional goals by highlighting the study’s contributions and importance.

Should the significance of a study mention future research?

Yes, mentioning future research directions shows the ongoing relevance of the study and encourages further inquiry, contributing to continuous advancement in the field.

How does the significance of a study relate to the research problem?

The significance justifies the research problem by explaining its importance, highlighting gaps in existing knowledge, and showing how the study addresses these issues.

Can practical applications be part of the significance of a study?

Yes, practical applications are crucial, showing how the research can solve real-world problems, influence practices, and benefit specific groups or society overall.

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Significance of a Study: Revisiting the “So What” Question

  • Open Access
  • First Online: 03 December 2022

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how to create significance of the study in research

  • James Hiebert 6 ,
  • Jinfa Cai 7 ,
  • Stephen Hwang 7 ,
  • Anne K Morris 6 &
  • Charles Hohensee 6  

Part of the book series: Research in Mathematics Education ((RME))

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Every researcher wants their study to matter—to make a positive difference for their professional communities. To ensure your study matters, you can formulate clear hypotheses and choose methods that will test them well, as described in Chaps. 1, 2, 3 and 4. You can go further, however, by considering some of the terms commonly used to describe the importance of studies, terms like significance, contributions, and implications. As you clarify for yourself the meanings of these terms, you learn that whether your study matters depends on how convincingly you can argue for its importance. Perhaps most surprising is that convincing others of its importance rests with the case you make before the data are ever gathered. The importance of your hypotheses should be apparent before you test them. Are your predictions about things the profession cares about? Can you make them with a striking degree of precision? Are the rationales that support them compelling? You are answering the “So what?” question as you formulate hypotheses and design tests of them. This means you can control the answer. You do not need to cross your fingers and hope as you collect data.

You have full access to this open access chapter,  Download chapter PDF

Part I. Setting the Groundwork

One of the most common questions asked of researchers is “So what?” What difference does your study make? Why are the findings important? The “so what” question is one of the most basic questions, often perceived by novice researchers as the most difficult question to answer. Indeed, addressing the “so what” question continues to challenge even experienced researchers. It is not always easy to articulate a convincing argument for the importance of your work. It can be especially difficult to describe its importance without falling into the trap of making claims that reach beyond the data.

That this issue is a challenge for researchers is illustrated by our analysis of reviewer comments for JRME . About one-third of the reviews for manuscripts that were ultimately rejected included concerns about the importance of the study. Said another way, reviewers felt the “So what?” question had not been answered. To paraphrase one journal reviewer, “The manuscript left me unsure of what the contribution of this work to the field’s knowledge is, and therefore I doubt its significance.” We expect this is a frequent concern of reviewers for all research journals.

Our goal in this chapter is to help you navigate the pressing demands of journal reviewers, editors, and readers for demonstrating the importance of your work while staying within the bounds of acceptable claims based on your results. We will begin by reviewing what we have said about these issues in previous chapters. We will then clarify one of the confusing aspects of developing appropriate arguments—the absence of consensus definitions of key terms such as significance, contributions, and implications. Based on the definitions we propose, we will examine the critical role of alignment for realizing the potential significance of your study. Because the importance of your study is communicated through your evolving research paper, we will fold suggestions for writing your paper into the discussion of creating and executing your study.

The picture illustrates a description - A confusing aspect of developing appropriate arguments is the absence of consensus definitions of some key terms.

We laid the groundwork in Chap. 1 for what we consider to be important research in education:

In our view, the ultimate goal of education is to offer all students the best possible learning opportunities. So, we believe the ultimate purpose of scientific inquiry in education is to support the improvement of learning opportunities for all students…. If there is no way to imagine a connection to improving learning opportunities for students, even a distant connection, we recommend you reconsider whether it is an important hypothesis within the education community.

Of course, you might prefer another “ultimate purpose” for research in education. That’s fine. The critical point is that the argument for the importance of the hypotheses you are testing should be connected to the value of a long-term goal you can describe. As long as most of the educational community agrees with this goal, and you can show how testing your hypotheses will move the field forward to achieving this goal, you will have developed a convincing argument for the importance of your work.

In Chap. 2 , we argued the importance of your hypotheses can and should be established before you collect data. Your theoretical framework should carry the weight of your argument because it should describe how your hypotheses will extend what is already known. Your methods should then show that you will test your hypotheses in an appropriate way—in a way that will allow you to detect how the results did, and did not, confirm the hypotheses. This will, in turn, allow you to formulate revised hypotheses. We described establishing the importance of your study by saying, “The importance can come from the fact that, based on the results, you will be able to offer revised hypotheses that help the field better understand an issue relevant for improving all students’ learning opportunities.”

The ideas from Chaps. 1 , 2 , and 3 go a long way toward setting the parameters for what counts as an important study and how its importance can be determined. Chapter 4 focused on ensuring that the importance of a study can be realized. The next section fills in the details by proposing definitions for the most common terms used to claim importance: significance, contributions, and implications.

You might notice that we do not have a chapter dedicated to discussing the presentation of the findings—that is, a “results” chapter. We do not mean to imply that presenting results is trivial. However, we believe that if you follow our recommendations for writing your evolving research paper, presenting the results will be quite straightforward. The key is to present your results so they can be most easily compared with your predictions. This means, among other things, organizing your presentation of results according to your earlier presentation of hypotheses.

Part II. Clarifying Importance by Revisiting the Definitions of Key Terms

What does it mean to say your findings are significant? Statistical significance is clear. There are widely accepted standards for determining the statistical significance of findings. But what about educational significance? Is this the same as claiming that your study makes an important contribution? Or, that your study has important implications? Different researchers might answer these questions in different ways. When key terms like these are overused, their definitions gradually broaden or shift, and they can lose their meaning. That is unfortunate, because it creates confusion about how to develop claims for the importance of a study.

By clarifying the definitions, we hope to clarify what is required to claim that a study is significant , that it makes a contribution , and that it has important implications . Not everyone defines the terms as we do. Our definitions are probably a bit narrower or more targeted than those you may encounter elsewhere. Depending on where you want to publish your study, you may want to adapt your use of these terms to match more closely the expectations of a particular journal. But the way we define and address these terms is not antithetical to common uses. And we believe ridding the terms of unnecessary overlap allows us to discriminate among different key concepts with respect to claims for the importance of research studies. It is not necessary to define the terms exactly as we have, but it is critical that the ideas embedded in our definitions be distinguished and that all of them be taken into account when examining the importance of a study.

We will use the following definitions:

Significance: The importance of the problem, questions, and/or hypotheses for improving the learning opportunities for all students (you can substitute a different long-term goal if its value is widely shared). Significance can be determined before data are gathered. Significance is an attribute of the research problem , not the research findings .

Contributions : The value of the findings for revising the hypotheses, making clear what has been learned, what is now better understood.

Implications : Deductions about what can be concluded from the findings that are not already included in “contributions.” The most common deductions in educational research are for improving educational practice. Deductions for research practice that are not already defined as contributions are often suggestions about research methods that are especially useful or methods to avoid.

Significance

The significance of a study is built by formulating research questions and hypotheses you connect through a careful argument to a long-term goal of widely shared value (e.g., improving learning opportunities for all students). Significance applies both to the domain in which your study is located and to your individual study. The significance of the domain is established by choosing a goal of widely shared value and then identifying a domain you can show is connected to achieving the goal. For example, if the goal to which your study contributes is improving the learning opportunities for all students, your study might aim to understand more fully how things work in a domain such as teaching for conceptual understanding, or preparing teachers to attend to all students, or designing curricula to support all learners, or connecting learning opportunities to particular learning outcomes.

The significance of your individual study is something you build ; it is not predetermined or self-evident. Significance of a study is established by making a case for it, not by simply choosing hypotheses everyone already thinks are important. Although you might believe the significance of your study is obvious, readers will need to be convinced.

The picture illustrates a description- Significance can be determined before data are gathered. Significance is an attribute of the research problems.

Significance is something you develop in your evolving research paper. The theoretical framework you present connects your study to what has been investigated previously. Your argument for significance of the domain comes from the significance of the line of research of which your study is a part. The significance of your study is developed by showing, through the presentation of your framework, how your study advances this line of research. This means the lion’s share of your answer to the “So what?” question will be developed as part of your theoretical framework.

Although defining significance as located in your paper prior to presenting results is not a definition universally shared among educational researchers, it is becoming an increasingly common view. In fact, there is movement toward evaluating the significance of a study based only on the first sections of a research paper—the sections prior to the results (Makel et al., 2021 ).

In addition to addressing the “So what?” question, your theoretical framework can address another common concern often voiced by readers: “What is so interesting? I could have predicted those results.” Predictions do not need to be surprising to be interesting and significant. The significance comes from the rationales that show how the predictions extend what is currently known. It is irrelevant how many researchers could have made the predictions. What makes a study significant is that the theoretical framework and the predictions make clear how the study will increase the field’s understanding toward achieving a goal of shared value.

The picture represents a description-What makes a study significant in the theoretical framework and the predictions make clear how it will increase the field's understanding.

An important consequence of interpreting significance as a carefully developed argument for the importance of your research study within a larger domain is that it reveals the advantage of conducting a series of connected studies rather than single, disconnected studies. Building the significance of a research study requires time and effort. Once you have established significance for a particular study, you can build on this same argument for related studies. This saves time, allows you to continue to refine your argument across studies, and increases the likelihood your studies will contribute to the field.

Contributions

As we have noted, in fields as complicated as education, it is unlikely that your predictions will be entirely accurate. If the problem you are investigating is significant, the hypotheses will be formulated in such a way that they extend a line of research to understand more deeply phenomena related to students’ learning opportunities or another goal of shared value. Often, this means investigating the conditions under which phenomena occur. This gets complicated very quickly, so the data you gather will likely differ from your predictions in a variety of ways. The contributions your study makes will depend on how you interpret these results in light of the original hypotheses.

The picture represents a description-A study's contribution lies in the value of its findings for revising the hypotheses, making clear what has been learned.

Contributions Emerge from Revisions to your Hypotheses

We view interpreting results as a process of comparing the data with the predictions and then examining the way in which hypotheses should be revised to more fully account for the results. Revising will almost always be warranted because, as we noted, predictions are unlikely to be entirely accurate. For example, if researchers expect Outcome A to occur under specified conditions but find that it does not occur to the extent predicted or actually does occur but without all the conditions, they must ask what changes to the hypotheses are needed to predict more accurately the conditions under which Outcome A occurred. Are there, for example, essential conditions that were not anticipated and that should be included in the revised hypotheses?

Consider an example from a recently published study (Wang et al., 2021 ). A team of researchers investigated the following research question: “How are students’ perceptions of their parents’ expectations related to students’ mathematics-related beliefs and their perceived mathematics achievement?” The researchers predicted that students’ perceptions of their parents’ expectations would be highly related to students’ mathematics-related beliefs and their perceived mathematics achievement. The rationale was based largely on prior research that had consistently found parents’ general educational expectations to be highly correlated with students’ achievement.

The findings showed that Chinese high school students’ perceptions of their parents’ educational expectations were positively related to these students’ mathematics-related beliefs. In other words, students who believed their parents expected them to attain higher levels of education had more desirable mathematics-related beliefs.

However, students’ perceptions of their parents’ expectations about mathematics achievement were not related to students’ mathematics-related beliefs in the same way as the more general parental educational expectations. Students who reported that their parents had no specific expectations possessed more desirable mathematics-related beliefs than all other subgroups. In addition, these students tended to perceive their mathematics achievement rank in their class to be higher on average than students who reported that their parents expressed some level of expectation for mathematics achievement.

Because this finding was not predicted, the researchers revised the original hypothesis. Their new prediction was that students who believe their parents have no specific mathematics achievement expectations possess more positive mathematics-related beliefs and higher perceived mathematics achievement than students who believe their parents do have specific expectations. They developed a revised rationale that drew on research on parental pressure and mathematics anxiety, positing that parents’ specific mathematics achievement expectations might increase their children’s sense of pressure and anxiety, thus fostering less positive mathematics-related beliefs. The team then conducted a follow-up study. Their findings aligned more closely with the new predictions and affirmed the better explanatory power of the revised rationale. The contributions of the study are found in this increased explanatory power—in the new understandings of this phenomenon contained in the revisions to the rationale.

Interpreting findings in order to revise hypotheses is not a straightforward task. Usually, the rationales blend multiple constructs or variables and predict multiple outcomes, with different outcomes connected to different research questions and addressed by different sets of data. Nevertheless, the contributions of your study depend on specifying the differences between your original hypotheses and your revised hypotheses. What can you explain now that you could not explain before?

We believe that revising hypotheses is an optimal response to any question of contributions because a researcher’s initial hypotheses plus the revisions suggested by the data are the most productive way to tie a study into the larger chain of research of which it is a part. Revised hypotheses represent growth in knowledge. Building on other researchers’ revised hypotheses and revising them further by more explicitly and precisely describing the conditions that are expected to influence the outcomes in the next study accumulates knowledge in a form that can be recorded, shared, built upon, and improved.

The significance of your study is presented in the opening sections of your evolving research paper whereas the contributions are presented in the final section, after the results. In fact, the central focus in this “Discussion” section should be a specification of the contributions (note, though, that this guidance may not fully align with the requirements of some journals).

Contributions Answer the Question of Generalizability

A common and often contentious, confusing issue that can befuddle novice and experienced researchers alike is the generalizability of results. All researchers prefer to believe the results they report apply to more than the sample of participants in their study. How important would a study be if the results applied only to, say, two fourth-grade classrooms in one school, or to the exact same tasks used as measures? How do you decide to which larger population (of students or tasks) your results could generalize? How can you state your claims so they are precisely those justified by the data?

To illustrate the challenge faced by researchers in answering these questions, we return to the JRME reviewers. We found that 30% of the reviews expressed concerns about the match between the results and the claims. For manuscripts that ultimately received a decision of Reject, the majority of reviewers said the authors had overreached—the claims were not supported by the data. In other words, authors generalized their claims beyond those that could be justified.

The Connection Between Contributions and Generalizability

In our view, claims about contributions can be examined productively alongside considerations of generalizability. To make the case for this view, we need to back up a bit. Recall that the purpose of research is to understand a phenomenon. To understand a phenomenon, you need to determine the conditions under which it occurs. Consequently, productive hypotheses specify the conditions under which the predictions hold and explain why and how these conditions make a difference. And the conditions set the parameters on generalizability. They identify when, where, and for whom the effect or situation will occur. So, hypotheses describe the extent of expected generalizability, and revised hypotheses that contain the contributions recalibrate generalizability and offer new predictions within these parameters.

An Example That Illustrates the Connection

In Chap. 4 , we introduced an example with a research question asking whether second graders improve their understanding of place value after a specially designed instructional intervention. We suggested asking a few second and third graders to complete your tasks to see if they generated the expected variation in performance. Suppose you completed this pilot study and now have satisfactory tasks. What conditions might influence the effect of the intervention? After careful study, you developed rationales that supported three conditions: the entry level of students’ understanding, the way in which the intervention is implemented, and the classroom norms that set expectations for students’ participation.

Suppose your original hypotheses predicted the desired effect of the intervention only if the students possessed an understanding of several concepts on which place value is built, only if the intervention was implemented with fidelity to the detailed instructional guidelines, and only if classroom norms encouraged students to participate in small-group work and whole-class discussions. Your claims of generalizability will apply to second-grade settings with these characteristics.

Now suppose you designed the study so the intervention occurred in five second-grade classrooms that agreed to participate. The pre-intervention assessment showed all students with the minimal level of entry understanding. The same well-trained teacher was employed to teach the intervention in all five classrooms, none of which included her own students. And you learned from prior observations and reports of the classroom teachers that three of the classrooms operated with the desired classroom norms, but two did not. Because of these conditions, your study is now designed to test one of your hypotheses—the desired effect will occur only if classroom norms encouraged students to participate in small-group work and whole-class discussions. This is the only condition that will vary; the other two (prior level of understanding and fidelity of implementation) are the same across classrooms so you will not learn how these affect the results.

Suppose the classrooms performed equally well on the post-intervention assessments. You expected lower performance in the two classrooms with less student participation, so you need to revise your hypotheses. The challenge is to explain the higher-than-expected performance of these students. Because you were interested in understanding the effects of this condition, you observed several lessons in all the classrooms during the intervention. You can now use this information to explain why the intervention worked equally well in classrooms with different norms.

Your revised hypothesis captures this part of your study’s contribution. You can now say more about the ways in which the intervention can help students improve their understanding of place value because you have different information about the role of classroom norms. This, in turn, allows you to specify more precisely the nature and extent of the generalizability of your findings. You now can generalize your findings to classrooms with different norms. However, because you did not learn more about the impact of students’ entry level understandings or of different kinds of implementation, the generalizability along these dimensions remains as limited as before.

This example is simplified. In many studies, the findings will be more complicated, and more conditions will likely be identified, some of which were anticipated and some of which emerged while conducting the study and analyzing the data. Nevertheless, the point is that generalizability should be tied to the conditions that are expected to affect the results. Further, unanticipated conditions almost always appear, so generalizations should be conservative and made with caution and humility. They are likely to change after testing the new predictions.

Contributions Are Assured When Hypotheses Are Significant and Methods Are Appropriate and Aligned

We have argued that the contributions of your study are produced by the revised hypotheses you can formulate based on your results. Will these revisions always represent contributions to the field? What if the revisions are minor? What if your results do not inform revisions to your hypotheses?

We will answer these questions briefly now and then develop them further in Part IV of this chapter. The answer to the primary question is “yes,” your revisions will always be a contribution to the field if (1) your hypotheses are significant and (2) you crafted appropriate methods to test the hypotheses. This is true even if your revisions are minor or if your data are not as informative as you expected. However, this is true only if you meet the two conditions in the earlier sentence. The first condition (significant hypotheses) can be satisfied by following the suggestions in the earlier section on significance. The second condition (appropriate methods) is addressed further in Part III in this chapter.

Implications

Before examining the role of methods in connecting significance with important contributions, we elaborate briefly our definition of “implications.” We reserve implications for the conclusions you can logically deduce from your findings that are not already presented as contributions. This means that, like contributions, implications are presented in the Discussion section of your research paper.

Many educational researchers present two types of implications: implications for future research and implications for practice. Although we are aware of this common usage, we believe our definition of “contributions” cover these implications. Clarifying why we call these “contributions” will explain why we largely reserve the word “implications” for recommendations regarding methods.

Implications for Future Research

Implications for future research often include (1) recommendations for empirical studies that would extend the findings of this study, (2) inferences about the usefulness of theoretical constructs, and (3) conclusions about the advisability of using particular kinds of methods. Given our earlier definitions, we prefer to label the first two types of implications as contributions.

Consider recommendations for empirical studies. After analyzing the data and presenting the results, we have suggested you compare the results with those predicted, revise the rationales for the original predictions to account for the results, and make new predictions based on the revised rationales. It is precisely these new predictions that can form the basis for recommending future research. Testing these new predictions is what would most productively extend this line of research. It can sometimes sound as if researchers are recommending future studies based on hunches about what research might yield useful findings. But researchers can do better than this. It would be more productive to base recommendations on a careful analysis of how the predictions of the original study could be sharpened and improved.

Now consider inferences about the usefulness of theoretical constructs. Our argument for labeling these inferences as contributions is similar. Rationales for predictions are where the relevant theoretical constructs are located. Revisions to these rationales based on the differences between the results and the predictions reveal the theoretical constructs that were affirmed to support accurate predictions and those that must be revised. In our view, usefulness is determined through this revision process.

Implications that do not come under our meaning of contributions are in the third type of implications, namely the appropriateness of methods for generating rich contributions. These kinds of implications are produced by your evaluation of your methods: research design, sampling procedures, tasks, data collection procedures, and data analyses. Although not always included in the discussion of findings, we believe it would be helpful for researchers to identify particular methods that were useful for conducting their study and those that should be modified or avoided. We believe these are appropriately called implications.

Implications for Practice

If the purpose of research is to better understand how to improve learning opportunities for all students, then it is appropriate to consider whether implications for improving educational practice can be drawn from the results of a study. How are these implications formulated? This is an important question because, in our view, these claims often come across as an afterthought, “Oh, I need to add some implications for practice.” But here is the sobering reality facing researchers: By any measure, the history of educational research shows that identifying these implications has had little positive effect on practice.

Perhaps the most challenging task for researchers who attempt to draw implications for practice is to interpret their findings for appropriate settings. A researcher who studied the instructional intervention for second graders on place value and found that average performance in the intervention classrooms improved more than in the textbook classrooms might be tempted to draw implications for practice. What should the researcher say? That second-grade teachers should adopt the intervention? Such an implication would be an overreach because, as we noted earlier, the findings cannot be generalized to all second-grade classrooms. Moreover, an improvement in average performance does not mean the intervention was better for all students.

The challenge is to identify the conditions under which the intervention would improve the learning opportunities for all students. Some of these conditions will be identified as the theoretical framework is built because the predictions need to account for these conditions. But some will be unforeseen, and some that are identified will not be informed by the findings. Recall that, in the study described earlier, a condition of entry level of understanding was hypothesized but the design of the study did not allow the researcher to draw any conclusions about its effect.

What can researchers say about implications for practice given the complexities involved in generalizing findings to other settings? We offer two recommendations. First, because it is difficult to specify all the conditions under which a phenomenon occurs, it is rarely appropriate to prescribe an educational practice. Researchers cannot anticipate the conditions under which individual teachers operate, conditions that often require adaptation of a suggested practice rather than implementation of a practice as prescribed.

Our second recommendation comes from returning to the purpose for educational research—to understand more fully how to improve learning opportunities for all students (or to achieve another goal of widely shared value). As we have described, understanding comes primarily from building and reevaluating rationales for your predictions. If you reach a new understanding related to improving learning opportunities, an understanding that could have practical implications, we recommend you share this understanding as an implication for practice.

For example, suppose the researcher who found better average performance of second graders after the intervention on place value had also studied several conditions under which performance improved. And suppose the researcher found that most students who did not improve their performance misunderstood a concept that appeared early in the intervention (e.g., the multiplicative relationship between positional values of a numeral). An implication for practice the researcher might share would be to describe the potential importance of understanding this concept early in the sequence of activities if teachers try out this intervention.

If you use our definitions, these implications for practice would be presented as contributions because they emerge directly from reevaluating and revising your rationales. We believe it is appropriate to use “Contributions” as the heading for this section in the Discussion section of your research paper. However, if editors prefer “Implications” we recommend following their suggestion.

We want to be clear that the terms you use for the different ways your study is important is not critical. We chose to define the terms significance, contributions, and implications in very specific and not universally shared ways to distinguish all the meanings of importance you should consider. Some of these can be established through your theoretical framework, some by the revisions of your hypotheses, and some by reflecting on the value of particular methods. The important thing, from our point of view, is that the ideas we defined for each of these terms are distinguished and recognized as specific ways of determining the importance of your study.

Part III. The Role of Methods in Determining Contributions

We have argued that every part of the study (and of the evolving research paper) should be aligned. All parts should be connected through a coherent chain of reasoning. In this chapter, we argue that the chain of reasoning is not complete until the methods are presented and the results are interpreted and discussed. The methods of the study create a bridge that connects the introductory material (research questions, theoretical framework, literature review, hypotheses) with the results and interpretations.

The role that methods play in scientific inquiry is to ensure that your hypotheses will be tested appropriately so the significance of your study will yield its potential contributions. To do this, the methods must do more than follow the standard guidelines and be technically correct (see Chap. 4 ). They must also fit with the surrounding parts of the study. We call this coherence.

The picture represents a description-The role that methods play in scientific inquiry is to ensure that your hypotheses will be tested appropriately for contributions.

Coherence Across the Phases of Scientific Inquiry

Coherence means the parts of a whole are fully aligned. When doing scientific inquiry, the early parts or phases should motivate the later phases. The methods you use should be motivated or explained by the earlier phases (e.g., research questions, theoretical framework, hypotheses). Your methods, in turn, should produce results that can be interpreted by comparing them with your predictions. Methods are aligned with earlier phases when you can use the rationales contained in your hypotheses to decide what kinds of data are needed to test your predictions, how best to gather these kinds of data, and what analyses should be performed (see Chap. 4 and Cai et al., 2019a ).

For a visual representation of this coherence, see Fig. 5.1 . Each box identifies an aspect of scientific inquiry. Hypotheses (shown in Box 1) include the rationales and predictions. Because the rationales encompass the theoretical framework and the literature review, Box 1 establishes the significance of the study. Box 2 represents the methods, which we defined in Chap. 4 as the entire set of procedures you will use, including the basic design, measures for collecting data, and analytic approaches. In Fig. 5.1 , the hypothesis in Box 1 points you to the methods you will use. That is, you will choose methods that provide data for analyses that will generate results or findings (Box 3) that allow you to make comparisons against your predictions. Based on those comparisons, you will revise your hypotheses and derive the contributions and implications of your study (Box 4).

The picture illustrates a flowchart depicting the chain of coherence that runs through all parts of a research study-methods, results, hypotheses, and discussion.

The Chain of Coherence That Runs Through All Parts of a Research Study

We intend Fig. 5.1 to carry several messages. One is that coherence of a study and the associated research paper require all aspects of the study to flow from one into the other. Each set of prior entries must motivate and justify the next one. For example, the data and analyses you intend to gather and use in Box 2 (Methods) must be those that are motivated and explained by the research question and hypothesis (prediction and rationale) in Box 1.

A second message in the figure is that coherence includes Box 4, “Discussion.” Aligned with the first three boxes, the fourth box flows from these boxes but is also constrained by them. The contributions and implications authors describe in the Discussion section of the paper cannot go beyond what is allowed by the original hypotheses and the revisions to these hypotheses indicated by the findings.

Methods Enable Significance to Yield Contributions

We begin this section by identifying a third message conveyed in Fig. 5.1 . The methods of the study, represented by Box 2, provide a bridge that connects the significance of the study (Box 1) with the contributions of the study (Box 4). The results (Box 3) indicate the nature of the contributions by determining the revisions to the original hypotheses.

In our view, the connecting role played by the methods is often underappreciated. Crafting appropriate methods aligned with the significance of the study, on one hand, and the interpretations, on the other, can determine whether a study is judged to make a contribution.

If the hypotheses are established as significant, and if appropriate methods are used to test the predictions, the study will make important contributions even if the data are not statistically significant. We can say this another way. When researchers establish the significance of the hypotheses (i.e., convince readers they are of interest to the field) and use methods that provide a sound test of these hypotheses, the data they present will be of interest regardless of how they turn out. This is why Makel et al. ( 2021 ) endorse a review process for publication that emphasizes the significance of the study as presented in the first sections of a research paper.

Treating the methods as connecting the introductory arguments to the interpretations of data prevent researchers from making a common mistake: When writing the research paper, some researchers lose track of the research questions and/or the predictions. In other words, results are presented but are not interpreted as answers to the research questions or compared with the predictions. It is as if the introductory material of the paper begins one story, and the interpretations of results ends a different story. Lack of alignment makes it impossible to tell one coherent story.

A final point is that the alignment of a study cannot be evaluated and appreciated if the methods are not fully described. Methods must be described clearly and completely in the research paper so readers can see how they flow from the earlier phases of the study and how they yield the data presented. We suggested in Chap. 4 a rule of thumb for deciding whether the methods have been fully described: “Readers should be able to replicate the study if they wish.”

Part IV. Special Considerations that Affect a Study’s Contributions

We conclude Chap. 5 by addressing two additional issues that can affect how researchers interpret the results and make claims about the contributions of a study. Usually, researchers deal with these issues in the Discussion section of their research paper, but we believe it is useful to consider them as you plan and conduct your study. The issues can be posed as questions: How should I treat the limitations of my study? How should I deal with findings that are completely unexpected?

Limitations of a Study

We can identify two kinds of limitations: (1) limitations that constrain your ability to interpret your results because of unfortunate choices you made, and (2) limitations that constrain your ability to generalize your results because of missing variables you could not fit into the scope of your study or did not anticipate. We recommend different ways of dealing with these.

Limitations Due to Unfortunate Choices

All researchers make unfortunate choices. These are mistakes that could have been prevented. Often, they are choices in how a study was designed and/or executed. Maybe the sample did not have the characteristics assumed, or a task did not assess what was expected, or the intervention was not implemented as planned. Although many unfortunate choices can be prevented by thinking through the consequences of every decision or by conducting a well-designed pilot study or two, some will occur anyway. How should you deal with them?

The consequence of unfortunate choices is that the data do not test the hypotheses as precisely or completely as hoped. When this happens, the data must be interpreted with these constraints in mind. Almost always, this limits the researcher to making fewer or narrower claims than desired about differences and similarities between the results and the predictions. Usually this means conclusions about the ways in which the rationales must be revised require extra qualifications. In other words, claims about contributions of the study must be made with extra caution.

Research papers frequently include a subsection in the Discussion called “Limitations of the Study.” Researchers often use this subsection to identify the study’s limitations by describing the unfortunate choices, but they do not always spell out how these limitations should affect the contributions of the paper. Sometimes, it appears that researchers are simply checking off a requirement to identify the limitations by saying something like “The results should be interpreted with caution.” But this does not help readers understand exactly what cautions should be applied and it does not hold researchers accountable for the limitations.

We recommend something different. We suggest you do the hard work of figuring out how the data should be interpreted in light of the limitations and share these details with the readers. You might do this when the results are presented or when you interpret them. Rather than presenting your claims about the contributions of the study and then saying readers should interpret these with “caution” because of the study’s limitations, we suggest presenting only those interpretations and claims of contributions that can be made with the limitations in mind.

The picture illustrates a description-We suggest you do the hard work of figuring out how the data should be interpreted in light of the limitations and share details.

One way to think about the constraints you will likely need to impose on your interpretations is in terms of generalizability. Recall that earlier in this chapter, we described the close relationship between contributions and generalizability. When generalizability is restricted, so are contributions.

Limitations Due to Missing Variables

Because of the complexity of problems, questions, and hypotheses explored in educational research, researchers are unlikely to anticipate in their studies all the variables that affect the data and results. In addition, tradeoffs often must be made. Researchers cannot study everything at once, so decisions must be made about which variables to study carefully and which to either control or ignore.

In the earlier example of studying whether second graders improve their understanding of place value after a specially designed instructional intervention, the researcher identified three variables that were expected to influence the effect of the intervention: students’ entry level of understanding, implementation of the intervention, and norms of the classrooms in which the intervention was implemented. The researcher decided to control the implementation variable by hiring one experienced teacher to implement the intervention in all the classrooms. This meant the variable of individual teacher differences was not included in the study and the researcher could not generalize to classrooms with these differences.

Some researchers might see controlling the implementation of the intervention as a limitation. We do not. As a factor that is not allowed to vary, it constrains the generalizations a researcher can make, but we believe these kinds of controlled variables are better treated as opportunities for future research. Perhaps the researcher’s observations in the classroom provided information that could be used to make some predictions about which elements of the intervention are essential and which are optional—about which aspects of the intervention must be implemented as written and which can vary with different teachers. When revising the rationales to show what was learned in this study, the researcher could include rationales for new, tentative predictions about the effects of the intervention in classrooms where implementation differed in specified ways. These predictions create a genuine contribution of the study. If you use our definitions, these new predictions, often presented under “implications for future research,” would be presented as “contributions.”

Notice that if you follow our advice, you would not need to include a separate section in the Discussion of your paper labeled “Limitations.” We acknowledge, however, that some journal editors recommend such a subsection. In this case, we suggest you include this subsection along with treating the two different kinds of limitations as we recommend. You can do both.

Dealing with Unexpected Findings

Researchers are often faced with unexpected and perhaps surprising results, even when they have developed a convincing theoretical framework, posed research questions tightly connected to this framework, presented predictions about expected outcomes, and selected methods that appropriately test these predictions. Indeed, the unexpected findings can be the most interesting and valuable products of the study. They can range from mildly surprising to “Wow. I didn’t expect that.” How should researchers treat such findings? Our answer is based on two principles.

The first principle is that the value of research does not lie in whether the predictions are completely accurate but in helping the field learn more about the explanatory power of theoretical frameworks. That is, the value lies in the increased understanding of phenomena generated by examining the ability of theoretical frameworks (or rationales) to predict outcomes and explain results. The second principle, a corollary to the first, is to treat unexpected findings in a way that is most educative for the reader.

Based on our arguments to this point, you could guess we will say there will always be unexpected findings. Predicted answers to significant research questions in education will rarely, if ever, be entirely accurate. So, you can count on dealing with unexpected findings.

Consistent with the two principles above, your goal should be to use unexpected findings to understand more fully the phenomenon under investigation. We recommend one of three different paths. The choice of which path to take depends on what you decide after reflecting again on the decisions you made at each phase of the study.

The first path is appropriate when researchers reexamine their theoretical framework in light of the unexpected findings and decide that it is still a compelling framework based on previous work. They reason that readers are likely to have been convinced by this framework and would likely have made similar predictions. In this case, we believe that it is educative for researchers to (a) summarize their initial framework, (b) present the findings and distinguish those that were aligned with the predictions from those that were not, and (c) explain why the theoretical framework was inadequate and propose changes to the framework that would have created more alignment with the unexpected findings.

Revisions to initial hypotheses are especially useful if they include explanations for why a researcher might have been wrong (and researchers who ask significant questions in domains as complex as education are almost always wrong in some way). Depending on the ways in which the revised framework differs from the original, the authors have two options. If the revised framework is an expansion of the original, it would be appropriate for the authors to propose directions for future research that would extend this study. Alternatively, if the revised framework is still largely within the scope of the original study and consists of revisions to the original hypotheses, the revisions could guide a second study to check the adequacy of the revisions. This second study could be conducted by the same researchers (perhaps before the final manuscript is written and presented as two parts of the same report) or it could be proposed in the Discussion as a specific study that could be conducted by other researchers.

The second path is appropriate when researchers reexamine their theoretical framework in light of the unexpected findings and recognize serious flaws in the framework. The flaws could result from a number of factors, including defining elements of the framework in too general a way to formulate well-grounded hypotheses, failing to include a variable, or not accounting carefully enough for the previous work in this domain, both theoretical and empirical. In many of these cases, readers would not be well served by reading a poorly developed framework and then learning that the framework, which had not been convincing, did not accurately predict the results. Before scrapping the study and starting over, we suggest stepping back and reexamining the framework. Is it possible to develop a more coherent, complete, and convincing framework? Would this framework predict the results more accurately? If the findings remain unexpected based on the predictions generated by this revised, more compelling framework, then the first path applies.

It is likely that the new framework will better predict the findings. After all, the researchers now know the findings they will report. However, it is unlikely that the framework will accurately predict all the findings. This is because the framework is not built around the findings of this study of which authors are now aware (but have not yet been presented). Frameworks are built on research and theory already published. This means the redesigned framework is built from exactly the same empirical findings and theoretical arguments available before the study was conducted. The redesigned framework also is constrained by needing to justify exactly those methods used in the study. The redesigned framework cannot justify different methods or even slightly altered methods. The task for researchers is to show how the new theoretical framework necessarily generates, using the same methods, the predictions they present in the research paper. Just as before, it is unlikely this framework can account for all the findings. Just as before, after presenting the results the researchers should explain why they believe particular hypotheses were confirmed and why others should be revised, even in small ways, based on the findings reported. Researchers can now use these findings to revise the hypotheses presented in the paper. The point we are making is that we believe it is acceptable to reconstruct frameworks before writing research reports if doing so would be more educative for the reader.

Finally, the third path becomes appropriate when researchers, in reexamining their theoretical framework, trace the problem to a misalignment between the methods they used and the theoretical framework or the research questions. Perhaps the researchers recognize that the tasks they used did not yield data that could test the predictions and address the research questions. Or perhaps the researchers realize that the sample they selected would likely have been heavily influenced by a factor they failed to take into account. In other words, the researchers decide that the unexpected findings were due to a problem with the methods they used, not with the framework or the accompanying predictions. In this case, we recommend that the researchers correct the methodological problems and conduct the study again.

Part V. A Few Suggestions for Structuring Your Discussion Section

Writing the Discussion section of your research paper can be overwhelming given all our suggestions about what to include in this section. Here are a few tips that might help you create a simple template for this section.

We recommend the Discussion begin with a brief summary of the main results, especially those you will interpret in this section. This summary should not contain new data or results not previously presented in the paper.

The Discussion could then move to presenting the contributions in the ways we have described. To do this you could point out the ways in which the results differed from the predictions and suggest revisions to your rationales that would have better predicted the results. Doing this will show how the contributions of your study extend what is known beyond the research you drew on to build your original rationale. You can then propose how to extend your contributions to research by proposing future research studies that would test your new predictions. If you believe the revisions you make to your rationales produce new insights or understandings that could be helpful for educational practitioners, you can identify these contributions to practice as well. This comprises the bulk of the Discussion section.

If you have embedded the limitations in earlier sections of the paper, you will have presented your results and interpreted your findings constrained by these limitations. If you choose (or are asked) to describe limitations in the Discussion, you could identify the limitations and then point to the ways they affected your interpretations of the findings. Finally, the Discussion could conclude with the implications of the study for methodological choices that could improve research in the domain in which your study is located or how future studies could overcome the limitations you identified.

Because we are providing guidance on writing your research paper for publication, we will reiterate here that you should investigate the expectations and conventions of the journal to which you will submit your paper. Usually, it will be acceptable to use the terms “significance,” “contributions,” and “implications” as we have defined them. However, if the editors expect you to use the terms differently, follow the editors’ expectations. Our definitions in this chapter are meant to help you think clearly about the different ways you can make a case for the importance of your research. What matters is that you have carefully built and described a coherent chain of scientific inquiry that allows your study to translate the significance of your research problem into contributions to the field.

We began the chapter with the “So what?” question. The question looks simple and straightforward but is challenging and complicated. Its simple appearance can lead researchers to believe it should have a simple answer. But it almost never does. In this chapter, we tried to address the many complications that arise when answering the question. We hope you now have some new insights and new tools for answering the question in your next study.

Cai, J., Morris, A., Hohensee, C., Hwang, S., Robison, V., Cirillo, M., Kramer, S. L., & Hiebert, J. (2019a). Choosing and justifying robust methods for educational research. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 50 (4), 342–348. https://doi.org/10.5951/jresematheduc.50.2.0114

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Hiebert, J., Cai, J., Hwang, S., Morris, A.K., Hohensee, C. (2023). Significance of a Study: Revisiting the “So What” Question. In: Doing Research: A New Researcher’s Guide. Research in Mathematics Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-19078-0_5

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How to Write an Effective Background of the Study: A Comprehensive Guide

Madalsa

Table of Contents

The background of the study in a research paper offers a clear context, highlighting why the research is essential and the problem it aims to address.

As a researcher, this foundational section is essential for you to chart the course of your study, Moreover, it allows readers to understand the importance and path of your research.

Whether in academic communities or to the general public, a well-articulated background aids in communicating the essence of the research effectively.

While it may seem straightforward, crafting an effective background requires a blend of clarity, precision, and relevance. Therefore, this article aims to be your guide, offering insights into:

  • Understanding the concept of the background of the study.
  • Learning how to craft a compelling background effectively.
  • Identifying and sidestepping common pitfalls in writing the background.
  • Exploring practical examples that bring the theory to life.
  • Enhancing both your writing and reading of academic papers.

Keeping these compelling insights in mind, let's delve deeper into the details of the empirical background of the study, exploring its definition, distinctions, and the art of writing it effectively.

What is the background of the study?

The background of the study is placed at the beginning of a research paper. It provides the context, circumstances, and history that led to the research problem or topic being explored.

It offers readers a snapshot of the existing knowledge on the topic and the reasons that spurred your current research.

When crafting the background of your study, consider the following questions.

  • What's the context of your research?
  • Which previous research will you refer to?
  • Are there any knowledge gaps in the existing relevant literature?
  • How will you justify the need for your current research?
  • Have you concisely presented the research question or problem?

In a typical research paper structure, after presenting the background, the introduction section follows. The introduction delves deeper into the specific objectives of the research and often outlines the structure or main points that the paper will cover.

Together, they create a cohesive starting point, ensuring readers are well-equipped to understand the subsequent sections of the research paper.

While the background of the study and the introduction section of the research manuscript may seem similar and sometimes even overlap, each serves a unique purpose in the research narrative.

Difference between background and introduction

A well-written background of the study and introduction are preliminary sections of a research paper and serve distinct purposes.

Here’s a detailed tabular comparison between the two of them.

Aspect

Background

Introduction

Primary purpose

Provides context and logical reasons for the research, explaining why the study is necessary.

Entails the broader scope of the research, hinting at its objectives and significance.

Depth of information

It delves into the existing literature, highlighting gaps or unresolved questions that the research aims to address.

It offers a general overview, touching upon the research topic without going into extensive detail.

Content focus

The focus is on historical context, previous studies, and the evolution of the research topic.

The focus is on the broader research field, potential implications, and a preview of the research structure.

Position in a research paper

Typically comes at the very beginning, setting the stage for the research.

Follows the background, leading readers into the main body of the research.

Tone

Analytical, detailing the topic and its significance.

General and anticipatory, preparing readers for the depth and direction of the focus of the study.

What is the relevance of the background of the study?

It is necessary for you to provide your readers with the background of your research. Without this, readers may grapple with questions such as: Why was this specific research topic chosen? What led to this decision? Why is this study relevant? Is it worth their time?

Such uncertainties can deter them from fully engaging with your study, leading to the rejection of your research paper. Additionally, this can diminish its impact in the academic community, and reduce its potential for real-world application or policy influence .

To address these concerns and offer clarity, the background section plays a pivotal role in research papers.

The background of the study in research is important as it:

  • Provides context: It offers readers a clear picture of the existing knowledge, helping them understand where the current research fits in.
  • Highlights relevance: By detailing the reasons for the research, it underscores the study's significance and its potential impact.
  • Guides the narrative: The background shapes the narrative flow of the paper, ensuring a logical progression from what's known to what the research aims to uncover.
  • Enhances engagement: A well-crafted background piques the reader's interest, encouraging them to delve deeper into the research paper.
  • Aids in comprehension: By setting the scenario, it aids readers in better grasping the research objectives, methodologies, and findings.

How to write the background of the study in a research paper?

The journey of presenting a compelling argument begins with the background study. This section holds the power to either captivate or lose the reader's interest.

An effectively written background not only provides context but also sets the tone for the entire research paper. It's the bridge that connects a broad topic to a specific research question, guiding readers through the logic behind the study.

But how does one craft a background of the study that resonates, informs, and engages?

Here, we’ll discuss how to write an impactful background study, ensuring your research stands out and captures the attention it deserves.

Identify the research problem

The first step is to start pinpointing the specific issue or gap you're addressing. This should be a significant and relevant problem in your field.

A well-defined problem is specific, relevant, and significant to your field. It should resonate with both experts and readers.

Here’s more on how to write an effective research problem .

Provide context

Here, you need to provide a broader perspective, illustrating how your research aligns with or contributes to the overarching context or the wider field of study. A comprehensive context is grounded in facts, offers multiple perspectives, and is relatable.

In addition to stating facts, you should weave a story that connects key concepts from the past, present, and potential future research. For instance, consider the following approach.

  • Offer a brief history of the topic, highlighting major milestones or turning points that have shaped the current landscape.
  • Discuss contemporary developments or current trends that provide relevant information to your research problem. This could include technological advancements, policy changes, or shifts in societal attitudes.
  • Highlight the views of different stakeholders. For a topic like sustainable agriculture, this could mean discussing the perspectives of farmers, environmentalists, policymakers, and consumers.
  • If relevant, compare and contrast global trends with local conditions and circumstances. This can offer readers a more holistic understanding of the topic.

Literature review

For this step, you’ll deep dive into the existing literature on the same topic. It's where you explore what scholars, researchers, and experts have already discovered or discussed about your topic.

Conducting a thorough literature review isn't just a recap of past works. To elevate its efficacy, it's essential to analyze the methods, outcomes, and intricacies of prior research work, demonstrating a thorough engagement with the existing body of knowledge.

  • Instead of merely listing past research study, delve into their methodologies, findings, and limitations. Highlight groundbreaking studies and those that had contrasting results.
  • Try to identify patterns. Look for recurring themes or trends in the literature. Are there common conclusions or contentious points?
  • The next step would be to connect the dots. Show how different pieces of research relate to each other. This can help in understanding the evolution of thought on the topic.

By showcasing what's already known, you can better highlight the background of the study in research.

Highlight the research gap

This step involves identifying the unexplored areas or unanswered questions in the existing literature. Your research seeks to address these gaps, providing new insights or answers.

A clear research gap shows you've thoroughly engaged with existing literature and found an area that needs further exploration.

How can you efficiently highlight the research gap?

  • Find the overlooked areas. Point out topics or angles that haven't been adequately addressed.
  • Highlight questions that have emerged due to recent developments or changing circumstances.
  • Identify areas where insights from other fields might be beneficial but haven't been explored yet.

State your objectives

Here, it’s all about laying out your game plan — What do you hope to achieve with your research? You need to mention a clear objective that’s specific, actionable, and directly tied to the research gap.

How to state your objectives?

  • List the primary questions guiding your research.
  • If applicable, state any hypotheses or predictions you aim to test.
  • Specify what you hope to achieve, whether it's new insights, solutions, or methodologies.

Discuss the significance

This step describes your 'why'. Why is your research important? What broader implications does it have?

The significance of “why” should be both theoretical (adding to the existing literature) and practical (having real-world implications).

How do we effectively discuss the significance?

  • Discuss how your research adds to the existing body of knowledge.
  • Highlight how your findings could be applied in real-world scenarios, from policy changes to on-ground practices.
  • Point out how your research could pave the way for further studies or open up new areas of exploration.

Summarize your points

A concise summary acts as a bridge, smoothly transitioning readers from the background to the main body of the paper. This step is a brief recap, ensuring that readers have grasped the foundational concepts.

How to summarize your study?

  • Revisit the key points discussed, from the research problem to its significance.
  • Prepare the reader for the subsequent sections, ensuring they understand the research's direction.

Include examples for better understanding

Research and come up with real-world or hypothetical examples to clarify complex concepts or to illustrate the practical applications of your research. Relevant examples make abstract ideas tangible, aiding comprehension.

How to include an effective example of the background of the study?

  • Use past events or scenarios to explain concepts.
  • Craft potential scenarios to demonstrate the implications of your findings.
  • Use comparisons to simplify complex ideas, making them more relatable.

Crafting a compelling background of the study in research is about striking the right balance between providing essential context, showcasing your comprehensive understanding of the existing literature, and highlighting the unique value of your research .

While writing the background of the study, keep your readers at the forefront of your mind. Every piece of information, every example, and every objective should be geared toward helping them understand and appreciate your research.

How to avoid mistakes in the background of the study in research?

To write a well-crafted background of the study, you should be aware of the following potential research pitfalls .

  • Stay away from ambiguity. Always assume that your reader might not be familiar with intricate details about your topic.
  • Avoid discussing unrelated themes. Stick to what's directly relevant to your research problem.
  • Ensure your background is well-organized. Information should flow logically, making it easy for readers to follow.
  • While it's vital to provide context, avoid overwhelming the reader with excessive details that might not be directly relevant to your research problem.
  • Ensure you've covered the most significant and relevant studies i` n your field. Overlooking key pieces of literature can make your background seem incomplete.
  • Aim for a balanced presentation of facts, and avoid showing overt bias or presenting only one side of an argument.
  • While academic paper often involves specialized terms, ensure they're adequately explained or use simpler alternatives when possible.
  • Every claim or piece of information taken from existing literature should be appropriately cited. Failing to do so can lead to issues of plagiarism.
  • Avoid making the background too lengthy. While thoroughness is appreciated, it should not come at the expense of losing the reader's interest. Maybe prefer to keep it to one-two paragraphs long.
  • Especially in rapidly evolving fields, it's crucial to ensure that your literature review section is up-to-date and includes the latest research.

Example of an effective background of the study

Let's consider a topic: "The Impact of Online Learning on Student Performance." The ideal background of the study section for this topic would be as follows.

In the last decade, the rise of the internet has revolutionized many sectors, including education. Online learning platforms, once a supplementary educational tool, have now become a primary mode of instruction for many institutions worldwide. With the recent global events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rapid shift from traditional classroom learning to online modes, making it imperative to understand its effects on student performance.

Previous studies have explored various facets of online learning, from its accessibility to its flexibility. However, there is a growing need to assess its direct impact on student outcomes. While some educators advocate for its benefits, citing the convenience and vast resources available, others express concerns about potential drawbacks, such as reduced student engagement and the challenges of self-discipline.

This research aims to delve deeper into this debate, evaluating the true impact of online learning on student performance.

Why is this example considered as an effective background section of a research paper?

This background section example effectively sets the context by highlighting the rise of online learning and its increased relevance due to recent global events. It references prior research on the topic, indicating a foundation built on existing knowledge.

By presenting both the potential advantages and concerns of online learning, it establishes a balanced view, leading to the clear purpose of the study: to evaluate the true impact of online learning on student performance.

As we've explored, writing an effective background of the study in research requires clarity, precision, and a keen understanding of both the broader landscape and the specific details of your topic.

From identifying the research problem, providing context, reviewing existing literature to highlighting research gaps and stating objectives, each step is pivotal in shaping the narrative of your research. And while there are best practices to follow, it's equally crucial to be aware of the pitfalls to avoid.

Remember, writing or refining the background of your study is essential to engage your readers, familiarize them with the research context, and set the ground for the insights your research project will unveil.

Drawing from all the important details, insights and guidance shared, you're now in a strong position to craft a background of the study that not only informs but also engages and resonates with your readers.

Now that you've a clear understanding of what the background of the study aims to achieve, the natural progression is to delve into the next crucial component — write an effective introduction section of a research paper. Read here .

Frequently Asked Questions

The background of the study should include a clear context for the research, references to relevant previous studies, identification of knowledge gaps, justification for the current research, a concise overview of the research problem or question, and an indication of the study's significance or potential impact.

The background of the study is written to provide readers with a clear understanding of the context, significance, and rationale behind the research. It offers a snapshot of existing knowledge on the topic, highlights the relevance of the study, and sets the stage for the research questions and objectives. It ensures that readers can grasp the importance of the research and its place within the broader field of study.

The background of the study is a section in a research paper that provides context, circumstances, and history leading to the research problem or topic being explored. It presents existing knowledge on the topic and outlines the reasons that spurred the current research, helping readers understand the research's foundation and its significance in the broader academic landscape.

The number of paragraphs in the background of the study can vary based on the complexity of the topic and the depth of the context required. Typically, it might range from 3 to 5 paragraphs, but in more detailed or complex research papers, it could be longer. The key is to ensure that all relevant information is presented clearly and concisely, without unnecessary repetition.

how to create significance of the study in research

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TAA Abstract

The Why: Explaining the significance of your research

In the first four articles of this series, we examined The What: Defining a research project , The Where: Constructing an effective writing environment , The When: Setting realistic timeframes for your research , and The Who: Finding key sources in the existing literature . In this article, we will explore the fifth, and final, W of academic writing, The Why: Explaining the significance of your research.

Q1: When considering the significance of your research, what is the general contribution you make?

According to the Unite for Sight online module titled “ The Importance of Research ”:

“The purpose of research is to inform action. Thus, your study should seek to contextualize its findings within the larger body of research. Research must always be of high quality in order to produce knowledge that is applicable outside of the research setting. Furthermore, the results of your study may have implications for policy and future project implementation.”

In response to this TweetChat question, Twitter user @aemidr shared that the “dissemination of the research outcomes” is their contribution. Petra Boynton expressed a contribution of “easy to follow resources other people can use to help improve their health/wellbeing”.

Eric Schmieder said, “In general, I try to expand the application of technology to improve the efficiency of business processes through my research and personal use and development of technology solutions.” While Janet Salmons offered the response, “ I am a metaresearcher , that is, I research emerging qualitative methods & write about them. I hope contribution helps student & experienced researchers try new approaches.”

Despite the different contributions each of these participants noted as the significance of their individual research efforts, there is a significance to each. In addition to the importance stated through the above examples, Leann Zarah offered 7 Reasons Why Research Is Important , as follows:

  • A Tool for Building Knowledge and for Facilitating Learning
  • Means to Understand Various Issues and Increase Public Awareness
  • An Aid to Business Success
  • A Way to Prove Lies and to Support Truths
  • Means to Find, Gauge, and Seize Opportunities
  • A Seed to Love Reading, Writing, Analyzing, and Sharing Valuable Information
  • Nourishment and Exercise for the Mind

Q1a: What is the specific significance of your research to yourself or other individuals?

The first of “ 3 Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Research Topic ”, as written by Stephen Fiedler is to “choose something that interests you”. By doing so, you are more likely to stay motivated and persevere through inevitable challenges.

As mentioned earlier, for Salmons her interests lie in emerging methods and new approaches to research. As Salmons pointed out in the TweetChat, “Conventional methods may not be adequate in a globally-connected world – using online methods expands potential participation.”

For @aemidr, “specific significance of my research is on health and safety from the environment and lifestyle”. In contrast, Schmieder said “my ongoing research allows me to be a better educator, to be more efficient in my own business practices, and to feel comfortable engaging with new technology”.

Regardless of discipline, a personal statement can help identify for yourself and others your suitability for specific research. Some things to include in the statement are:

  • Your reasons for choosing your topic of research
  • The aspects of your topic of research that interest you most
  • Any work experience, placement or voluntary work you have undertaken, particularly if it is relevant to your subject. Include the skills and abilities you have gained from these activities
  • How your choice of research fits in with your future career plans

Q2: Why is it important to communicate the value of your research?

According to Salmons, “If you research and no one knows about it or can use what you discover, it is just an intellectual exercise. If we want the public to support & fund research, we must show why it’s important!” She has written for the SAGE MethodSpace blog on the subject Write with Purpose, Publish for Impact building a collection of articles from both the MethodSpace blog and TAA’s blog, Abstract .

Peter J. Stogios shares with us benefits to both the scientist and the public in his article, “ Why Sharing Your Research with the Public is as Necessary as Doing the Research Itself ”. Unsure where to start? Stogios states, “There are many ways scientists can communicate more directly with the public. These include writing a personal blog, updating their lab’s or personal website to be less technical and more accessible to non-scientists, popular science forums and message boards, and engaging with your institution’s research communication office. Most organizations publish newsletters or create websites showcasing the work being done, and act as intermediaries between the researchers and the media. Scientists can and should interact more with these communicators.”

Schmieder stated during the TweetChat that the importance of communicating the value of your research is “primarily to help others understand why you do what you do, but also for funding purposes, application of your results by others, and increased personal value and validation”.

In her article, “ Explaining Your Research to the Public: Why It Matters, How to Do It! ”, Sharon Page-Medrich conveys the importance, stating “UC Berkeley’s 30,000+ undergraduate and 11,000+ graduate students generate or contribute to diverse research in the natural and physical sciences, social sciences and humanities, and many professional fields. Such research and its applications are fundamental to saving lives, restoring healthy environments, making art and preserving culture, and raising standards of living. Yet the average person-in-the-street may not see the connection between students’ investigations and these larger outcomes.”

Q2a: To whom is it most difficult to explain that value?

Although important, it’s not always easy to share our research efforts with others. Erin Bedford sets the scene as she tells us “ How to (Not) Talk about Your Research ”. “It’s happened to the best of us. First, the question: ‘so, what is your research on?’ Then, the blank stare as you try to explain. And finally, the uninterested but polite nod and smile.”

Schmieder acknowledges that these polite people who care enough to ask, but often are the hardest to explain things to are “family and friends who don’t share the same interests or understanding of the subject matter.” It’s not that they don’t care about the efforts, it’s that the level to which a researcher’s investment and understanding is different from those asking about their work.

When faced with less-than-supportive reactions from friends, Noelle Sterne shares some ways to retain your perspective and friendship in her TAA blog article, “ Friends – How to deal with their negative responses to your academic projects ”.

Q3: What methods have you used to explain your research to others (both inside and outside of your discipline)?

Schmieder stated, “I have done webinars, professional development seminars, blog articles, and online courses” in an effort to communicate research to others. The Edinburg Napier University LibGuides guide to Sharing Your Research includes some of these in their list of resources as well adding considerations of online presence, saving time / online efficiency, copyright, and compliance to the discussion.

Michaela Panter states in her article, “ Sharing Your Findings with a General Audience ”, that “tips and guidelines for conveying your research to a general audience are increasingly widespread, yet scientists remain wary of doing so.” She notes, however, that “effectively sharing your research with a general audience can positively affect funding for your work” and “engaging the general public can further the impact of your research”.

If these are affects you desire, consider CES’s “ Six ways to share your research findings ”, as follows:

  • Know your audience and define your goal
  • Collaborate with others
  • Make a plan
  • Embrace plain language writing
  • Layer and link, and
  • Evaluate your work

Q4: What are some places you can share your research and its significance beyond your writing?

Beyond traditional journal article publication efforts, there are many opportunities to share your research with a larger community. Schmieder listed several options during the TweetChat event, specifically, “conference presentations, social media, blogs, professional networks and organizations, podcasts, and online courses”.

Elsevier’s resource, “ Sharing and promoting your article ” provides advice on sharing your article in the following ten places:

  • At a conference
  • For classroom teaching purposes
  • For grant applications
  • With my colleagues
  • On a preprint server
  • On my personal blog or website
  • On my institutional repository
  • On a subject repository (or other non-commercial repository)
  • On Scholarly Communication Network (SCN), such as Mendeley or Scholar Universe
  • Social Media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter

Nature Publishing Group’s “ tips for promoting your research ” include nine ways to get started:

  • Share your work with your social networks
  • Update your professional profile
  • Utilize research-sharing platforms
  • Create a Google Scholar profile – or review and enhance your existing one
  • Highlight key and topical points in a blog post
  • Make your research outputs shareable and discoverable
  • Register for a unique ORCID author identifier
  • Encourage readership within your institution

Finally, Sheffield Solutions produced a top ten list of actions you can take to help share and disseminate your work more widely online, as follows:

  • Create an ORCID ID
  • Upload to Sheffield’s MyPublications system
  • Make your work Open Access
  • Create a Google Scholar profile
  • Join an academic social network
  • Connect through Twitter
  • Blog about your research
  • Upload to Slideshare or ORDA
  • Track your research

Q5: How is the significance of your study conveyed in your writing efforts?

Schmieder stated, “Significance is conveyed through the introduction, the structure of the study, and the implications for further research sections of articles”. According to The Writing Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “A thesis statement tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion”.

In their online Tips & Tools resource on Thesis Statements , they share the following six questions to ask to help determine if your thesis is strong:

  • Do I answer the question?
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose?
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test?
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test?

Some journals, such as Elsevier’s Acta Biomaterialia, now require a statement of significance with manuscript submissions. According to the announcement linked above, “these statements will address the novelty aspect and the significance of the work with respect to the existing literature and more generally to the society.” and “by highlighting the scientific merit of your research, these statements will help make your work more visible to our readership.”

Q5a: How does the significance influence the structure of your writing?

According to Jeff Hume-Pratuch in the Academic Coaching & Writing (ACW) article, “ Using APA Style in Academic Writing: Precision and Clarity ”, “The need for precision and clarity of expression is one of the distinguishing marks of academic writing.” As a result, Hume-Pratuch advises that you “choose your words wisely so that they do not come between your idea and the audience.” To do so, he suggests avoiding ambiguous expressions, approximate language, and euphemisms and jargon in your writing.

Schmieder shared in the TweetChat that “the impact of the writing is affected by the target audience for the research and can influence word choice, organization of ideas, and elements included in the narrative”.

Discussing the organization of ideas, Patrick A. Regoniel offers “ Two Tips in Writing the Significance of the Study ” claiming that by referring to the statement of the problem and writing from general to specific contribution, you can “prevent your mind from wandering wildly or aimlessly as you explore the significance of your study”.

Q6: What are some ways you can improve your ability to explain your research to others?

For both Schmieder and Salmons, practice is key. Schmieder suggested, “Practice simplifying the concepts. Focus on why rather than what. Share research in areas where they are active and comfortable”. Salmons added, “answer ‘so what’ and ‘who cares’ questions. Practice creating a sentence. For my study of the collaborative process: ‘Learning to collaborate is important for team success in professional life’ works better than ‘a phenomenological study of instructors’ perceptions’”.

In a guest blog post for Scientific American titled “ Effective Communication, Better Science ”, Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer claimed “to be a successful scientist, you must be an effective communicator.” In support of the goal of being an effective communicator, a list of training opportunities and other resources are included in the article.

Along the same lines, The University of Melbourne shared the following list of resources, workshops, and programs in their online resource on academic writing and communication skills :

  • Speaking and Presenting : Resources for presenting your research, using PowerPoint to your advantage, presenting at conferences and helpful videos on presenting effectively
  • Research Impact Library Advisory Service  (RILAS): Helps you to determine the impact of your publications and other research outputs for academic promotions and grant applications
  • Three Minute Thesis Competition  (3MT): Research communication competition that requires you to deliver a compelling oration on your thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes or less.
  • Visualise your Thesis Competition : A dynamic and engaging audio-visual “elevator pitch” (e-Poster) to communicate your research to a broad non-specialist audience in 60 seconds.

As we complete this series exploration of the five W’s of academic writing, we hope that you are adequately prepared to apply them to your own research efforts of defining a research project, constructing an effective writing environment, setting realistic timeframes for your research, finding key sources in the existing literature, and last, but not least, explaining the significance of your research.

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How to Write Significance of the Study in a Project Research Paper

How to Write Significance of the Study in a Project Research Paper

When you write your thesis or research paper, there is a section of your introduction that is allotted to the significance of the study. The purpose of this section is to state why your study was needed and the contribution of your research to your field.

In this guide, you will learn the meaning of the significance of the study in your research paper and how to write one.

What is the Significance of the Study?

The significance of the study is basically a written statement that explains why your research was important. It justifies why your research was needed, the impact of your research in your field, its contribution, and how others (audience) would benefit from it.

Also referred to as the rationale of the study, the significance of the study is important to communicate why your research is important to your reader. It is important to make clear the significance of your study for easy comprehension by the readers.

Tips for writing the significance of the study

Reflect on the Problem Statement When writing this section of your paper, first reflect on what contribution your research is making to your field, the gaps in knowledge in your research field, and why your work should be published.

Your problem statement should be reflected in the introduction of the significance of the study. Your research problem statement can guide you to identify specific contributions your research is making to your field of study.

Write from a general contribution to a specific contribution Write your significance of the study in an inverted pyramid format. Start with your research contribution to society as a whole, and then proceed to narrow it down to a specific individual or group of people.

When writing your statement of study, the length should not be more than 500 words for a thesis and around 200 words for a research paper.

However, note that writing the significance of study depends on your subject area and your content as there is no single way of writing a perfect significance of study.

An Example of Significance of Study

This study's findings will further reveal how management-employee bilateral relationships can be strengthened while improving workplace productivity. The findings would be of major importance in assessing how collective bargaining can be a major tool in improving workplace performance in a developing economy like Nigeria. Collective bargaining would help both management and employees bargain on terms and conditions of service and resolve their grievances without leading to strikes, lock-outs, and other forms of industrial actions. The best approach in negotiating on the bargaining table is to provide employees with the importance of collective bargaining as the best method of settling the industrial conflict, which will improve their productivity and lead to higher organizational performance.

The significance of the study is used in academic writing by students and researchers to communicate the importance of a research problem. This section describes specific contributions made to your field of study and who benefits from it. Also, the extent to which the study matters and its potential benefits to people, researchers, departments and other fields are discussed here. This statement is written at the end of your introduction and should be well attended to.

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How to Write the Rationale of the Study in Research (Examples)

how to create significance of the study in research

What is the Rationale of the Study?

The rationale of the study is the justification for taking on a given study. It explains the reason the study was conducted or should be conducted. This means the study rationale should explain to the reader or examiner why the study is/was necessary. It is also sometimes called the “purpose” or “justification” of a study. While this is not difficult to grasp in itself, you might wonder how the rationale of the study is different from your research question or from the statement of the problem of your study, and how it fits into the rest of your thesis or research paper. 

The rationale of the study links the background of the study to your specific research question and justifies the need for the latter on the basis of the former. In brief, you first provide and discuss existing data on the topic, and then you tell the reader, based on the background evidence you just presented, where you identified gaps or issues and why you think it is important to address those. The problem statement, lastly, is the formulation of the specific research question you choose to investigate, following logically from your rationale, and the approach you are planning to use to do that.

Table of Contents:

How to write a rationale for a research paper , how do you justify the need for a research study.

  • Study Rationale Example: Where Does It Go In Your Paper?

The basis for writing a research rationale is preliminary data or a clear description of an observation. If you are doing basic/theoretical research, then a literature review will help you identify gaps in current knowledge. In applied/practical research, you base your rationale on an existing issue with a certain process (e.g., vaccine proof registration) or practice (e.g., patient treatment) that is well documented and needs to be addressed. By presenting the reader with earlier evidence or observations, you can (and have to) convince them that you are not just repeating what other people have already done or said and that your ideas are not coming out of thin air. 

Once you have explained where you are coming from, you should justify the need for doing additional research–this is essentially the rationale of your study. Finally, when you have convinced the reader of the purpose of your work, you can end your introduction section with the statement of the problem of your research that contains clear aims and objectives and also briefly describes (and justifies) your methodological approach. 

When is the Rationale for Research Written?

The author can present the study rationale both before and after the research is conducted. 

  • Before conducting research : The study rationale is a central component of the research proposal . It represents the plan of your work, constructed before the study is actually executed.
  • Once research has been conducted : After the study is completed, the rationale is presented in a research article or  PhD dissertation  to explain why you focused on this specific research question. When writing the study rationale for this purpose, the author should link the rationale of the research to the aims and outcomes of the study.

What to Include in the Study Rationale

Although every study rationale is different and discusses different specific elements of a study’s method or approach, there are some elements that should be included to write a good rationale. Make sure to touch on the following:

  • A summary of conclusions from your review of the relevant literature
  • What is currently unknown (gaps in knowledge)
  • Inconclusive or contested results  from previous studies on the same or similar topic
  • The necessity to improve or build on previous research, such as to improve methodology or utilize newer techniques and/or technologies

There are different types of limitations that you can use to justify the need for your study. In applied/practical research, the justification for investigating something is always that an existing process/practice has a problem or is not satisfactory. Let’s say, for example, that people in a certain country/city/community commonly complain about hospital care on weekends (not enough staff, not enough attention, no decisions being made), but you looked into it and realized that nobody ever investigated whether these perceived problems are actually based on objective shortages/non-availabilities of care or whether the lower numbers of patients who are treated during weekends are commensurate with the provided services.

In this case, “lack of data” is your justification for digging deeper into the problem. Or, if it is obvious that there is a shortage of staff and provided services on weekends, you could decide to investigate which of the usual procedures are skipped during weekends as a result and what the negative consequences are. 

In basic/theoretical research, lack of knowledge is of course a common and accepted justification for additional research—but make sure that it is not your only motivation. “Nobody has ever done this” is only a convincing reason for a study if you explain to the reader why you think we should know more about this specific phenomenon. If there is earlier research but you think it has limitations, then those can usually be classified into “methodological”, “contextual”, and “conceptual” limitations. To identify such limitations, you can ask specific questions and let those questions guide you when you explain to the reader why your study was necessary:

Methodological limitations

  • Did earlier studies try but failed to measure/identify a specific phenomenon?
  • Was earlier research based on incorrect conceptualizations of variables?
  • Were earlier studies based on questionable operationalizations of key concepts?
  • Did earlier studies use questionable or inappropriate research designs?

Contextual limitations

  • Have recent changes in the studied problem made previous studies irrelevant?
  • Are you studying a new/particular context that previous findings do not apply to?

Conceptual limitations

  • Do previous findings only make sense within a specific framework or ideology?

Study Rationale Examples

Let’s look at an example from one of our earlier articles on the statement of the problem to clarify how your rationale fits into your introduction section. This is a very short introduction for a practical research study on the challenges of online learning. Your introduction might be much longer (especially the context/background section), and this example does not contain any sources (which you will have to provide for all claims you make and all earlier studies you cite)—but please pay attention to how the background presentation , rationale, and problem statement blend into each other in a logical way so that the reader can follow and has no reason to question your motivation or the foundation of your research.

Background presentation

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, most educational institutions around the world have transitioned to a fully online study model, at least during peak times of infections and social distancing measures. This transition has not been easy and even two years into the pandemic, problems with online teaching and studying persist (reference needed) . 

While the increasing gap between those with access to technology and equipment and those without access has been determined to be one of the main challenges (reference needed) , others claim that online learning offers more opportunities for many students by breaking down barriers of location and distance (reference needed) .  

Rationale of the study

Since teachers and students cannot wait for circumstances to go back to normal, the measures that schools and universities have implemented during the last two years, their advantages and disadvantages, and the impact of those measures on students’ progress, satisfaction, and well-being need to be understood so that improvements can be made and demographics that have been left behind can receive the support they need as soon as possible.

Statement of the problem

To identify what changes in the learning environment were considered the most challenging and how those changes relate to a variety of student outcome measures, we conducted surveys and interviews among teachers and students at ten institutions of higher education in four different major cities, two in the US (New York and Chicago), one in South Korea (Seoul), and one in the UK (London). Responses were analyzed with a focus on different student demographics and how they might have been affected differently by the current situation.

How long is a study rationale?

In a research article bound for journal publication, your rationale should not be longer than a few sentences (no longer than one brief paragraph). A  dissertation or thesis  usually allows for a longer description; depending on the length and nature of your document, this could be up to a couple of paragraphs in length. A completely novel or unconventional approach might warrant a longer and more detailed justification than an approach that slightly deviates from well-established methods and approaches.

Consider Using Professional Academic Editing Services

Now that you know how to write the rationale of the study for a research proposal or paper, you should make use of Wordvice AI’s free AI Grammar Checker , or receive professional academic proofreading services from Wordvice, including research paper editing services and manuscript editing services to polish your submitted research documents.

You can also find many more articles, for example on writing the other parts of your research paper , on choosing a title , or on making sure you understand and adhere to the author instructions before you submit to a journal, on the Wordvice academic resources pages.

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Writing the Significance of a Study

By charlesworth author services.

  • Charlesworth Author Services
  • 20 July, 2022

The significance of a study is its importance . It refers to the contribution(s) to and impact of the study on a research field. The significance also signals who benefits from the research findings and how.

Purpose of writing the significance of a study

A study’s significance should spark the interest of the reader. Researchers will be able to appreciate your work better when they understand the relevance and its (potential) impact. Peer reviewers also assess the significance of the work, which will influence the decision made (acceptance/rejection) on the manuscript. 

Sections in which the significance of the study is written

Introduction.

In the Introduction of your paper, the significance appears where you talk about the potential importance and impact of the study. It should flow naturally from the problem , aims and objectives, and rationale .

The significance is described in more detail in the concluding paragraph(s) of the Discussion or the dedicated Conclusions section. Here, you put the findings into perspective and outline the contributions of the findings in terms of implications and applications.

The significance may or may not appear in the abstract . When it does, it is written in the concluding lines of the abstract.

Significance vs. other introductory elements of your paper

In the Introduction…

  • The problem statement outlines the concern that needs to be addressed.
  • The research aim describes the purpose of the study.
  • The objectives indicate how that aim will be achieved.
  • The rationale explains why you are performing the study.
  • The significance tells the reader how the findings affect the topic/broad field. In other words, the significance is about how much the findings matter.

How to write the significance of the study

A good significance statement may be written in different ways. The approach to writing it also depends on the study area. In the arts and humanities , the significance statement might be longer and more descriptive. In applied sciences , it might be more direct.

a. Suggested sequence for writing the significance statement

  • Think of the gaps your study is setting out to address.
  • Look at your research from general and specific angles in terms of its (potential) contribution .
  • Once you have these points ready, start writing them, connecting them to your study as a whole.

b. Some ways to begin your statement(s) of significance

Here are some opening lines to build on:

  • The particular significance of this study lies in the… 
  • We argue that this study moves the field forward because…
  • This study makes some important contributions to…
  • Our findings deepen the current understanding about…

c. Don’ts of writing a significance statement

  • Don’t make it too long .
  • Don’t repeat any information that has been presented in other sections.
  • Don’t overstate or exaggerat e the importance; it should match your actual findings.

Example of significance of a study

Note the significance statements highlighted in the following fictional study.

Significance in the Introduction

The effects of Miyawaki forests on local biodiversity in urban housing complexes remain poorly understood. No formal studies on negative impacts on insect activity, populations or diversity have been undertaken thus far. In this study, we compared the effects that Miyawaki forests in urban dwellings have on local pollinator activity. The findings of this study will help improve the design of this afforestation technique in a way that balances local fauna, particularly pollinators, which are highly sensitive to microclimatic changes.

Significance in the Conclusion

[…] The findings provide valuable insights for guiding and informing Miyawaki afforestation in urban dwellings. We demonstrate that urban planning and landscaping policies need to consider potential declines.

A study’s significance usually appears at the end of the Introduction and in the Conclusion to describe the importance of the research findings. A strong and clear significance statement will pique the interest of readers, as well as that of relevant stakeholders.

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Contribution vs. Significance of Your Study

Contribution-vs.-Significance-of-Your-Study-scaled-1

What is the Contribution of Research or Study?

The contribution of the research is making the world a better place by solving a problem. Research is usually conducted on a problem with an aim to solve it. By solving the problem, you allow people to live a better life.

While selecting a four-year program, it is important to consider whether you will be able to offer some contribution. Does the world need any contributions in your field after four years? 

What is the Significance of the Study of Research?

The significance of a study reflects why the research is needed. It highlights the importance of your research and how it will impact the world.

Depending on the subject, its significance may increase or decrease with time. For instance, the research on artificial intelligence is significant today and will be more important in the coming years.

Why You Should Focus on Significance of the Study?

The significance of a study changes over time. A Research might be significant today but lose its importance after a year or two. Before you decide to invest your time in an advanced research degree, it is essential to consider its significance at the end of it.

Peter Alkema, the owner of The Students Success Coach has helped thousands of students in achieving their goals.

Here is a video that will explain to you the difference between the contribution and significance of your study.

How “The Student Success Coach” Can Help You?

With a Ph.D., I understand the importance of a study or research. I have a range of courses designed to develop and enhance your skills leading to a successful career.

Here is a course designed only for you. With the Finish Your Research Proposal course, you would be able to address the concerned person in a better manner. Take the course and increase your chances of success. BEST OF LUCK! 

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Multiple traces of families of epoxy derivatives as new inhibitors of the industrial polymerization reaction of propylene.

how to create significance of the study in research

1. Introduction

2. materials and methods, 2.1. reagents, 2.2. inhibitor injection, 2.3. melt flow index (mfi), 2.4. evaluation of the mechanical properties of the polymer, 2.5. rheological measurements, 2.6. thermogravimetric analysis (tga), 2.7. infrared (ir) spectroscopy, 3.1. reaction of real with epoxies, 3.2. evaluation of the impact of different oxides on the reduction of catalytic productivity depending on their concentration, 3.3. evaluation of the influence of oxide concentrations on polymer properties and polypropylene production, 3.3.1. impact of inhibitors on the bending modulus and production of polypropylene, 3.3.2. impact of inhibitors on the flow index and molecular weight of polypropylene, 3.4. thermal degradation of the polymer due to the presence of different oxides, 3.5. ftir results, 4. discussion, 5. conclusions, author contributions, institutional review board statement, data availability statement, conflicts of interest.

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Click here to enlarge figure

InhibitorSample NomenclatureInjected Concentrations (ppm)
Propylene oxideM00
M10.00063
M20.00116
M30.00226
M40.0053
M50.01
M60.015
M70.021
Ethylene oxideM80
M90.0666
M100.1333
M110.2733
M120.5766
M130.6566
M140.6966
M150.7433
1,2-butene oxideM160
M170.00012
M180.00012
M190.00313
M200.01333
M210.025
M220.05266
1,2-pentene oxideM240
M250.00143
M260.052
M270.075
M280.124
M290.27266
M300.662
M311.24533
BondsZN-E-PZN-OEZN-OPZN-O1,2BZN-O1,2P
Ti-O--------430440475475
Ti-Cl618–555493725591599
Cl-Mg15101456151016251634
Cl-Ti-O-CH --------957103710281037
-CH 2990–2972--------304429813106–2990
-CH 1510–14741456–12601510–14381501–14561501–1456
Reagents Products
TiCl + C H OC H OTiCl
TiCl + C H OC H OTiCl
TiCl + C H OC H OTiCl
TiCl + C H OC H OTiCl
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Share and Cite

Fernandez, J.H.; Ortega-Toro, R.; Castro-Suarez, J.R. Multiple Traces of Families of Epoxy Derivatives as New Inhibitors of the Industrial Polymerization Reaction of Propylene. Polymers 2024 , 16 , 2080. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16142080

Fernandez JH, Ortega-Toro R, Castro-Suarez JR. Multiple Traces of Families of Epoxy Derivatives as New Inhibitors of the Industrial Polymerization Reaction of Propylene. Polymers . 2024; 16(14):2080. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16142080

Fernandez, Joaquin Hernandez, Rodrigo Ortega-Toro, and John R. Castro-Suarez. 2024. "Multiple Traces of Families of Epoxy Derivatives as New Inhibitors of the Industrial Polymerization Reaction of Propylene" Polymers 16, no. 14: 2080. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16142080

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  1. How to Write Significance of Study

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    how to create significance of the study in research

  4. SOLUTION: Significance of the study

    how to create significance of the study in research

  5. How to Write Significance of the Study (with Examples)

    how to create significance of the study in research

  6. Significance of the Study-Sample

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  1. Numbers 25:17 Take up arms against the Midianites and overcome them;

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  3. Significance of research Explained

  4. Creating a Life of Significance

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  6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY / IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY

COMMENTS

  1. Significance of the Study

    The significance of a study in a research proposal refers to the importance or relevance of the research question, problem, or objective that the study aims to address. It explains why the research is valuable, relevant, and important to the academic or scientific community, policymakers, or society at large. A strong statement of significance ...

  2. How To Write Significance of the Study (With Examples)

    4. Mention the Specific Persons or Institutions Who Will Benefit From Your Study. 5. Indicate How Your Study May Help Future Studies in the Field. Tips and Warnings. Significance of the Study Examples. Example 1: STEM-Related Research. Example 2: Business and Management-Related Research.

  3. How To Write a Significance Statement for Your Research

    A significance statement is an essential part of a research paper. It explains the importance and relevance of the study to the academic community and the world at large. To write a compelling significance statement, identify the research problem, and explain why it is significant.

  4. What is the Significance of a Study? Examples and Guide

    Other measures for the research significance of a study include: Accolades: best paper awards at conferences, thesis awards, "most downloaded" titles for articles, press coverage. How much follow-on research the study creates. For instance, part of my PhD involved a novel material initially developed by another PhD student in the lab.

  5. Background of The Study

    Definition: Background of the study refers to the context, circumstances, and history that led to the research problem or topic being studied. It provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and the significance of the study. The background of the study usually includes a discussion of the relevant literature ...

  6. What is the Significance of the Study?

    The significance of the study is a section in the introduction of your thesis or paper. It's purpose is to make clear why your study was needed and the specific contribution your research made to furthering academic knowledge in your field. In this guide you'll learn: what the significance of the study means, why it's important to include ...

  7. Q: How do I write the significance of the study?

    Answer: The significance of the study is the importance of the study for the research area and its relevance to the target group. You need to write it in the Introduction section of the paper, once you have provided the background of the study. You need to talk about why you believe the study is necessary and how it will contribute to a better ...

  8. How do I write the significance of the study and the problem ...

    Answer: That sounds like a pertinent topic. So, the significance of the study has to talk about the potential relevance or importance of your study to the topic. In your case, you will need to talk about why it's important to study these challenges, for instance, both to help radiographers operate better and to diagnose older patients better (who may be a challenging demographic to examine ...

  9. Significance of the Study Samples

    These tips will tell you the basic components expected to be seen in the significance of the study content. 1. Refer to the Problem Statement. In writing the significance of the study, always refer to the statement of the problem. This way, you can clearly define the contribution of your study. To simplify, your research should answer this ...

  10. How to Discuss the Significance of Your Research

    Step 4: Future Studies in the Field. Next, discuss how the significance of your research will benefit future studies, which is especially helpful for future researchers in your field. In the example of cyberbullying affecting student performance, your research could provide further opportunities to assess teacher perceptions of cyberbullying ...

  11. Significance of the Study

    When writing the "Significance of the Study" section in a research paper, follow this format to ensure clarity and impact: 1. Introduction. Contextual Background: Provide a brief background of the research topic. Research Problem: State the problem the study addresses. 2.

  12. Significance of a Study: Revisiting the "So What" Question

    An important consequence of interpreting significance as a carefully developed argument for the importance of your research study within a larger domain is that it reveals the advantage of conducting a series of connected studies rather than single, disconnected studies. Building the significance of a research study requires time and effort.

  13. How to Write an Effective Background of the Study

    Crafting a compelling background of the study in research is about striking the right balance between providing essential context, showcasing your comprehensive understanding of the existing literature, and highlighting the unique value of your research. While writing the background of the study, keep your readers at the forefront of your mind.

  14. The Why: Explaining the significance of your research

    According to the Unite for Sight online module titled " The Importance of Research ": "The purpose of research is to inform action. Thus, your study should seek to contextualize its findings within the larger body of research. Research must always be of high quality in order to produce knowledge that is applicable outside of the research ...

  15. How to Write Significance of the Study in a Project Research ...

    Write your significance of the study in an inverted pyramid format. Start with your research contribution to society as a whole, and then proceed to narrow it down to a specific individual or group of people. When writing your statement of study, the length should not be more than 500 words for a thesis and around 200 words for a research paper.

  16. How to Write the Rationale of the Study in Research (Examples)

    The rationale of the study is the justification for taking on a given study. It explains the reason the study was conducted or should be conducted. This means the study rationale should explain to the reader or examiner why the study is/was necessary. It is also sometimes called the "purpose" or "justification" of a study.

  17. How do I write about the significance of the study in my research

    The significance of the study, quite simply, is the importance of the study to the field - what new insights/information it will yield, how it will benefit the target population, very simply, why it needs to be conducted. For instance, given the current situation (and without knowing your subject area), you may wish to conduct research on ...

  18. Research Proposals: The Significance of the Study

    The significance section should make the argument for your study; present that argu­ ment completely, then cut and condense later drafts. (It is easier to edit than to write, easier to discard than to invent.) The final product must convince readers that the research needs doing. It should be organized as follows: 1. The importance of the ...

  19. Significance of a Study: Revisiting the "So What" Question

    Signi cance of a study is established by making a case for. it, not by simply choosing hypotheses everyone already thinks are important. Although you might believe the signi cance of your study is ...

  20. How to write the significance of a study?

    A study's significance usually appears at the end of the Introduction and in the Conclusion to describe the importance of the research findings. A strong and clear significance statement will pique the interest of readers, as well as that of relevant stakeholders. Maximise your publication success with Charlesworth Author Services.

  21. What is the significance of a study and how is it stated in a research

    Answer: In simple terms, the significance of the study is basically the importance of your research. The significance of a study must be stated in the Introduction section of your research paper. While stating the significance, you must highlight how your research will be beneficial to the development of science and the society in general.

  22. Contribution vs. Significance of Your Study

    The significance of a study reflects why the research is needed. It highlights the importance of your research and how it will impact the world. Depending on the subject, its significance may increase or decrease with time. For instance, the research on artificial intelligence is significant today and will be more important in the coming years.

  23. Polymers

    In this study, the impact of ethylene oxide, propylene oxide, 1,2-butene oxide, and 1,2-pentene oxide on the polymerization of propylene at an industrial level was investigated, focusing on their influence on the catalytic efficiency and the properties of polypropylene (PP) without additives. The results show that concentrations between 0 and 1.24 ppm of these epoxides negatively affect the ...

  24. What is discussed in the significance of a study and in the ...

    Significance. This refers to the potential importance of a planned study to the topic/field/area under study. The aim is to show how your study will add to the body of knowledge around the topic and how it may lead to better planning for the problem being researched and perhaps also to additional or future studies in the area.