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What is the Significance of the Study?

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Significance of the Study
Take home message
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 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.

A distal radius fracture of the wrist is the most common way in which a broken bone in the arm can occur. Previously, the role of dumbbell training in recovery has been poorly understood. This research project helps to improve the physiotherapy provided to wrist fracture patients during recovery. The findings of this study will directly benefit patients with fractures of the wrist in regaining muscle health and strength. The dumbbell exercises proposed may be incorporated by physiotherapists in the routines that they use with these patients, which can also be performed by the patients in their homes. Faster recovery with fewer complications will enable people that have suffered wrist fractures to regain normal function quicker and return to work sooner.

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

The growing demand for non-surgical facial aesthetics, such as dermal fillers and botulinum toxin treatments, highlights a significant shift in cosmetic enhancement preferences among the general population. Despite their popularity, the long-term psychological effects and patient satisfaction of these procedures remain underexplored. This study aims to bridge this knowledge gap by evaluating the impact of non-surgical facial aesthetic treatments on individuals’ self-esteem and psychological well-being.

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.

Furthermore, the findings from this research could have broader implications for the beauty and wellness industry, shaping future trends in non-surgical treatments and influencing how these procedures are marketed and perceived by the public. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that patients seeking facial aesthetic enhancements receive not only the physical results they desire but also experience positive psychological outcomes, thereby improving their overall quality of life.

Conclusion

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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Dr Amit Kumar Singh

Dr Singh earned his PhD in Nanotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati), India in 2018. He is now a Senior Research Fellow developing low cost and biocompatible micro/nanomotors for anti-cancer therapy.

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Dr Nafisa M. Jadavji

Dr Jadavji completed her PhD in Medical Genetics & Neuroscience from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 2012. She is now an assistant professor involved in a mix of research, teaching and service projects.

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