Q: What is discussed in the significance of a study and in the scope and limitations of a study?
Hello EM – Welcome to the forum! Please note that as your two questions are around somewhat related topics, we have combined them into one question. However, here, we shall respond to each concept separately.
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. For instance, if you plan to study the effect of lockdowns on the physical and mental health of people, the learnings from your study may help people deal better in future and/or prolonged lockdown scenarios. The significance is written in the Introduction section. For more help, you may refer to this resource: What is the significance of a study and how is it stated in a research paper?
Scope refers to the extent of the topic you will be covering in your study. This is done to keep the study feasible and practical in terms of cost, efforts, and time. A related term is delimitations, which refers to the restrictions placed on the study by the researcher. Scope and delimitations are written in the Methods section. For more help with these concepts, you may refer to this resource: Can I use the terms 'scope' and 'delimitations' interchangeably?
Limitations is not related to scope (or delimitations). It refers to the shortcomings of the study – what was not ideal and what could have been better – and is written in the Discussion section, toward the end of the study. For more information on limitations, you may find this resource helpful: What are the limitations of a study and how to write them?
Finally, as we have mentioned several sections of the manuscript in the response, you may find it helpful to refer to this article on manuscript structure: Tips for writing the perfect IMRAD manuscript
Hope that helps. All the best for your study!