One of the biggest things that colleges push for in the current age is social change and how you can provide it through your study. This is where your “Significance of the Study” section comes into play. But social change is a pretty broad, and pretty vague, term, so what exactly are colleges looking for when it comes time to establish your study as significant? The best way to tackle this is to break it down into two sections: significance to research and significance to practice. You can think of this in terms of astronomers and astronauts. Both deal with the galaxy and the exploration of the universe, but they go about their work in very different fashions. Astronomers are the thinkers, the theorists, the brain power behind future exploration. Astronauts are the ones who go out and put the astronomers’ work to practice.
Establishing significance to research is fairly simple, as this is a direct result of your established gap in the literature. Think about why your study is important for future researchers. Inevitably, your study has the potential to create a gap of its own, so what is the importance of that to future researchers in your field? What are the benefits that your study could potentially have within the academic community? You want to be specific in your claims. If you are conducting a study on how the No Child Left Behind Act was actually bad for students, chances are someone has done the same study and their significance is probably similar to “This is important because our children are the future.” Try not to rest on emotional appeals. Find a logical, rational way to demonstrate importance to future research.
When establishing significance to practice, think about why your study is important in a real-world scenario. What potential do your findings have for the actual practitioners of your field? Where would you like to see social change implemented? You are essentially the master of your domain when it comes to establishing the significance of your study. You chose the topic, the setting, the participants, and the problem for good reason—you determined (with the help of previous researchers) that there was indeed an issue that needed to be resolved. Think about this in terms of a politician: if you could enact change in one facet of the world, what would that change be?
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