- July 18, 2023
- Posted by: Igbaji Chinwendu
- Category: Project Writing Guide
Writing Theoretical Framework – 6 Steps To Writing Theoretical Framework For Research Project, Thesis And Dissertation
- 1 Writing Theoretical Framework – 6 Steps To Writing Theoretical Framework For Research Project, Thesis And Dissertation
- 1.1 What is a theoretical framework?
- 1.2 Why is a theoretical framework important in a Research Project?
- 1.3 How to write a theoretical framework for a research project.
- 1.3.1 Step One: Identify the research question:
- 1.3.2 Step Two: Review the proposed literature:
- 1.3.3 Step Three: Develop a Conceptual Framework:
- 1.3.4 Step four: Develop Research Hypothesis:
- 1.3.5 Step five: Create the Theoretical Framework:
- 1.3.6 Step six: Revise and Refine the created theoretical framework:
What is a theoretical framework?
In its most credulous state, a theoretical framework can be regarded as a collection of connected ideas, definitions and claims that offer a methodical understanding of a phenomenon or issue.
A theoretical framework serves two purposes: to explain the phenomenon being studied in a clear and succinct manner, and to lay the groundwork for future study by identifying the pertinent factors and interactions that need to be examined.
It aids in the organization of the researcher’s thoughts and ideas, the discovery of knowledge gaps, and the creation of a research methodology that will aid in the resolution of the researcher’s research questions.
Why is a theoretical framework important in a Research Project?
A research project must have a theoretical framework because it offers the intellectual and methodological foundation that directs the research process. Thus, a theoretical framework is crucial for a research effort for the following reasons:
It provides a foundation or structure for the research project:
Provides a solid foundation for the research: By giving readers a clear knowledge of the research problem, the variables involved, and their relationships to one another, a theoretical framework aids in establishing a sound foundation for the research. Additionally, it aids in defining the objectives, aims and topics associated with the research.
It guides the research design and methodology:
A theoretical framework provides a set of ideas and assumptions that guide the research design and technique. Similarly, it helps identify the most appropriate research methods and data collection techniques and provides a framework for analyzing and interpreting the data.
It encourages the creation of hypotheses:
A theoretical framework aids in the development of experimentally testable hypotheses by researchers. It facilitates the generation of concepts and hypotheses that may be tested against actual evidence by offering a conceptual framework for the study.
It reinforces the authenticity and validity of the research:
By offering a clear and cogent justification for the investigation, a theoretical framework contributes to the validity and reliability of the research. It assists in making sure that the study is based on accepted ideas and concepts and that the conclusions are pertinent to the research subject.
It facilitates comparisons between research studies:
By giving researchers a common vocabulary and set of concepts, a theoretical framework makes it possible to compare studies. This makes it possible to evaluate and synthesize the results of many studies and ensures that knowledge may be accumulated through time.
How to write a theoretical framework for a research project.
A proper theoretical framework can be created with the aid of the following steps:
Step One: Identify the research question:
Any research study must begin with the research problem as its central focus. It serves as the cornerstone of the entire research process. Put in another way, the essence of research questions in research studies is identifying a knowledge or understanding gap on a specific topic or phenomenon.
Thus, it outlines the research problem the study attempts to address and the research question it will attempt to answer.
It is crucial to respond to fundamental questions, such as what issue you as the reader are attempting to address, what problems the research questions will attempt to address, and how the proposed problem might be resolved, to help identify the research problem of the proposed research.
Step Two: Review the proposed literature:
Assessing the literature involves carefully analyzing significant studies, theories, and ideas associated with the research issue. This procedure aids researchers in determining the present state of knowledge on the subject and any gaps or contradictions in the body of prior research.
Researchers may begin by exploring pertinent databases for academic journals, books, and conference proceedings before doing a literature review. They may also consult the experts in the field and examine reference lists of relevant publications.
Researchers can analyse and synthesise the information once the relevant literature has been identified. This involves critically evaluating the quality and validity of the studies, theories, and concepts and identifying key themes and patterns in the findings.
Based on this analysis, researchers can identify existing theories and concepts relevant to the research problem and develop a conceptual framework for their study.
Step Three: Develop a Conceptual Framework:
In research, a theoretical framework involves the theories and concepts identified in the literature review. It visually represents the key concepts, variables and relationships involved in the research problem. To develop a conceptual framework, the researchers much identify the key concepts and variables associated with the research problem.
These concepts and variables may be identified from the literature review or derived from the research question or hypothesis. Once the key concepts have been identified, researchers can begin to map out the relationships between them. This can entail formulating several research questions or hypotheses explaining the variables’ connections.
The conceptual framework should be based on established theories and concepts in the field. This guarantees that the framework is based on existing knowledge and that it may serve as a theoretical foundation for the study.
Step four: Develop Research Hypothesis:
Specific claims that explain the relationships between various elements or ideas in a research study are known as hypotheses. They ought to be constructed in a way that allows for empirical investigation to verify them. Researchers must first identify the key variables or concepts in their conceptual framework to develop hypotheses.
They must then consider the relationships between these variables and develop statements that predict the nature of these relationships.
For example, if the conceptual framework suggests a relationship between student motivation and academic achievement, a hypothesis might be formulated: “Students who are highly motivated will achieve higher academic success than those who are less motivated”.
Remembering hypotheses are predictions that must be tested through empirical investigation rather than final claims or conclusions is crucial. As a result, they ought to be constructed so that they may be verified or refuted through gathering and examining facts.
The links between the variables can be inferred once the hypotheses have been tested, and the conceptual framework can then be adjusted.
Step five: Create the Theoretical Framework:
The conceptual framework is expanded upon by the theoretical framework, which offers a more in-depth analysis of the interrelationships between the variables. To explain how the variables interact and have an impact on one another, it draws on well-known theories and concepts. Thus, after developing a hypothesis, a theoretical framework for a research study can be created by;
Pick a theoretical framework: Decide on a theoretical framework that supports your research question and hypothesis. This will assist you in giving your research a theoretical foundation.
For instance, the framework used in a study project on employee motivation uses theories of motivation already in existence, including Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, to describe how various aspects affect employee motivation.
- Provide supporting evidence: To back up the selected theoretical model, use the existing literature and research. This will aid in solidifying your framework and giving your research credence.
- Describe the procedures for conducting and analyzing the research: Finally, describe the research’s methodology and data analysis procedures. This clarifies things and guarantees a strong theoretical foundation for your research.
Step six: Revise and Refine the created theoretical framework:
All research efforts must include a step when the theoretical framework is revised and improved. To ensure that the framework is understandable, cohesive, and pertinent to the research subject, it must consider feedback from the supervisor or peers.
Reviewing the comments made by the supervisor or peers might be the first step in revising and refining the theoretical framework. This feedback should be carefully examined to determine whether parts of the framework require explanation or improvement. The researcher should then consider handling these problems and making the required changes.
Ensuring the theoretical framework aligns with the study topic and hypothesis is another crucial part of its refinement. The framework needs to be improved to strengthen connections between the research question, the hypothesis, and the employed theoretical notions. As a result, the framework will guarantee that it explains the research problem’s solution clearly and succinctly.
Additionally, The researcher should ensure that the body of previous research solidly supports the theoretical framework. This indicates that the framework adequately cites and discusses all pertinent concepts and theories. To ensure the framework is current and complete, the researcher should also consider including new literature discovered during the revision process.
Generally, reviewing and improving the theoretical framework is iterative and demands careful thought and attention to detail. The researcher can develop a solid and useful framework that directs the research endeavour by incorporating input, matching the framework with the research question and hypothesis, and ensuring it is well-supported by existing literature.