Theoretical framework of the study thesis

About text formats. Answer: The theoretical framework is a structure that supports the theory that explains why the research problem you are studying exists. Related reading: How to make an effective theoretical and conceptual framework of a research study? Is theoretical framework indispensable in scholarly research like thesis and dissertation? Upvote this Answer Comment. Answer this question. Ask a new question. This content belongs to the Conducting Research Stage Conducting research is the first and most exciting step in a researcher's journey.

No Yes. Did I come up with a ground breaking discovery that would revolutionise my field?

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Did I develop a new theory that would change the way we think about the world? Sound silly? The theoretical framework is important, but many people find it difficult. I know I struggled with it.


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Then someone explained the theory framework to me in such a simple way. Let me explain. So, your job in a theoretical framework chapter is to discuss in detail what the tools look like, how they behave, how they have been used before, how they relate to one another, how they are relevant to your aims and objectives and what the drawbacks are from using them. The methods chapter then discusses how you will use operationalise those tools.

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Each day we send a short, thought-provoking email that will make you think differently about what it means to be a PhD student. It is designed to be read in thirty seconds and thought about all day. Imagine you are studying local government responses to climate change. You could approach this question with a focus on, say, psychology, power, gender, economics, and so on. The best we can typically hope for - and this is particularly true in much of the social sciences - is an interpretation of the truth.

So - and this is important - we use theory to focus our attention on a small sub-set of all potential explanations, on one particular viewpoint. Without a theoretical framework we are left with a potentially endless choice of potential viewpoints, which would make our data collection and analysis and our discussion hugely chaotic.

How to prepare it?

Your PhD Thesis. On one page. Download now. The theoretical framework is a natural extension of the literature review. The purpose of the literature review, amongst other things, is to highlight gaps and shortcomings with the existing work in your field. The theoretical framework details the perspective you will take to address that gap and shortcoming.

In your own research you will also need to make an informed decision about the particular theory you will employ to guide you through the rest of the research. Instead, think of it as a separate, mini literature review , this time focusing on the theory you will employ. Remember, your examiners are likely to already be familiar with the theory, meaning that rather than discuss every possible thing that there is to discuss about it, you instead need to discuss how and why the theory has been adapted and adopted to the context of your research.

The key when writing your literature review is to show your understanding of the broad theoretical school and to define the key concepts , both with reference to the existing literature, but also to your research questions and problem statement. These aren't necessarily in order, but they are all things that you will need to think about and, if relevant, discuss. You need to have a solid grasp of your aims and objectives. These define the space in which your research will sit and your goals when conducting it.

Theoretical & Conceptual Frameworks in the Dissertation

You will need to briefly recap these when you start writing your theoretical framework, both to remind the reader and so that you can relate your theory to these overarching aims. Here you need to define and explain each theory you draw upon and, in doing so, discuss the leading proponents and applications. This shows that you understand the theory you are going to adopt. You then need to spend time critically arguing why you are adopting this particular theory. There are a lot of potential theories you could use. Why this one? Importantly, you should relate your choice to the discussions in the literature review and your aims and objectives.

Which one are you siding with and why? A theory contains a number of concepts. Which will you be drawing upon? Why these ones? Have you defined them properly? The way you approach this section will be influenced by your epistemological and ontological perspective and, thus, whether you use hypotheses or not.

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Planning to Write

If you are using hypotheses, you need to state them as such. How do the concepts relate to your aims and objectives?


  • The Definition of a Theoretical Framework.
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  • Have you clearly stated your ontological and epistemological perspective? Are you the first to use this particular theory in this particular way? What benefits or drawbacks does that bring? Can you spot any drawbacks with applying this theory? Does it fail to account for a particular dimension of a phenomenon?

    Is it difficult to operationalize? How are your concepts related? They can also be more esoteric things like events e. Variables are characteristics of cases. They are attributes. Qualities of the cases that we measure or record. For example, if the cases are persons, the variables could be sex, age, height, weight, feeling of empowerment, math ability, etc. Variables are called what they are because it is assumed that the cases will vary in their scores on these attributes.

    For example, if the variable is age, we obviously recognize that people can be different ages. Of course, sometimes, for a given sample of people, there might not be any variation on some attribute. For example, the variable 'number of children' might be zero for all members of this class. It's still a variable, though, because in principle it could have variation. In any particular study, variables can play different roles. Two key roles are independent variables and dependent variables.