Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Theoretical Framework This guide provides advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Definition Theories are formulated to explain, predict, and understand phenomena and, in many cases, to challenge and extend existing knowledge within the limits of critical bounding assumptions. Importance of Theory A theoretical framework consists of concepts and, together with their definitions and reference to relevant scholarly literature, existing theory that is used for your particular study.
The theoretical framework connects the researcher to existing knowledge. Guided by a relevant theory, you are given a basis for your hypotheses and choice of research methods. Articulating the theoretical assumptions of a research study forces you to address questions of why and how. It permits you to intellectually transition from simply describing a phenomenon you have observed to generalizing about various aspects of that phenomenon. Having a theory helps you identify the limits to those generalizations.
A theoretical framework specifies which key variables influence a phenomenon of interest and highlights the need to examine how those key variables might differ and under what circumstances. Strategies for Developing the Theoretical Framework I. Developing the Framework Here are some strategies to develop of an effective theoretical framework: Examine your thesis title and research problem. The research problem anchors your entire study and forms the basis from which you construct your theoretical framework. Brainstorm about what you consider to be the key variables in your research.
Answer the question, "What factors contribute to the presumed effect?
Identify the assumptions from which the author s addressed the problem. Group these variables into independent and dependent categories. Review key social science theories that are introduced to you in your course readings and choose the theory that can best explain the relationships between the key variables in your study [note the Writing Tip on this page].
The theoretical framework has a logical structure. How to write a research methodology . Maybe this article can help you along: tiosorentme.tk dissertation/sample-. The theoretical framework should define key concepts, propose relations In this example, we focus on the concept of 'customer satisfaction.'.
Discuss the assumptions or propositions of this theory and point out their relevance to your research. Purpose Think of theories as the conceptual basis for understanding, analyzing, and designing ways to investigate relationships within social systems. Means by which new research data can be interpreted and coded for future use, Response to new problems that have no previously identified solutions strategy, Means for identifying and defining research problems, Means for prescribing or evaluating solutions to research problems, Ways of discerning certain facts among the accumulated knowledge that are important and which facts are not, Means of giving old data new interpretations and new meaning, Means by which to identify important new issues and prescribe the most critical research questions that need to be answered to maximize understanding of the issue, Means of providing members of a professional discipline with a common language and a frame of reference for defining the boundaries of their profession, and Means to guide and inform research so that it can, in turn, guide research efforts and improve professional practice.
Structure and Writing Style The theoretical framework may be rooted in a specific theory , in which case, your work is expected to test the validity of that existing theory in relation to specific events, issues, or phenomena. I could choose instead to test Instrumentalist or Circumstantialists models developed among ethnic conflict theorists that rely upon socio-economic-political factors to explain individual-state relations and to apply this theoretical model to periods of war between nations].
When writing and revising this part of your research paper, keep in mind the following: Clearly describe the framework, concepts, models, or specific theories that underpin your study. This includes noting who the key theorists are in the field who have conducted research on the problem you are investigating and, when necessary, the historical context that supports the formulation of that theory.
This latter element is particularly important if the theory is relatively unknown or it is borrowed from another discipline. Position your theoretical framework within a broader context of related frameworks , concepts, models, or theories. As noted in the example above, there will likely be several concepts, theories, or models that can be used to help develop a framework for understanding the research problem.
Hello Ijeoma, Thank you very much for contacting us. Before writing a theoretical framework, carefully read and summarize all notes you have made earlier. Abdu October 16, at AM Is a theoretical framework different from a theoretical model? The ability to synthesise what you've learned from scholars in your discipline, and to shape that into a methodology that you can use to shed light on your research question, is, therefore, key to a successful undergraduate dissertation. Necessary Always Enabled.
Therefore, note why the theory you've chosen is the appropriate one. The present tense is used when writing about theory. Although the past tense can be used to describe the history of a theory or the role of key theorists, the construction of your theoretical framework is happening now. You should make your theoretical assumptions as explicit as possible. Later, your discussion of methodology should be linked back to this theoretical framework. Reality is never accurately represented in such a simplistic way; if you imply that it can be, you fundamentally distort a reader's ability to understand the findings that emerge.
Given this, always note the limitations of the theoretical framework you've chosen [i.
Writing Tip Borrowing Theoretical Constructs from Elsewhere An increasingly important trend in the social and behavioral sciences is to think about and attempt to understand research problems from an interdisciplinary perspective. Another Writing Tip Don't Undertheorize! Fleetwood, Steve and Anthony Hesketh. A theory has been extensively tested and is generally accepted among scholars; a hypothesis is a speculative guess that has yet to be tested.
Is this article helpful? Other students also liked. The theoretical framework: what and how? In the theoretical framework, you define key concepts and discuss relevant theories, showing how your research fits in with established ideas. How to write a literature review A literature review surveys academic knowledge on a topic. Analyze and combine sources to identify trends, debates, or gaps in the research. How to write a research methodology The methodology lets readers assess the reliability of your research.
Describe what you did and show how your methods match your aims. Hi Kole!
Our senior editor Shane has answered your questions: Can a paper contain more than one theoretical framework TF chapter or section? Good luck with your paper! Cheers, Wouter Reply. I'm set to go on with my writing after reading your work. Cheers Reply. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us : Cheers, Arjan Reply. Moses September 2, at PM It has help me iam now able to understand the research steps.
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Iam enlightened. Joseph Nyongesa February 19, at AM good insight madam. Pari February 6, at AM Thanks a lot for information. Precisely explained. Asked on 06 Jul, The theoretical framework is a structure that supports the theory that explains why the research problem you are studying exists. It encompasses concepts, definitions, existing theories, and other literature that you have referred to in your study. The theoretical framework demonstrates your understanding of the concepts related to the research paper and the broader topic.
Stating clearly the theoretical assumptions used in the study helps the readers evaluate them clearly and provides a basis for choosing your research hypothesis and the research methods.
Irrespective of the discipline, your dissertation must have a strong foundation for the theory you have based your study on. You can refer to articles published in the humanities journals to better understand how a theoretical framework forms the foundation for evaluating the research problem and the research question in a paper. Related reading:. Answered by Editage Insights on 22 Jul,