A theoretical framework allows academics to support their research by explaining it in the light of existing theories. It helps them explain events, draw connections, and make predictions. In this article, we will discuss how to write a theoretical framework for a thesis.
What Are the Ingredients of a Theoretical Framework?
Your theoretical framework lists terms, phrases, or words you have used in your scientific document. It acts as a reference to readers.
Researchers must find logical connections between different theories, ideas, and terms. Doing so helps them support their theory during scientific testing. Therefore, you must explain each theory and showcase how they relate to your research.
The framework consists of an objective, problem, research question, and sub-questions, allowing researchers to dig deep into a particular topic.
Why Do We Write Theoretical Frameworks?
We explore models and theories developed by other researchers before we begin research. A theoretical framework is meant to present and explain this information. Your topic may have several theories supporting it. Therefore, we select the most relevant ones and evaluate and compare their findings.
Framing our research within a particular context makes it easier for us to inform readers regarding the assumptions we’re making. Then it’s easier for them to understand the rationale behind our choices.
The theoretical framework establishes the grounds for all your analysis. Ultimately, it will help you interpret your research findings and make broader generalizations to develop a theory.
Example of a Theoretical Framework
Reading a theoretical framework will allow you to organize information effectively, helping you develop a cohesive research document. Here are two quick examples of theoretical frameworks:
In psychology, a theoretical framework may allow you to write how the psychoanalytical and behaviorist methods approach depression differently. Likewise, an astronomical theoretical framework may disprove astronomer Asaph Hall’s theory that Mars only has two moons.
How to Create a Theoretical Framework
In a theoretical framework, you must explain the theory your research relies upon to support explanations and interpretations of your data. Here’s how to write a theoretical framework for a thesis.
Identify Key Concepts
We begin by identifying key terms from research questions and problem statements. Terms may have different meanings depending on the context. In a theoretical framework, your job is to clearly define what each of the terms means. Let’s look at an example:
Company A struggles with reaching out to young customers between the ages of 18 and 25. The company has a chain of takeaway restaurants across different parts of the city. Despite developing a new website and launching dishes preferred by the user demographic, they receive fewer orders than expected.
The management believes incorporating online payment methods will improve user satisfaction and appeal to online customers. By making the customer’s buying journey easier, they intend to attract more customers and increase their consumer base.
For a theoretical framework, you must identify key concepts of the research and break them down accordingly:
Problem: Young customers from Company A’s consumer base aren’t ordering food.
Objective: To learn if an online payment system leads to greater user satisfaction.
Research question: Does incorporating online payments increase user satisfaction among online customers aged between 18 and 25?
Here, the key concepts will be “online customers,” “online payments,” “user satisfaction,” and “customers between the ages of 18 and 25.” In the theoretical framework, we must define all these concepts and discuss the theories that describe their relationship.
Analyze and Explain Relevant Theories
To develop a strong theoretical framework, you must conduct a thorough literature review. While writing a theoretical framework, try to compare and critically evaluate different approaches proposed by authors.
Discussing various theories and models will allow you to build your case and establish definitions that perfectly fit your research. In complex projects, you must combine theories from fields you are unfamiliar with to develop a unique framework.
You need to relate how certain theories support certain concepts. If there is an established model you don’t want to include in your research, explain why it doesn’t match your purposes.
Show How Your Research Fits in
Once you explain other research and their findings, you must showcase how your own research fits in with the existing literature. Identify key insights and findings from your research. For instance, you can discuss if your theory holds up in a particular scenario. Likewise, you can use another theory to interpret your findings.
If you can find relevant connections, you can use your findings to develop a hypothesis for your research.
The theoretical framework is a crucial part of your dissertation or thesis. Explaining relevant concepts in detail and creating a clear, logical structure can help you build a strong foundation for your thesis. If you think your thesis needs further improvement, consider our professional dissertation editing.