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Theoretical framework works like a solid ground for future research. Whether you are writing a thesis or dissertation, an extensive theoretical part can provide proof for your statements. Let’s learn how to create the theoretical framework for your dissertation or other types of research.
Before we go deep into the details, let’s look at theoretical framework definition. Basically, theoretical framework is the theory-oriented outline of research carried out for any dissertation or thesis. It serves as an ultimate guide on existing theories that relate to, back up, or possibly refute your main idea.
You should create a theoretical framework for giving readers understanding of what is the area of research and which views former researchers had on the same topic. Also, this will help you clarify how to develop the main idea in research.
While writing theoretical framework for a dissertation you should take several crucial steps. Here are a few stages you should go through:
You can’t provide research without defining exactly what you aim to research. That is why firstly you must specify key terms of the dissertation. Describe each term like a glossary one so the reader could be familiar with them. It is significant for a clear understanding of your dissertation.
Concepts may have several possible interpretations so narrow them down to one unambiguous term. Also, you can specify how these several interpretations will be used in your text if the dissertation presupposes using key concepts in several meanings.
Provide an overview of the most relevant and important theories regarding the topic that already exist. Tell what different authors proposed in terms of your research area. Come up with personal evaluation of their ideas. This will help you better understand how you can develop a theory.
Most likely you will refer to some of these theories so stress out the most applicable and relevant theories that can only benefit your dissertation. Also, describe why you don’t want to use common and widespread theories if your idea lies in trailing a new path in the field.
Besides just discussing other people's theories, it’s time to showcase why your own theory is worth attention. Also, include information on how you and future researchers can use your theory.
Examine how your theory works in a selected area and prove that it can be applied in several different situations. You can also show that the theory completes the other one, and this combination leads to certain results that are new to your research area.
There are no strict rules on creating a theoretical framework within a certain structure so you can choose the most fitting variant. Think of dividing main concepts, overview of other theories, and future adaptation of your theory in several parts within one separate chapter.
Listing your main research questions is also a good idea. This will help you to structure not only a theoretical framework but the whole dissertation as well.
Once your theoretical framework is shovel-ready, it’s time to move on to the practical part and design a conceptual framework.