How to Write a Theoretical Framework for a Dissertation and Thesis?

Researchers develop theories to explain phenomena, build connections, and make educated guesses. Therefore, you illustrate the existing ideas supporting your dissertation or thesis in a theoretical framework, depicting that your work has a solid foundation.


How to Write a Theoretical Framework for a Dissertation and Thesis?

Building a theoretical framework

theoretical framework depends on extant theories functioning as a yardstick for devising the arguments you are to use in your study.

Researchers develop theories to explain phenomena, build connections, and make educated guesses. Therefore, you illustrate the existing ideas supporting your research in a theoretical framework, depicting that your work has a solid foundation.

A full-fledged theoretical framework implies success down the road in your research and writing process. Put differently, your theoretical framework confirms and pegs your upcoming study. Hence, it is a critical first step for your thesis or dissertation.

Do you require a theoretical framework?

Before beginning your research, familiarizing yourself with the theories and models already developed by other researchers is of utmost importance. You can disclose what you have learned by presenting your current stand and putting your future research in perspective.

An excellent chance suggests that many theories about your subject already exist, providing that the topic is comprehensive. Therefore, you should assess, contrast, and choose the most pertinent ones.

Restricting your study to a specific field, you allow the reader to know the assumptions informing your approach, illustrating the rationale behind your picks for upcoming sections, like methods and discussion. This part of your dissertation lays the foundations, supporting your analysis, interpreting your findings, and generalizing to a broader extent.

However, one should realize that the very same research topic can be assessed radically differently based on the theoretical approach you have taken. Illustratively, an academician employing postmodernist theory would approach “Anna Karenina” much more differently than a scholar with the Marxist perspective. Similarly, a behaviorist approach uses radically different methodologies than phenomenology. Keynesian economics and Adam Smith’s “The Invisible Hand Theory” are markedly different. 

How can editing and proofreading improve your theoretical framework?

Editing and proofreading your theoretical framework is of high significance. A professional editing and proofreading service with trained and experienced experts with Ph.D. in their fields will edit your thesis or dissertation theoretical framework by paying utmost attention to detail. Their suggestions will make the theoretical framework more reasonable and practical.

How to write a theoretical framework

Pursuing three critical steps can allow you to build your theoretical framework. They include specifying essential concepts, assessing and illustrating relevant theories, and depicting how your research supports or refutes the extant studies.

1. Specify critical concepts

The first step includes selecting the critical terms from your problem statement and research questions. Multiple definitions are possible for the concepts. Therefore, you should specify what you mean by each term in your theoretical framework.

2. Assess and illustrate relevant theories

A complete literature review can help determine how other researchers have specified these critical concepts and built connections. While writing your theoretical framework, you aim to contrast and critically assess the approaches taken by different authors.

The definitions fitting best to your research and justifying it are suggested, perusing various models and theories. Should your topic suit better, you can incorporate theories from different fields to establish your distinct framework.

Another crucial point is ensuring that each of the most vital theories relates to your critical concepts. Suppose a well-established theory suggests that you should not apply it to your research. In that case, explain why it is so for your purposes.

You should note the difference between a literature review and a theoretical framework. A theoretical framework is the theoretical groundwork of your work. In contrast, a literature review critically assesses extant studies concerning your subject.

3. Depict how your research supports or refutes extant studies

In addition to epitomizing and debating extant theories, the theoretical framework should depict how your research supports or refutes the actual studies. In doing so, you may test whether a theory holds in a specific context, employ an extant theory to interpret your results, critically deliberate, and combine various theories distinctly.

Configuring your theoretical framework

A theoretical framework can be part of your literature review chapter, but it can be separate from your dissertation. Should your research deal with many complicated theories, including an individual theoretical framework chapter is a sound idea.

Configuring your theoretical framework does not have definite rules. Double-check with your department or institution to ensure no formatting guidelines exist. The most critical is forming a concise and logical structure. You may do it as follows. Elaborate on your research questions by configuring each section around a question or crucial concept, employ a theory cluster and organize chronologically. Like all other parts of your thesis or dissertation, ensure that you avoid plagiarism by citing proper references.

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Theoretical framework for dissertation and thesis

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Literature review for a dissertations and thesis

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This article explains how to write a theoritical framework for a dissertation and thesis.  To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

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