What is Theoretical Framework?

A theoretical framework is denoted as the structure that upholds and provide support to the theory that has been added in the research study. It provides a brief introduction and explores the theory that identifies why it is a research problem that exists in the study. Theoretical framework tends towards how you conceptualise the nature of the problem of the research along with analysing the theories that will help in investigating the problem. This framework identifies how you perceive, make sense of and investigate the problem. It is an undeniable fact that a theoretical framework is important for academic projects or studies that are approved by the supervisors and faculties particularly at Masters or doctoral level. The work begins with a formal theoretical framework because the purpose is to explore the basic purpose of the research studies. The implementation of theories and the development of them are more concerned with qualitative research as the development of theories are generally made in qualitative whereas theories are often tested in quantitative studies by testing in different contexts.

What is the Purpose of Theoretical Framework?

The purpose of theoretical framework is that it provides a good model for carrying out the research, examining its results, interpreting the data and providing relevant and appropriate knowledge regarding the research topic. Moreover, in qualitative studies, theories are often used for explaining behaviour and provide reasoning. In qualitative, the theories are formulated for predicting, defining, rectifying and comprehending the phenomena or challenge the key knowledge that is limited to critical assumptions. The fundamental goal of theoretical framework is that it helps in supporting a theory of the research study. Though, the theory is explained that is linked with the research problem. A theoretical framework has the capability of strengthening the research study that permits the readers for assessing the assumptions critically. Furthermore, it connects researchers with the existing knowledge as the basis for hypotheses and different investigation methods are used for determining the limits for generalisations. The theoretical framework stipulates the key variables that have a significant influence on the phenomena which highlights the necessity of examining how they vary.

How to Construct a Theoretical Framework?

To create a theoretical framework, these are the three stages that need to be followed,

  1. Pick the Key Concepts

    The very basic and first step of creating a theoretical framework is to select the key terms of concepts from the research problem and research questions from your research. Notions generally have numerous descriptions, so theoretical framework participates in explaining each concept effectively. The concept will be chosen from research topic after the determination of research question and the problem of the research. However, these theories are the reflection of the knowledge that you have regarding the research topic that has relevant models and theories.

  2. Evaluate and Describe Relevant Theories

    By conducting a systematic or in-depth review of the literature, you can identify how different authors have explained and create an association among the key concepts. The theoretical framework aims to contrast and critically examine the theories that are proposed by various authors. It involves explaining various models and theories where the definitions are developed that appropriately fits in the research along with providing rationale with regards to the case. In complex research studies, the theories are connected with distinct theories for the development of a unique framework. It is required to ensure that the theories are linked with the key concepts. There should be a well-developed theory or model for applying to your research.

  3. Define how your Research is Valuable

    Other than discussing the theories of different authors, the theoretical framework highlights how your project utilises these ideas. The aim is to do the following which determines whether a theory embraces the specific context. Make use of the theory as a base for rendering the results. It critiques a theory that is combined with different theories in a unique manner. Thus, these theoretical frameworks will help in generating concepts for the research.

What is the Structure of the Theoretical Framework?

In a thesis, a theoretical framework is incorporated in the literature review chapter for providing support and evidence to the literature provided in the following section. However, a theoretical framework can be incorporated as an individual section or chapter. If the existing research deals with crucial and complex theories, then it would be a great idea for developing a separate theoretical framework chapter that can explain the chapter more effectively with detailed discussion.

The structure of theoretical framework has no set rules. The only purpose of the thesis is to form a strong and reasonable structure. The first option could be to draw on the research questions or to structure each section that revolves around the key concept of the research. The structure that should be kept in consideration of the theoretical framework is that it should link with the theories that are based on research objectives and research questions, that may continue to serve the purpose of the research conducted.

Do’s and Don’ts of Theoretical Framework



  • Heading of Theoretical Framework should be at the end of chapter two before chapter’s summary.
  • Theoretical Framework should always incorporate two or more than two theories.
  • Theories that are involved should be relevant to the current data and information.

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