theoretical framework



We explain what a theoretical framework is in an investigation and what its structure is. Also, how to do it and a detailed example.

The theoretical framework makes explicit the authors and books on which the research is based.

What is a theoretical framework?

The theoretical framework is the section of a monograph or investigation project in which the experiments, hypothesis and research development proposals. It consists of a set of references and antecedents fruit of the bibliographic Achaean from which the investigation itself started.

Put more simply, it is a section of the work of research in which the authors must demonstrate which authors and books they rely on to choose the research path they chose. It makes explicit the theoretical and conceptual support that they consulted in order to pose the research as they did. This implies:

  • Background. They are previous investigations on the same topic.
  • Theory. They are the consulted works of the great scholars of the matter.

A theoretical framework must be a coherent, orderly and succinct exposition of the theory that supports the work. You should pay attention to data and bibliographic references.

The thoroughness, transparency and thoroughness will allow the reader of this section to acquire a unified body of criteria to understand and analyze the proposed topic. This way you will be able to appreciate the contributions that the investigation will bring you.

The objectives of any theoretical framework can be summarized as follows:

  • Give an account of the innovative features of the research and its contributions to the field in the face of bibliography already existing and the works that precede it.
  • Locate within a framework of conceptual and theoretical references to trouble which the monograph will deal with.
  • Provide the reader with useful definitions and concepts to be able to enter the body of research work without problems. You can even use a glossary for this.
  • Justify the methodological, conceptual and instrumental choice regarding the way in which others have investigated the same subject.

Structure of a theoretical framework

Normally, a theoretical framework is made up of two sections, which depending on the case can always be written as a single set:

  • Research background. First of all, researchers should consult in different sources Y databases regarding what investigations prior to yours addressed the issue in question, to find out what the state of the matter is at the moment. And this is precisely what should be explained in this section, making explicit and concrete references to the most outstanding antecedents that exist, and explaining how their research will differ from what they have exposed.
  • Theoretical concepts. In this case, it is a kind of terminological and conceptual glossary necessary to understand the development of the research, in which it will be explained which authors and books served to precisely frame the research conceptually, providing support to their points of view, procedures or reasonings base. Citations, references and explanations will be used as necessary in each case.

This structure may be proposed freely in the way that is most convenient for researchers, as long as they cover everything pertinent to theory in the development of their research work.

How to make a theoretical framework?

Broadly speaking, the steps to develop a theoretical framework are:

  • Bibliographic tonnage. The first step, if we have not already taken it when writing the theoretical framework, is to carry out an extensive bibliographic review. This implies using different databases and search services, especially in libraries universities, academic institutes or the specific area of ​​our research. Our mission will be twofold:
    • First, find the works that address the subject of our research, in order to determine what they did, in what way and what results they obtained. We will write down the bibliographic data of each case, we will review the consulted bibliography (its antecedents, too) and we will take note of how each one is similar and how it differs from our research. It will not always be necessary to read the entire document, it will be enough to go to a resume and take a look at the introduction, the conclusions and the bibliography, at a minimum.
    • Second, once we know which authors our predecessors used in their theoretical frameworks and which authors are indispensable for what we want to do, we must consult and document them regarding which are the voices of authority in the specific field of our concern. I mean what texts Theorists we should read for our research, and take note of them.

Remember that in both cases it will be crucial to take citations, with their respective bibliographic references, to support us during the writing of the theoretical framework.

  • Theoretical research. Once we know which theorists we will use for our work, we must read them, study them and determine in each case what they are of use to us:
    • What key concepts do these theorists elaborate?
    • What categories of your own studies fit ours and why?
    • How do we hope their work will influence ours?

As soon as we know this information, we can start writing.

  • Drafting. Having all the above in clear, it will not be difficult to start writing our theoretical framework, divided into two stages:
    • Background. Where we will basically tell what we discovered during the first stage of the archeology, what background was important and why, and to what extent our work is original or is a contribution to what is already available in libraries.
    • The theory. That is, which key authors we will use for our investigative approach and why, trying to answer the questions we asked ourselves during their reading.

Example of theoretical framework

Suppose our research is on the influence of religion Egyptian in the high altitude vineyards of Argentina, as we assume that there is one. Our theoretical framework must therefore consist of the following:

  • A first part in which we explain the novelty of our approach and make reference to the background. Obviously there will be none regarding the issue exactly, but there will be regarding the Egyptian religion and its influence on others. cultures, and there will also be them on the high altitude vineyards in Argentina. If we do not find an approach like ours, we can always interpret it as a sign that we are being original or inaugurating a field of knowledge.
  • Then we will have to go to the theorists: both specialists in Egyptian religion and high altitude vineyards in Argentina. There must be many who have written about each thing professionally, so we will have to go to the most important and those who are closest to our work: for example, those who study the Egyptian religion and its similarities with other cultures of the world, or those who study the high altitude vineyards in relation to local cultural factors. Probably we should also go to a theorist about the concept of "influence", at least to define the specific use that we will give to the term during the work.

Once this research has been carried out and these elements have been obtained, with their respective bibliographic citations and obligatory references, we can begin to write the theoretical framework, explaining what are the concepts that we will use, how and from whom.

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