Jinhua College students during survey procedures training

One of the frequently asked questions in Thesis/Research Coach of this blog is how to develop a framework — conceptual and theeoretical — for a thesis outline. Here’s the advice I have always given my own thesis students …

A framework is simply the structure of the research idea or concept and how it is put together.  A conceptual framework elaborates the research problem in relation to relevant literature. This section may summarize the major (dependent and independent) variables in your research. The framework may be summarized in a schematic diagram that presents the major variables and their hypothesized relationships. It should also cover the following:

  • Existing research and its relevance for your topic
  • Key ideas or constructs in your approach
  • Identify and discuss the variables related to the problem.
  • Conceptualized relationships between variables
  • Independent variables (presumed cause)
    Dependent variables (presumed effect)
    Intervening variables (other variables that influence the effect of the independent variable)

  • Present a schematic diagram of the relationships between key variables and discuss the relationship of the elements/variables
  • Statement of hypotheses

For sample conceptual frameworks, click here and here .

158 Responses to Writing the thesis outline: Conceptual framework

  1. devcompage says:

    Kathlyn, perhaps you can improve your thesis title to: Determinants of reading readiness of grade one public and private school pupils. It will be useful to compare grade one pupils from public and private schools.

  2. devcompage says:

    Gretchen, this is a development communication site, not animal science. It will like a blind leading the blind so I won’t pretend to know something on swine production. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. ella says:

    how can i make a conceptual framework through my topic structural data and analysis?

  4. racheal says:

    Good day ma’am. my master thesis topic is ‘the impact of franchising on economic impact in developing countries – a case study of retail Franchising in Zambia. what are your views on this topic.

  5. devcompage says:

    Racheal, your topic is on economics and I am not an expert on that. This site is about communication science.

  6. muhumuza wilson says:

    My reseach topic is impact of appraisal on staff pet
    Of appraisal on staff performance.need help on how to construct aconceptual frame work

  7. Mg says:

    good day mam, can you please give me some ideas how to make a framework for my research entitled “The effects of intelligence to gender: A queer theory”. Thank you!

  8. Marlyn Tigo says:

    Hello Maam,

    I have read you website and I really thank you and appreciate your effort in continously helping students in their struggles of making thesis.

    I am one of those who needs your assistance if possible.

    I am currently working on my MA Devcom thesis entitled; Social Transformation: A case study of Run Away Filipina domestic helpers in UAE.

    Independent Variable: Run Away Domestic Helpers – Low level Education, Lack of Opportunity

    Dependent Variable: Domestic Violence, abuse and exploitation

    Intervening Variables: Pending new standard labour law

    1. Can you please suggest related studies/research

    2. I have 3 theories in my mind but Im not sure if its suitable for my research. ( The Four theories of the Press- libertarian on Social Responsibility, Social Construction of Reality and Critical theory)

    Any suggestion please?

    3. Methodology – Ethnographic research
    Any suggestion please?

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