Dissertation writing demands you master several academic writing skills. It asks students to perform tasks that differ not only in nature but also in their level of complexity. At one stage, you need to ace descriptive writing or critical thinking skills, while at the other, it compels you to increase your understanding by creating theoretical and conceptual frameworks. By gradually completing all these tasks, one by one, you will eventually master many essential skills important for better dissertation writing. This article, composed by a top dissertation writer from the team of The Academic Papers UK will help you master one of these essential components, ‘developing conceptual frameworks in dissertation’ in detail so you can better comprehend your study.
Conceptual Frameworks In Dissertation - A Brief Introduction:
A conceptual framework is a diagrammatic or textual method of specifying the relationship between the variables involved in a study. It has several variations and can be applied in different studies to present an overall picture of research. It helps organise information and depict the clear concept of the interdependence of one variable over another. In short, it aims to present all important information about the relationship of variables so that the reader can quickly understand it. Depending upon the author's preferences, it can be in a flow diagram or textual form.
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As far as conceptual frameworks in the dissertation are concerned, it is a section where you should see landmark studies and other authors' work to build a solid foundation for your future research. The correct place for conceptual frameworks in a dissertation is either chapter 1, ‘introduction’ or chapter 2, ‘literature review’. However, in some dissertations, authors make separate sections for it in the first and second chapters.
Steps To Making A Perfect Conceptual Framework:
The foremost important thing you must keep in mind while developing a study's conceptual framework is its formulation's purpose. The sole purpose of writing it is to represent the possible relationship between variables of a study by studying its characteristics and properties. Moreover, the following are some steps that you must follow after revising its purpose of formulation:
Choose Research Questions
Research questions aim to specify the focus of your research. To make clear research questions, you must read a few review articles to know more about the process under observation. It will be your understanding that will help you make research questions and define the variables.
Define Dependent And Independent Variables:
You must first define independent and dependent variables to test the cause-and-effect relationship between different factors. By knowing who controls other variables, you can make a mind map for your conceptual framework. Please review the following example to clarify the differences between the two.
The dependent variable must be caffeine consumption when you want to know the effect of caffeine consumption on the brain of adolescence. In contrast, the independent variable must be the brain of adolescence. (Hint for remembering the difference: age, organs, and gender are some predefined independent variables as they operate independently.)
Try To Assume A Cause And Effect Relationship Between Them:
Once you successfully know the difference between the dependent and independent variables, you must identify them in your study. It is extremely important to establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables more easily. Furthermore, to show this possible relationship, you can create separate boxes for each variable and use arrows to show interdependence.
Search For Other Influencing Variables:
In a dissertation, in addition to the dependent or independent variables, it is also necessary to mention other factors affecting a phenomenon. A study's other variables may include moderating, mediating, and control variables. Moderating variables are factors that alter the effect of independent variables on the dependent variables after appearing in a situation. Mediating variables are those that link dependent variables and independent variables.
The control variables are usually the factors that are kept constant in research to minimise their effect on the final results. To make detailed conceptual frameworks in a dissertation for a master's and doctorate level research, you must also elaborate on the influence of moderating, mediating and control variables on a given situation. If you have difficulty finding these additional influencing factors, you must seek help from the best dissertation writing services.
Write What You Find Either In Written Or Visual Form:
In the last step, you must clearly describe what your conceptual framework explains; it will eliminate all chances of misunderstanding, if any.
Apart from all these steps, getting information from a detailed literature review is another important thing extremely helpful in developing good conceptual frameworks in a dissertation. Because a review is a process that compiles all relevant information gathered through reputable sources, it contains information regarding the strengths and weaknesses or merits and demerits to better develop a framework.
Additional Tips to Develop a Good Conceptual Framework:
- To make a good framework, you must start by creating mind maps addressing all the important things to be addressed in research.
- It is also important that you first objectively familiarize yourself with the underlying research principles.
- Use your known understanding or confidently link variables in such frameworks.
- Periodically remind yourself of the key objective of the research you are conducting.
- Always be ready to amend the conceptual framework of your interpretation to prove it wrong at any step of research.
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Overall, we can say that conceptual frameworks in a dissertation give readers a clear mental image of the research problem under study by highlighting its fundamental organisations. It sharpens the author’s ability to think clearly and accurately while considering multiple factors simultaneously. As a result, you and your reader can better understand the central issue and its influencing factors. In the end, remember one more thing it makes the evaluation, explanation and generation of information based on experiences, literature, concepts, and theories.