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What Is a Conceptual Framework? Definition & Example

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A conceptual framework refers to an analytical tool that includes several variations and contexts. It comprises one or more formal theories, including other concepts and empirical findings from the literature. It is used in order to highlight and establish relationships among ideas and how they relate to the analysis or research study. Now that you are wondering how to make a conceptual framework, invest some time in reading this blog. It elaborates on how the concept works and provides conceptual framework examples for better understanding. So, read this blog and never miss out on acquiring in-depth insights into research nitty-gritty and other essentials.

What is a Conceptual Framework in Research?


A conceptual framework is basically a representation of the relationships you wish to see between variables or the key components, characteristics, and properties you want to analyze and study. Conceptual frameworks can be in written and visual formats. If you already have a couple of presumed relationships, conceptual frameworks give the right shape to the same. It is developed on the basis of collected data related to the literature review of the existing study. Also, the framework sets forth the format and standards for defining a research question and finding meaningful and accurate answers for the same. It ensures that the data is closely related to the literature review and primarily the crux of the matter.


The idea and application of conceptual framework crosses both large- and small-scale theories. Also, it covers contexts related to subjects such as social science, marketing, applied science, and art. Conceptual framework theories are beneficial as organizing tools in empirical research. From influencing variables to confounding variables and control variables to mediating variables – the framework theories work across a plethora of variable types. Developing a conceptual framework involves a lot of in-depth studies. Every research study needs to be conducted on the basis of concrete roadmaps, rational ideation, and well-defined objectives. Now that you are eager to find out the bigger picture by exploring the other key concepts continue reading this blog.

Purpose and Importance of Conceptual Framework:

Here’s everything you need to know regarding the purpose and importance of conceptual framework:

  • It ideates and puts across the standards to define a research question
  • The concept makes the research process more seamless and organized
  • It correlates cause and effect relationships and ensures a visual representation
  • Apart from ensuring correlational linkages, it connects beliefs and assumptions
  • It defines the concepts behind your analysis and sets forth a narrative format

What Should Be Included in Conceptual Framework?

The term conceptual framework encompasses the following elements:

  • Defining variables
  • Argumentation
  • Explanation
  • Generation
  • Key process parameters
  • Cause and effect topics & relationships

The framework works across various research types and formats that involve independent and dependent variables. Apart from dependent and independent variables, a conceptual framework illustrates and comes up with a comprehensive model that will help you validate research purposes in the right manner. The key components included in the framework pave the path for students to come up with the right answers for a specific research question and related prompts.

Theoretical Framework vs. Conceptual Framework:

Here’s a vivid insight into the key elements that differentiate conceptual and theoretical frameworks:

Theoretical Framework

Conceptual Framework

  • Theoretical framework elaborates on the theoretical underpinnings of your research project
  • The conceptual framework allows you to draw conclusions and map out variables you may use in your research journey
  • It often inspires the research questions based on several predictions about the research topics
  • It emerges from the research questions and provides a concrete structure for evaluating it further
  • It introduces and elaborates on theories and helps researchers with constructive evaluations
  • It focuses more on the approach and ideas researchers embrace to answer several research questions
  • It emerges from the outcomes beyond a single research approach or study
  • The framework identifies components and key factors influencing a research process

So, if you ever need to come up with appropriate research questions and answers, evaluate the primary topic closely and identify the framework pattern and type based on the differences shared above. Implement the right strategy or use our research paper service, and streamline your research journey like never before.

Creating A Conceptual Framework In Research

While you can refer to a conceptual framework example in order to draw ideas and ensure a concrete research outline, you must learn how to create conceptual frameworks across various research types and patterns. Whether you deal with independent variable or dependent variables, learning the real hacks will ensure accuracy in your research project. Here’s how you can create strong conceptual frameworks in research.

Choose A Topic:

You can create strong conceptual frameworks on various topics, ideas, and theories. So, focus on the research problem and ideate the objectives you wish to meet. Now, pick a good research topic on the basis of the number of resources you have for conducting the analysis. Remember, the framework must allow you to come up with well-defined and justified answers for several research questions.

Determine Research Question:

Now, once you are done picking a relevantly unique topic, it’s time to determine the research project question. Whether an exploratory research or descriptive analysis, the question should be rationally acceptable. Also, it must provide enough scope for researchers to expand their avenues and acquire strong references to establish a firm standpoint.

Conduct Strong Analysis:

Now, focus on the research problem and conduct a strong analysis with the aim to back each perspective with concrete answers and well-defined perspectives. Every researcher must focus on the key objectives and the purpose they must serve. Remember, the process of developing a conceptual framework can be tricky at times. A well-conducted analysis can simplify the process.

Identify Framework Variables:

It is important that you determine all the variables included in the framework. Prior to that, you must gain insights into the different variable types. Here’s all you need to know.

Moderating Variables:

A moderating variable affects the relationship between the dependent and independent variable. It can be both qualitative and quantitative in nature.

Mediating Variables:

Also known as an intervening variable, a mediating variable explains the process through which two variables are related.

Moderator vs. Mediator:

A mediator explains the process where two variables relate. On the other hand, a moderator affects the strength and direction of the relationship.

Control Variables:

A control variable is anything that remains constant or limited in a research study. It’s a variable that is not related to the objectives of the research. Rather, it is controlled because it could affect the outcomes.

Exemplary Conceptual Framework Examples to Make Your Research Stand Out

A conceptual framework highlights the expected relationship between different variables. It illustrates the objectives of your research process and shows how everything comes together to draw coherent conclusions. Sounds like a tough nut to crack? No worries. Delve deep into our examples to learn how to write a conceptual framework in the right form step by step.

Conceptual Framework Example

Check This Conceptual Framework Example

View Sample

Examples of a Conceptual Framework

The most famous example of a conceptual framework relates to that of Sir Issac Newton’s. He observed his surroundings to conceptualize and develop theories about motion and gravitation. He was later on widely appreciated for his work and conceptualization of different theories and research avenues. Further, he proposed several experiments to come up with multiple theories to examine and validate conceptual research.

If you need more such examples and case study instances for fairer insights, think no more and get in touch with us at any time of the day. From providing insights into existing theories to enlightening students on other influencing variables – we leave no stone unturned to back students with contextual clarity and theoretical insights into research methodology.

Our team of expert writers knows what is a conceptual framework, how to elaborate on the nitty-gritty of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Get in touch with us today, seek literature review assignment help, and unleash the true potential of a researcher in you.

Key Takeaways

So, now that you are aware of the definition of a conceptual framework and the key components a conceptual framework includes, keep referring to this blog and shine like a diamond. However, before wrapping up, let’s take a quick look at the key takeaways of this blog.

  • First things first, lay a complete focus on the research topic and data collection essentials.
  • Develop key insights and a strong knowledge of conceptual frameworks.
  • Establish a clear insight into the differences between independent and dependent variables.
  • Learn how a theoretical framework works and how an independent variable affects relationships.
  • Apart from developing insights into the difference between independent variable and dependent, gain insights into other elements.
  • These include mediating variable, confounding variable, moderating variable, control variable, and other key variables.

Cheers, and good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between mediating and a moderating variable?

Here is a vivid elaboration on the key differences between mediating and moderating variable.

  • A mediating variable generally affects the strength and the direction of a relationship.
  • A mediating variable shows the relation between two variables.
  • A moderator might act upon two variables.
  • A mediator must affect the dependent variable.

Now that you are aware of the bigger picture, lay a complete focus on the points shared above and prepare your next research paper accordingly. In case, you still have doubts regarding conceptual framework or theoretical framework, connect with us at any time of the day. We have the best team of academic experts available round the clock to enlighten you on conceptual frameworks, research avenues, unique slants, and the like.

What is a confounding variable?

Confounding variables affect both independent variables and dependent variables. It is basically a casual concept and cannot be defined or elaborated in terms of associations or correlations. If you need fairer insights into such concepts or in case you wonder what conceptual framework includes, get in touch with us today. We have established a strong team of professional writers dedicated to backing you up with concrete solutions across all subjects, including Social Sciences, Arts, Marketing, and the like. We ensure that the main outcome proves to be rewarding for you.

Can I use more than one independent or dependent variable?

Yes, there may be more than dependent variable or independent variable. These methods are especially true and relevant if you are conducting experiments with multiple sets of procedures or stages. If you still need someone to explain the broader dimension and define the relationship better, connect with us at any time of the day. We have a team of dedicated writers, ready to explain and elaborate on the relationship between dependent and independent variables. They ensure the final results are always accurate and well-referenced in all aspects. Our main focus remains on quality and accuracy of the solutions we provide. So, get in touch with us, place your query and get assisted across this particular theory and a lot more.

How many independent variables are too many independent variables?

An independent variable usually gets complicated or difficulties tend to occur when there are more than five independent variables in a multiple regression equation. However, if you need more insights into the nitty gritty of a conceptual framework or in case you are having a tough time reviewing or conducting a strong analysis across an existing literature, feel free to get in touch with us today.

From backing you up with insights into a strong conceptual framework to using strong examples to highlight the essentialities of an independent variable, we leave no stone unturned to add perfection to the solutions we deliver. So, no matter whether you are stuck with the complications of a dependent variable or looking for strong examples of dependent variables, get in touch with us and gain clear insights into the specific context.

What is the difference between a conceptual framework and a theoretical framework?

Take a look below and figure out the key differences between the terms, theoretical framework, and conceptual framework.

  • A theoretical framework is generally based on the essentialities of inspiring the research question based on a theory-based prediction regarding the context under evaluation.
  • On the other hand, the theory of conceptual framework is more specific in nature.
  • It presents an overall understanding and relationship between the main contexts of the study.
  • The theoretical framework within it elaborates on the relationships explored within the study.

As a researcher, if you find things somewhat complicated to go about, contact us and go stress-free. From providing visual representations of each theory to suggesting a suitable set for given methods and developing a strong and relevant structure – we cover all important aspects of conceptual framework, independent and dependent variables. In addition, we guarantee in-depth insights and knowledge across all relevant variables, including cause and effect relationship, expected relationship, data collection, moderator variable, mediator variable, and more.

Is there a difference between a theory and a concept?

Yes, there is a difference between a theory and a concept. Here’s all you need to know in this context of the discussion.

  • A concept is basically an idea that has been developed formally and structured.
  • On the other hand, a theory is a set of concepts, principles, models, and definitions.

Well, if you need someone to define these concepts thoroughly and help you with your assignments, connect with us and boost your exam score. From providing examples of the relation between independent and dependent variables, to elaborating on cause-and-effect relationship, we take initiative to write and define each crucial component in the way you expect them to be.

Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

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