Constructing a conceptual framework for your research at your undergraduate or postgraduate level is vital before you even advance to the data collection stage. It is a guide that will help you reach your study’s objective easily.
If you have never written a research paper before, the first question in your head would be: “What is a conceptual framework?”
It is a visual representation to guide you in your investigation of the different variables in your study and how they form connections. It is a part of the much bigger theoretical framework that depends entirely on theories.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the conceptual framework and its meaning, let’s look at the steps you should follow to create this framework.
How To Make Conceptual Framework?
A conceptual framework in research requires some prepping before you can eventually begin the primary process of illustrating the diagram. All you have to do is follow five simple steps:
1. Selection of a topic
Selecting an appropriate research topic is vital in constructing a conceptual framework. There might be many areas of study that interest you, but you should choose your topic smartly. Always check if you have many resources to back on. You should also be aware of how much time it will take to research the case and see whether you’ll have enough time to complete your work by the deadline.
2. Decide on your research question
Once you have chosen your topic, you need to focus on the specific question you want to ask in your research. This is a vital element in your conceptual framework as this research question will determine which direction your study will go. It helps you focus on the end goal of your research to avoid getting lost midway.
3. Conduct a thorough research
The third step that you should move on to is conducting a literature review. Here, you have to go through multiple studies and other published works related to your research topic from authors of reliable sources. By doing this, you’ll gather knowledge on the kind of studies that researchers already conducted. It will also help you figure out if there are any flaws in those researches you can bring up in your paper.
4. Balance your variables and establish variable relations
Variables are a vital element when you’re coming up with a conceptual framework in research. You can broadly classify the two critical components into independent and dependent variables. Many students also add moderating and mediating variables to their study. However, it would be best if you were careful not to overdo this step. If you have more variables, it will be challenging to establish relationships between them.
5. Draw your conceptual framework
Once you have completed all the previous four steps, you can finally move on to constructing a conceptual framework. Here, you have to establish everything you’ve worked on till now diagrammatically. All the variables will be in rectangular boxes with arrows establishing the relationships between them. Single arrow-head means that the relation between two variables is unidirectional, whereas double-headed arrows show a relationship in both directions. You can establish a connection among more than two variables as well.
By following these five steps, you can come up with a good framework all by yourself. Now that you know how to make a conceptual framework let’s look at some examples of how this process works.
Improve Your Understanding With Conceptual Framework Samples
If you look at any conceptual framework example, you’ll see that the entire process follows the five steps that you came across in the previous section.
- Example 1: Chronic exposure to laptops and mobile phones can increase migraines in children between ages 10 and 17.
Establishing whether this statement is true or not is the end goal of your research. Once you have conducted thorough research on the topic, you need to figure out the variables to develop your conceptual framework.
Here, you’ll find two variables- Migraines and Children aged between 10 and 17, out of which the former is the independent variable, and the latter is the dependent variable.
If all other factors remain constant throughout the research period, you can establish a relation between these two variables and confirm whether chronic exposure to laptops and mobile phones can increase migraines in children between ages 10 and 17
- Example 2: What factors affect a customer’s satisfaction towards any retail service?
For this research topic question, you’ll have to conduct a thorough literature review going over all the research studies that deal with customer satisfaction and retail service to find out the variables. These are generally quality of service and staff performance. Under the former, you can include other variables like customer service response, speed of the employees and availability.
With all these variables, you’ll be able to construct a conceptual framework that will help you determine whether these factors affect the customer’s satisfaction or not.
How To Create The Conceptual Framework Template?
The template of your conceptual framework will depend on your research topic and the various factors or variables that affect it.
- Put the variables in small rectangles
- Arrange them properly in sequence
- Establish the relation through arrows
Constructing a conceptual framework becomes much easier when you follow this guideline thoroughly. However, if you’re unsure how to proceed with the framework, you can always find automatic templates on Creately.com to make your task easier.
Are You Having Trouble Understanding How To Make Conceptual Framework?
Our in-house experts will guide you step by step
When you’re conducting research, coming up with a conceptual framework will help you formulate your thoughts on the topic. It acts as a guide to ensure that you don’t steer away from the main objective of your paper. However, many students have trouble with this step. They cannot figure out what are the variables in their research and how the relationship between these variables works.
Unless you have a clear idea of the variables, it will be impossible for you to develop an accurate framework. Instead of worrying about this problem, you can ask our expert researchers to construct your conceptual framework.
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