Understanding Theoretical Frameworks: Examples & How to Make Them

Theoretical Framework – For Reader who have ever written a scientific work, they will definitely be familiar with the term theoretical framework. As Reader knows, in the process of compiling a scientific work and so on, there will be an initial stage that will help Reader in creating a theoretical framework for the scientific work that Reader compiles.

The process is a research or observation process. In the research process itself, there are three important elements that Reader must know, namely the target of the research to be achieved (usually in the form of additional knowledge and information), the effort to conduct the research or the observation activity, and the last is the method used to obtain the knowledge or scientific method.

In the last element, which is the scientific method used to obtain all the information and used for the observation process, it has characteristics based on the arrangement of the theoretical framework and the conceptual framework. It should be known that the conceptual framework and the theoretical framework are the two elements that make up the formation of a thinking framework that is very useful to facilitate a writer in writing a scientific work that he compiles. Therefore, it is very important to organize and create a theoretical framework first before creating a scientific work.

The creation of a theoretical framework is considered as a perfect first step before starting to create a scientific work. This theoretical framework also has its own definitions, functions, and examples. additional information for Reader, the theoretical framework also has the steps to make it and the conditions for compiling the theoretical framework so that it can be a perfect basis for the scientific work that Reader will compile.

Well, on this occasion, in this article we will present some information related to the theoretical framework, starting from its broad meaning, the function of the theoretical framework, the steps in compiling the theoretical framework, the conditions for compiling the correct theoretical framework, and we will present some examples from the theoretical framework. For that, Reader should read this article to the end, yes!

What is a Theoretical Framework?

As usual, to start a conversation about a topic to be discussed, you must first understand the definition of the topic being discussed.

A theoretical framework is a picture or plan that contains an explanation of all the things that are used as research material based on the results of the research. The theoretical framework usually also contains the relationship between one variable and another variable, which usually has cause and effect from two or more of the two variables.

From that understanding, we can conclude that the theoretical framework should be created or compiled first before compiling a scientific work. The theoretical framework can be made in the form of a scheme or diagram. The creation of a theoretical framework aims to make it easier for the writer to understand all the variables that are the forerunners of the formation of the scientific work that will be compiled by the writer.

Or in other words, the theoretical framework can be interpreted as a form of crude conclusion from a problem with a specific topic. The theoretical framework becomes a guideline or benchmark for the writer in compiling a scientific work so that when the writer compiles the scientific work, the writer does not engage in pointless discussion (out of the main discussion topic).

The theoretical framework can also be a guide for the reader in understanding the content of the scientific work so as not to misunderstand when reading it.

Reader should know that research reports that have the type of scientific work of papers and research are required to use a theoretical framework if the scientific work has the characteristics of an explanatory or explanatory scientific work. As for research reports that are exploratory in nature, they do not require a theoretical framework.

Why is that? Because for research reports that are exploratory only have very minimal information or knowledge and will only produce a little theory. In contrast to the theoretical framework owned by explanatory research, the information and knowledge obtained tends to be abundant and can be used as a basis or basis for making scientific works. Because there is a lot of information and knowledge obtained, it makes it easy to be used as a direction and purpose of research.

As for the conceptual framework that contains a complete summary and has a very close relationship with a research and can be used as a basic summary. Reader can consider the content of this conceptual framework to be more detailed and specific in the sense of bound and free. Then, while for this theoretical framework, external variables are more prominent.

What Are the Functions of a Theoretical Framework?

As we have already explained at the beginning, the theoretical framework has a very important role to play in assisting the writer in compiling scientific works and so on. However, that is actually not the only function of the theoretical framework. In the following we will present the main functions and other functions of the theoretical framework for Reader.

Main Functions of the Theoretical Framework

1. To Establish a Provision

The main and most basic function of the theoretical framework is to define or set a kind of glossary of terms that are most related to the research being done. This section learns all the meanings of the terms that have the highest intensity of appearance. This function also aims to clarify some theories that researchers use to overcome problems from their research.

The most important thing in this function is the relationship of the terms that often appear with the theory and accompanied by a logical and critical definition of the term. so that the term is not considered as a term that has no meaning and certainly can get more value for research.

2. Unify the Research Sections

The second main function of the theoretical framework is to unify the points obtained in the research process, this aims to make it easier for the reader to understand the scientific work.

3. Describe the Background

The theoretical framework serves to provide the essence of a writer’s scientific work. A writer can explain the points in the background. This will force Reader to explain the reasons why and how the situation of the research object.

The theoretical framework also serves to explain the meaning and characteristics of the topic used as research material. In addition, the theoretical framework is also useful to take care of and save all mistakes so that there is no repetition in making mistakes in research that has been done before.

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4. As Research Limits

When Reader has determined the theoretical framework then Reader will easily limit any topic that Reader will discuss in the scientific work. that is all intended so that the topic of discussion from the scientific work does not deviate from its limitations.

5. Provide information to the reader about the method used

The theoretical framework is one of the ways the reader knows about the methods used by the writer in compiling the scientific work and the method the writer uses in researching and finding the information needed in the scientific work.

Additional Functionality of the Theoretical Framework

6. give the meaning and meaning of all the keywords in the scientific work.

7. Explain the opinions and hypotheses in the scientific work.

8. To be the basis of the concept, as well as to encourage the writer to more easily interpret the results of
his research to expand the general knowledge of the reader.

9. As a source of knowledge about the variables available in the scientific work.

10. as guidelines and guidelines when discussing the results of research and scientific works.

11. make it easier for the examiner to examine every matter in the scientific work, the examiner becomes more focused and more directed in concluding the research done.

12. The existence of a theoretical framework can provide additional value and improve the quality of the research and scientific works compiled.

After knowing about the function of the theoretical framework, it’s time we explain the steps in creating a theoretical framework that Reader can apply.


How to Create an Accurate Theoretical Framework

The following are the steps that Reader can apply in creating a theoretical framework along with its explanation.

1 Define Variable Details

The first step that Reader should do in creating a theoretical framework is by understanding, studying, and then determining what variables Reader will use in the research that Reader compiles. This is very helpful for Reader in finding all the references and theories that Reader will include in the scientific work.

To be able to recognize and understand the variables, Reader must determine the title of the scientific work, after which Reader will easily determine what variables Reader will include.

2. Finding References from Research Books

The second step that Reader can do in making the next theoretical framework is that Reader can add references and guidelines to compile a theoretical framework by reading other research books that are the result of publications published by previous researchers. Reader can take references from books such as encyclopedia books , school books, history books, dictionaries, etc. While for students, they usually get references from scripsis, theses, research reports, journals, and dissertations from lecturers and alumni from the faculty.

3. Describe the Types of Theory Used in the Research Process

Reader can increase research knowledge by including the type of theory that Reader uses in the process of compiling scientific works as well as the research process used to obtain information that can be used to support the completion of scientific works.

4. Review all theories and research results in detail

The fourth step that Reader must do is examine all the information both theoretical and research results from scientific works in detail. Describe and explain all the theories and research results, after that please study the theories to avoid the potential occurrence of incompatibility with the research object.

5. Comparatively study the Theory and Research Results available

The fifth step is done when Reader is doing the step of studying the theory, Reader needs to study the theory and research results in a comparative manner to be able to determine which theory or research result is more accurate for the scientific work. Reader can also combine two or more theories to make a complementary unity.

6. Determine the core of the problem to be discussed

The sixth step that Reader can apply is to find the core of the problem discussed in the scientific work. explain the core of the problem using language that is easy to understand and clear, because it will be very easy to explain the framework of thinking when the core of the problem can be clearly identified.

7. Examining Understanding, Theory Used as well as models that have Relationships

The seventh step, after Reader has succeeded in determining the core of the problem from the scientific work, the next step that Reader can do is to conduct an inspection to thoroughly evaluate what theory Reader uses, what model Reader chooses, so that there is consistency between the information in the scientific work the said.

8. Showing Your Contribution in the Research Process

The next step is to make the research results obtain quality and in accordance with the procedures that have been established in the process of making scientific works. In scientific works, the writer must also show his contribution in doing the research process. it can be useful to strengthen the theory and method used by the writer in compiling scientific works.

9. Arrange Provisional Conclusions

Reader can compile provisional conclusions to produce several theoretical frameworks. That way Reader can easily sort and sort which theoretical framework Reader will include in the scientific work. the many theoretical frameworks formed can help Reader in developing advanced hypotheses.

10. Build a Thinking Framework

Well, for the last step, please Reader compile all the theoretical frameworks that you have made into a solid thinking framework and present the framework in the form of a schematic. Making the theoretical framework into a thinking framework will make it easier for Reader to complete the scientific work because Reader has filtered the most important points.

Conditions for Compiling a Theoretical Framework

In addition to the steps, it turns out that there are several conditions that must be observed in making a theoretical framework.

1 The preparation of the theoretical framework should be done rationally by using all the variables and elements in the scientific work.

2. Use quotations and sources from the theories used in the compilation of the scientific work.

3. list all the contents of the quotation along with the source of the quotation that Reader has included in the scientific work.

4. there are four citation techniques that Reader can use to cite the content of the quote, namely the long citation technique: write the content of the quote exactly like the source, the paraphrasing technique: write the content of the quote in the form of a conclusion or summary, the short citation technique: write the content of the quote that consists of the main point quotation along with a brief explanation of the quotation.

5. use several ways of writing citation sources correctly.

6. Add a number to each quote that is included according to the framework, then make groups according to the frame number and the order of the theoretical framework.

7. After all the quotations are arranged in the right way and arrangement, please study the arrangement from the theoretical framework to form the right structure.

Guidelines for Writers of Scientific Works (Proposals, Theses and Theses)


Example of a Simple Theoretical Framework

After knowing all the conditions that are in the arrangement now it’s time we give an example of a simple theoretical framework.

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1. Scarcity of Masks during the Epidemic

This time we will discuss an example of the theoretical framework from the preparation of the paper “The Phenomenon of Scarcity of Masks at the Beginning of the Pandemic Because of Panic Buying ” in the middle of the outbreak. You are now living in a time when the CoVid-19 pandemic is spreading. As we know, in the early days of this epidemic, there was a shortage of masks. In fact, not a few people are willing to buy masks at a very expensive price. Others did not get masks because the mask stock ran out.

As an initial step in putting together a theoretical framework, you will first identify what the epidemic and CoVid-19 are. The identification starts from the nature of the Corona virus and how it is transmitted. Is it contagious from animals to humans only or to humans. Then you can connect with what can inhibit the spread of the plague.

From the variable, you will get the answer that the epidemic can be prevented from spreading by maintaining physical contact, using a mask, and so on. Then you will focus on why masks can inhibit transmission. You can develop why then many people experience panic buying until masks become scarce. And why do manufacturers run out of masks when the process of making masks is not that difficult? You will get answers to those questions and draw conclusions.

The example of the theoretical framework above illustrates that a situation is created due to the existence of other situations. The initial suspicion of the scarcity of masks is due to high demand from the community. However, for example after conducting research, panic buying is not the main factor in the scarcity of masks because in reality only a few people are panic buying, so the theory you put forward cannot explain this phenomenon.

Precisely the theory that supports the phenomenon is that traders hoard masks so that the price of masks is high. Therefore, the nature of the theoretical framework is only temporary, not an absolute certainty.

2. A school that looks luxurious has many high-achieving students

Examples of other theoretical frameworks will be discussed in this case study. Let’s say you are going to submit a paper entitled “Relationships between high-achieving students and students’ innate intelligence in School A”.

At the beginning, you put together a theoretical framework by explaining the socioeconomic conditions of the parents of the students at the school. According to your observation, the parents of the students there are people who are in the upper middle class in terms of socioeconomics. You can guess that from the vehicles going in and out of the school.

Furthermore, you will discuss the privileges that the average student in the school gets such as the convenience of facilities from their parents, guaranteed nutrition, the affordability of courses and the best education, and an environment that allows them to focus on academic performance.

You explained that there is a possible relationship between high-cost schools and student performance. There is a possibility of a relationship between extracurriculars, wahid number services from the school, and so on.

The theoretical framework that you put together essentially seeks the connection between socioeconomic conditions and the performance achieved by students. However, the research you have done shows something different. It turns out that not a few students from the school are scholarship recipients. Not all have privilege as the theory you have proposed before.

The performance achieved by the majority of students in the school is due to the application of guidance and counseling from the school which is unique and applicable. The existence of a strong bond between children, parents, and school is the main reason why students have high achievement motivation.

In this case, the proposed theoretical framework does not match the existing reality. However, this research does not mean in vain. Precisely the research provides new facts that were not predicted from the previous point of view.

Based on the example of the theoretical framework above, it means that we can know that what Reader will do is to find and make questions that have the potential to arise only from the existing titles.

Potential questions that will appear are questions such as what is a theoretical framework, what are the functions of a theoretical framework, what are the types of functions of a theoretical framework, how to make a theoretical framework, and examples of the theoretical framework.

Reader can see from the example of the theoretical framework, Reader will easily review all the information and arrangement just by looking at the theoretical framework. In essence, the theoretical framework serves to facilitate both the writer and the reader.

Theoretical Framework Compiler

A theoretical framework can be used to explain the theory itself or help analysis in a research. There is actually no limit to how many theories can be combined in a theoretical framework.

Nevertheless, a scientific research needs to be limited so that existing theories are not used without mature consideration. This is to avoid the existence of an unwise attitude, such as including a lot of theoretical foundations but which are actually irrelevant just to make the research appear scientific. If a scientific research uses a theoretical framework that involves more than one theory, then the existing theories should be placed hierarchically. The theory that is most relevant to the research material is placed first. While other theories are positioned as complementary only. This is done so that it does not appear confusing and biased.

Below are the elements that need to be included in the compilation of the theoretical framework:

1. Theoretical Title

The title is the main element so that anyone who reads the theoretical framework can understand the meaning of the research and why the theory is included in the theoretical framework. For example Newton’s law theory, Bernoulli’s law, Gas kinetic law.

2. Initiator or Inventor of Theory

The initiator of the theory is very important to include so that the reader understands where the theory you put into the theoretical framework comes from. For example, Isaac Newton was the initiator of Newton’s Laws I, II, and III.

3. Key Concepts

A theory must have key concepts so that the theory has special characteristics. This needs to be included to make it easier for you to explain why you chose that theory as the basis of your research. For example, force, mass, and acceleration are key concepts in the theory of Newton’s Laws I, II, and III. So that people who read the theoretical framework understand that the mention of Newton’s Law is related to those three things.

4. History of Theory Development

Sometimes, a theory is easier to understand by understanding its history. Because the history of the theory tells clearly why the theory exists.

5. Application of Theory

Mentioning the application of the theory that is included in the theoretical framework is very important because the existence of the application is proof that the theory has been successfully proven. This will strengthen your argument in explaining why the theory is used.


The theoretical framework is organized to obtain a logical and systematic thinking framework. The thinking framework is arranged so that researchers can find hypotheses from the research conducted.

The theoretical framework has a very important position in research. With the help of a theoretical framework, research can be carried out systematically. In short, the theoretical framework serves to present our thinking framework.

The readiness of the researcher can be seen from the theoretical framework proposed. Because within the theoretical framework, a researcher not only describes the theories that will be used, but also explains the relationship between theories and the relationship between the variables used. By understanding the relationship between one theory and another and one variable with another, research will find its spirit.

Good research is research that can lead to other research. Until a new theme is born that can be used as an object of research. Therefore, the theoretical framework can guide the research to be connected with a broader framework.

Well that’s all the information about the theoretical framework that we can present for Reader. Reader can certainly apply those steps and don’t forget to pay attention to some requirements in compiling the theoretical framework, yes! Hopefully this article will be useful, helpful, and easy for Reader who are compiling a theoretical framework and scientific work!