Tips to build the frames of your thesis

When you complete the research phase and it is time to write the final report, you see the template of the university where it appears: Theoretical Framework, Conceptual Framework, Legal Framework, etc .; what a mess! Why so many frames? You ask yourself.

We know that it seems endless this list of sections that should contain a thesis, so, if before you start you think about all the titles and subtitles that you must complete, it is very safe that you think you can not do it.

But, do not worry, it is possible to write each one of those points in a practical and very professional way.

Here are some tips for each of the most important frameworks of your degree work.

Theoretical framework

Actually, there is a very pragmatic way to develop it.

You are simply going to choose one, two or maximum three theories that give sustenance to your research, that is, several classic or contemporary authors who have approached the subject in depth and who have made important contributions to the area of study.

Then you write what these authors said -with their respective quotations- as a synthesis and finally you put how the contributions of these theorists contribute to your thesis and what is the relationship between that theory and your research.

Example:

Your research work is about the impacts of the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the United States, in this case a theory that you could select is the so-called Theory of Comparative Advantages, two outstanding authors in this topic are David Ricardo (Classic Economist) and Paul Krugman (Contemporary Economist). Next, what you should describe is what these authors said and how it relates to your thesis.

Referential frame, state of the art or background

What you should do is select some studies where they have addressed your subject in another way, to see how those works that precede you contribute to your research.

It is advisable that you select at least five documents and they will describe the following elements:

  • Title.
  •  Author.
  • Overall objective.
  • Methodology.
  • Findings.
  • Conclusions.
  • How it contributes and how it differs from your research.

Naturally, these elements are mentioned in summary form.

It is important to mention that it is not about taking articles and research in an improvised and disorganized way, the recommended way is to do it in chronological order, that is, from the oldest to the most recent in terms of publication date.

Another alternative to organize the State of the art is to select them according to the theme.

For example, if your general topic is poverty, in the initial part you can put the investigations related to inequality, then those that are related to jurisprudence and poverty, and then those that have to do with psychological aspects of poverty.

Empirical framework

The Empirical Framework almost always comes after the Theoretical Framework, that is, it means moving from theory to practice and in fact there are three equally correct ways of doing it.

i). The first of these is when this is the set of statistics, figures or data that will sustain your research.

ii). The second is when we explain the methodology to follow to carry out the investigation. This modality is usually applied when the document does not have the section called Methodology or Methodological Design.

iii). The third is to capture the Analysis and Discussion of Results, as long as you have applied a survey, interview, participant observation, etc.

Bearing in mind the above, it can be inferred that the development of the Empirical Framework depends on the researcher’s approach and the type of research that has been selected.

Conceptual framework

The first thing you should know is that the conceptual framework is different from a glossary. While the Conceptual Framework is the definition of a series of categories or terms that you use throughout your thesis, the glossary is a simple description of a list of words, that is, a mini-dictionary.

There are two valid ways of making the Conceptual Framework according to the structure that you request at your university.

One of them is to define the most relevant categories of your thesis, according to the perception and knowledge of the researcher, Example:

“Student: the student must be that source that empowers and gives feedback to the values of man as total and totalizing” (Marín, 2007, p.34).

As you can see, there is no flat and conventional definition of Student, as in the case of a Glossary.

Another way of making the Conceptual Framework and that has lately become a tendency and is more interesting, is through the interrelation of reference concepts in the text, by presenting all the key concepts in the form of paragraphs with complete coherence.

Example:

Who performs this action is known as an entrepreneur, which is characterized by being a person with the ability to innovate; understood as the ability to generate goods and services in a creative, methodical, ethical and sustainable manner.

In this example it is seen that it is not necessary to define the key terms separately in order to have a good Conceptual Framework, but that these are integrated with their respective definitions in a coherent and meaningful text.

Legal framework

In your Legal Framework you must effectively place the set of laws, rules and regulations that give foundation to your investigation. However, it is not about making a list to dry, but go to the content of the laws and select those articles or sections that keep the closest relationship with your research topic and reference that part in your Legal Framework.

To organize it, it is recommended to divide it into two parts, international legislation and national legislation. Simultaneously, you must make another subdivision where you classify the rules according to their characteristic, that is, open subtitles like this:

  • Laws
  • Decrees
  • Resolutions
  • Agreements
  • Ordinances
  • Sentences
  • Circulars

As you can see, there is a big difference between making a list and what we have explained to you.