Posted on: 2nd May 2020 3264 Views

Dissertation Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework in the Dissertation steers the complete research activity. In simple words. If you are doing a Ph.D.  Then preparing the dissertation is one of the requirements which you need to fulfill. You will also require writing a Conceptual framework for your study.

Dissertation Conceptual Framework

Undergraduate or Masters’s Students often face issues in developing and expanding the conceptual framework. In this article, our professionals are providing you with step by step guide for designing and expanding the conceptual framework.

What is Conceptual Framework in a Dissertation?

The conceptual framework in the dissertation is a road map that provides information about the way the researcher will perform an investigation. It represents the action that needs to be taken to achieve the desired objective of the study. A conceptual framework in a dissertation is an understanding of the researcher about the way different variables of the study link together.

The researcher generally utilizes the Dissertation conceptual framework for illustrating the thing which intends to identify by performing research on a particular topic. It is the framework that helps in the way different variables that you are thinking about related to each other. Before starting to execute research you should first construct a conceptual framework.

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How to design a conceptual framework for a Dissertation?

The 5 steps of designing a conceptual framework for research on a particular Dissertation Topic are:

Step 1: Selection of topic for writing Dissertation

At the time of developing a conceptual framework in Ph.D. dissertation Research, you need to determine the Research topic for writing a Dissertation.

Step 2: Test research

During the time of developing a conceptual framework, you based on the type of research need to determine whether designing the conceptual framework will be helpful or not. The designing of the conceptual framework can be helpful in content when you intend to perform Hypothesis Testing during research. In such circumstances, a conceptual framework that you have designed can help review the hypothesis. It will also help you in determining whether you can scientifically prove your idea or not.

Step 3: Write a Literature Review

You are required relevant and updated research on the theme which you need to determine to work on after scrutiny of the problem. Researchers can use scientific Journals for gathering reliable sources of information to write a Literature review.

Step 4: Isolation of important variable

At this step, you are required to find particular variables that are described in Literature and figure out the way these are related. The initial step in scientifically demonstrating a cause-effect relationship is to analyze your expectations utilizing a conceptual framework. Before performing this activity, it is very much essential for identifying relevant variables. If you are facing difficulty in identifying the variables of the study then you are required to review your research methodology section.

A relationship between cause and effect always include two types of variables these are dependent and independent variable. For example, a researcher is executing research for identifying the influence of using a laptop during the night on the sleeping patterns of people. In this example using a laptop during the night is an independent variable and sleeping at night is a dependent variable. The cause and effect relationship involves different independent variables that might influence dependent variables.

Note: Variables are characteristics that describe the relationship between cause and effect.

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Step 5: Design a conceptual framework to first determine the topic for writing a Dissertation.

After the successful identification of independent and dependent variables, you can start constructing a conceptual framework.

You can design your conceptual framework by utilizing a mixture of variables in the scientific journals you have read. It is the Problem statement in research that helps in designing a conceptual framework. In effect, your research would attempt to answer research questions that are not explained by other researchers. It is very much important for you to address a knowledge gap. You can utilize arrows, boxes, and lines for representing the variables. Arrow can be used for indicating the variables which have an effect and point to the dependent variables that are yet influence. You can draw a line representing the expected correlation between two or more variables of the study.

Component Meaning
BoxIt represents different variables of the study
ArrowThis represents the casual influence of the relationship between cause and effect.
LineIt demonstrates the connection between different variables of the study.

Conceptual Framework: Example

Thesis statement: Direct exposure to blue light from the LED screen diminishes the melatonin level. Hence, it leads to a decline in the number of sleeping hours among people belonging to middle age.

The research claims that blue light from LED slows down the generation of melatonin (a hormone that controls sleep and wakes upcycle. People suffering from insomnia disease sleep for a few hours. The main cause of insomnia is spending long hours working on laptops at night.

In the above-given example number of hours spent during the night using a laptop is an independent variable and the number of hours slept at night is the dependent variable.  You can utilize Correlational analysis for analyzing the way independent variables such as spending number of hours on laptops influence the dependent variable which is sleeping pattern. It is the correlational analysis that will help you in demonstrating whether the relationship between the dependent and independent variable is Important or not.

Expansion of conceptual framework in the dissertation

A conceptual framework is not always restricted to just independent and dependent variables. You can also incorporate other types of variables in your study.  The other types of variables that you can include in your study are Moderator, Mediator, and Control variables.  By including the additional variables in your study you can demonstrate new aspects of cause and effect relationships.


From the above study, it has been concluded that a conceptual framework can help determine the relationship between cause and effect. Another fact that has been found from the above is that the conceptual framework provides a way to present research questions.

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