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A Theoretical Framework: The Central Piece of a Research Plan

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine D. Ennis, Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Establishing a line of research always begins with a plan of action that I call a research plan. For untenured faculty members, developing and implementing a research plan may seem more like racing through an orienteering course than creating a systematic plan to contribute new information to a knowledge base. Young scholars often feel as though they must dash madly from one orienteering flag (i.e., publication) to the next in their attempt to create products as quickly and efficiently as possible. Although products are important, I would like to encourage young scholars to slow their pace for just a moment and think about the development of their respective research plans as more like solving a puzzle than running a race. In the research puzzle, the central piece is the development of a theoretical framework to guide your research decisions. The theoretical framework is a structure that identifies and describes the major elements, variables, or constructs that organize your scholarship. It is used to hypothesize, understand, or give meaning to the relationships among the elements that influence, affect, or predict the events or outcomes you specify. The theoretical framework grows out of the research focus, guides the design of individual studies, and structures your research presentations and publications. It is important to begin to assemble the theoretical framework and the other pieces you will need to solve the research puzzle rather than racing around in a scattered attempt to produce a few disjointed products.

Additional Information

Publication
Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 1999, 18, 129-140.
Language: English
Date: 1999
Keywords
Research methodology, Theoretical framework, Planning, Scholarly research