7 junio, 2024

Methodological framework: how to write it, structure, examples

He methodological framework It is the part of our research where we expose the theoretical and practical methods used to analyze the problem or the topic we are dealing with. It includes the participants and the sample, instruments or equipment used, the design, procedure, and data analysis.

It is usually the third part (or chapter, if it is a thesis) of the project, and its writing accounts for the logical and systematic application of the concepts that we previously exposed in the theoretical framework.

When we write the methodological framework for our research, we will describe how we analyzed the topic, what methods we used and why. It is convenient to highlight the suitability of the chosen methodology, as well as specify its possible limitations.

The methodological framework consists, then, in explaining the theoretical-methodological strategy that links all the investigative stages. It is what gives internal consistency to the research work and must be written in simple and clear language.

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How to write the methodological framework? Structure

The methodological framework has a specific structure that must be followed. When writing it, several things must be taken into account, such as the type of research that is carried out (whether it is quantitative, descriptive or field) and whether it is experimental or not.

There are some elements present in the methodological framework that must be developed:

– Participants

The methodological framework indicates the sample from which the data is taken and the population to which said sample belongs.

– Type of research and its design

The type of research is a category of analysis of a specific topic, and can have three levels: exploratory, descriptive and explanatory. The methodological framework will indicate what type of research is being carried out.

The type of research can also be about a feasible project or a special project. These refer to applied research, in which the conclusions can provide solutions to certain problems (for example, research on a vaccine for COVID-19).

As for the design, it is the strategy that the researcher adopts to address the problem, and is then classified as documentary, experimental or field.

documentary design

It is an investigation where the objective is to search for information, analyze it and interpret it. To do this, it will be based on documentary sources and their comparison. For example, compare French realistic literature with the Russian of the late 19th century.

field layout

It is the collection of data in a certain place and space, without intervening, manipulating or controlling any variable. For example, observe what daily life is like in indigenous communities far from the cities, in Mexico and Colombia.

Experimental design

It is about subjecting a certain group of individuals to specific conditions (independent variables) to analyze the reactions or effects that occur (dependent variables).

With this type of research, the aim is to establish a cause/effect relationship between the independent and dependent variables. For example, what effect does a drug cause in a group of people, to control hypertension.

In the methodological framework, it is necessary to delimit the population that is studied, as well as the selection of the samples that will be analyzed.

An example of this would be: select a neighborhood in Mexico City to analyze the impact of COVID-19 by age, and within the neighborhood, choose 20% of subjects between 0 and 18 years old, 20% between 19 and 35, another 20% between 36 and 50, 20% between 51 and 65, and another 20% from 66 onwards, men and women.

The sample, therefore, is a portion of the total, which will represent the behavior of the group.

– Data collection techniques and instruments

Data can be collected through direct observation, surveys (questionnaires or interviews), documentary or content analysis.

The instruments where this data is collected can be files, questionnaire formats, tape recorders, interview guides, lists, etc.

The methodological framework should explain very well how the data obtained was collected and with what instruments it was collected. Both in social and in some scientific research, it is necessary to record even up to the time the data was taken.

Document analysis refers to the collection of data in other sources (books, documents, newspapers or magazines) to produce more knowledge. For example, learn about the history of the Pemón indigenous people located in southern Venezuela.

Content analysis refers to the study of a particular topic analyzing its implications. An example could be the analysis of the Paris Agreement to understand why developed and developing countries must unite to stop CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

– Data processing and analysis techniques

The processing techniques are classification, registration, tabulation and coding. Analysis techniques are logical (induction, deduction, analysis and synthesis) and statistics (descriptive and inferential).

In the methodological framework, each of these sections will have to be explained, if the research has required it.

As you can see, the methodological framework is the systematization of the research, where the objectives of the thesis are formalized and whether or not the hypothesis is fulfilled.

Examples of methodological frameworks

To better explain what it is and how to make a methodological framework, we will use the research examples that we put in the article «Research project», on the sanitation of a river in a rural population and analyze why in a neighborhood of Mexico City there are more infected with COVID-19 than in another.

Methodological framework on the possible sanitation of the river X

We want to see the feasibility of cleaning up the river that supplies population X. Once the bibliographic and technical data was obtained, collected through water samples from the river itself and from a percentage of the houses in the town, they were analyzed.

Data was collected from the town’s sewage system, checking 100% of the houses. Knowledge was obtained that 85% of them deposited sewage directly into the river, and that only 15% had deep septic tanks.

Samples were sent to three different laboratories to measure the potability of the water, and the feasibility of building septic tanks in each house or a sewage distribution network directed to a treatment plant was analyzed.

The town is small (980 inhabitants, figure obtained by census) and its disposition is quite dispersed; Based on these data, the possibility of building individual septic tanks was studied, as it is a more profitable and ecological solution.

Methodological framework on the spread of COVID-19 in two neighborhoods of Mexico City: Polanco and San José Zacatepec

Official and journalistic sources were used in each of the colonies under study, from the hospitals in both areas that received COVID-19 patients, as well as from the State Health Secretariat.

Likewise, interviews were conducted and a percentage of both neighborhoods that we consider representative was surveyed: 30%. The interviews and surveys were made to population groups discriminated by age and sex.

The preventive methods that each colony implemented in its perimeter were also studied. We proceeded to analyze the data obtained by recording and classifying them using statistical tools.

The data obtained were the following: of the 40% studied and surveyed in San José de Zacatepec, 58% are women and 42% men. 62% are in the age group of 50-70 years.

In Polanco, 50% are over 50 but under 70, and the difference between men and women is similar to the other neighborhood.

The preventive methods used in Polanco were 85% more effective than those used in San José de Zacatepec, and two hospitals in the latter neighborhood received 15% more people than those in Polanco.

All this could explain why there are more cases of COVID-19 in San José de Zacatepec than in Polanco.

References

Carroll, JM, Swatman, PA (2000). Structured Case: A Methodological Framework for Building Theory in Information Systems Research. European Journal of Information Systems. Taken from researchgate.net.
The methodological framework of the thesis, how to develop it? (2017). APA rules. Taken from normasapa.net.
Mata Solís, LD (2019). Research methodological framework. Taken from investaliacr.com.
Azuero, A. (2019). Significance of the methodological framework in the development of research projects. Koinonía Interdisciplinary Referee Journal. Taken from dialnet.unirioja.es.
Research methodological framework (2020). Taken from proyectoseducativoscr.wordpress.com.

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