The methodological framework is the part of our research where we expose the theoretical and practical methods used to analyze the problem posed or the topic we are dealing with. It includes the participants and the sample, instruments or equipment used, the design, procedure and data analysis. Methodological framework definition
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 analyze the topic, what methods we use and why. It is convenient to highlight the appropriateness of the chosen methodology, as well as to specify its possible limitations.
The methodological framework consists, therefore, 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.
How to write the methodological framework? Structure
The methodological framework has a specific structure that must be met. When writing it, several things should be taken into account, such as the type of research being carried out (whether it is quantitative, descriptive or field) and whether it is experimental or not. Methodological framework definition
There are some elements present in the methodological framework that must be developed:
The methodological framework indicates the sample from which the data are 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 developed.
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, researching a vaccine for COVID-19). Methodological framework definition
As for the design, it is the strategy that the researcher adopts to tackle the problem, and it is then classified as documentary, experimental or field.
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 realist literature with Russian literature from the late nineteenth century.
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 cities, in Mexico and Colombia. Methodological framework definition
It involves subjecting a certain group of individuals to specific conditions (independent variables) to analyze the reactions or the effects that occur (dependent variables).
With this type of research we want to establish a cause / effect relationship between the independent and the dependent variable. For example, what effect does a drug cause in a group of people, to control hypertension.
An example of this would be: selecting a neighborhood in Mexico City to analyze the impact of COVID-19 by age, and within the neighborhood, choosing 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% between 66 and over, men and women.
The sample, therefore, is a portion of the total, which will represent the behavior of the whole.
– Data collection techniques and instruments
Data can be collected through direct observation, surveys (questionnaires or interviews), documentary analysis, or content.
The instruments where these data are collected can be files, questionnaire formats, tape recorders, interview guides, lists, etc.
In the methodological framework, it should be explained very well how the data obtained was collected and with what instruments they were collected. In both social and scientific research, it is necessary to record even up to the time the data was taken. Methodological framework definition
The documentary 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 by analyzing its implications. An example could be the analysis of the Paris Agreement to understand why developed and developing countries must come together to stop the levels of CO 2 in the atmosphere .
– Data processing and analysis techniques
The processing techniques are classification, recording, tabulation, and coding. The analysis techniques are logic (induction, deduction, analysis and synthesis) and statistics (descriptive and inferential).
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 viability of the sanitation of the river that supplies population X. Once the bibliographic and technical data had been obtained, collected through samples of water from the river itself and from a percentage of the houses in the town, it was analyzed.
Data were collected from the town‘s sewage system, checking 100% of the houses. The knowledge was obtained that 85% of them deposited sewage directly into the river, and that only 15% had deep septic tanks. Methodological framework definition
The 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, a figure obtained by census) and its layout is quite dispersed; Based on these data, the possibility of building individual septic tanks was studied, as it is a more profitable and ecological way out.