Conceptual Framework–Graphic Thinking–Writing Structure

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  • Title: Conceptual Framework–Graphic Thinking–Writing Structure: A Process Empowering Instructors to Think Proactively about Research
  • Author(s): Rungnapha Khamung , Michael V. Holmes, Po Siu Hsu
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education
  • Keywords: Conceptual Framework; Paper-Writing Structure; Graphic Thinking Skill
  • Volume: 26
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-7955 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8749 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Khamung, Rungnapha , Michael V. Holmes, and Po Siu Hsu. 2019. "Conceptual Framework–Graphic Thinking–Writing Structure: A Process Empowering Instructors to Think Proactively about Research." The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education 26 (1): 69-89. doi:10.18848/2327-7955/CGP/v26i01/69-89.
  • Extent: 21 pages


A conceptual framework is a powerful mental imaging and graphic thinking skill; it can function as the kick-start of the writing process that converts the raw form of mental thoughts into structured communication or as the tool for creative thinking and cognitive development. This process is applicable to the entire paper-writing structure and further relates to the substructure of each paper section. This paper aims to offer a clear direction on integrating conceptual framework with the paper-writing structure graphically, hierarchically, and subconsciously through workshops. Although the quality of research and publication involve aspects such as writing skill, time allowance, knowledge and skills, research policy, and research funding, this study mainly focuses on using critical and graphic thinking skills to structuralize the research concepts for in-progress communication and team collaboration among peers. Workshops were conducted among senior students and instructors; a lecture session presented participants with a comprehensive paper-writing structure corresponding with a completed research project and a published paper as the backbone to explain each section of paper writing and its underlying structure. The hands-on session allowed participants going through several steps of critical thinking, graphic thinking, self-cognition, in-progress communication, and team collaboration to create a conceptual framework for a research paper. The facilitators taught participants what the graphic language is and how to draw diagram concepts and build relationships to structuralize their conceptual ideas. Disregarding the participants’ prior knowledge on how to develop diagrams of a conceptual framework for paper writing, the workshops did had a positive influence on the confidence and ability of developing a conceptual framework. The conceptual framework empowered instructors to think proactively about research and assisted them in planning the scope of the study.