normative framework based on one paper


hi everyone...

long time. hope everyone is well. am still writing up.

am currently revising my theoretical framework.

has anyone ever seen a theoretical framework based on one paper - i.e. i want to use three theories but they are cited in one paper so am going to be citing that paper a lot as it is a comprehensive literature review looking the pros and cons of each theory.

is that plagiarism or is that ok. do i run the risk of being told that i haven't done enough reading?

has anyone done this sort of thing?




Unless the person who wrote that paper actually invented those theories, it might look a bit lazy if you haven't read around the theories in more depth. Perhaps you should go back to whoever your selected paper author originally cited in his/her literature review and read those, or at least the key sources. You never know, you might disagree with the paper's author and have more original contributions to make of your own! Even if you just skim over them, it will be more refs for your bibliography and you might be pre-empting questions in your viva.


Hi Jojo,

I agree with Ruby that you should draw on more sources to make a stronger case. Even if the author of the paper did come up with new theories, they must surely be grounded in some broader literature or draw on/be influenced by existing theories. The idea of going through their bibliography is very good one...and do the same with some of the sources you get from it. It could lead you into interesting territory. Or maybe you could do what I've done which is to look at several theories and pick bits from each which you agree with and critique the other bits. Then offer a synthesis of the good bits...that way you have lots of literature to draw on and can provide something new and (hopefully) original. Good luck with it!


Hi Jojo,

nice to see you are still there, I hope you are OK.

I recognise your issue: Sometimes one particular paper is very good and provides most of relevant information for a review. As the others state ideally the review should be based on more papers, but what to do if there is nothing more available?

As you will be aware the literature list from that particular paper may provide more options to refer to. One can read these articles and this may provide new insights or you may be able to quote issues in a different way.

Also I think it is key to describe explicitly what searches you have done, library visits etc. so that you can justify why most references are from one particular article.

As you know it is not just what you write, but also how you present it what counts!