An explanation is a set of statements constructed to describe a set of facts which clarifies the causes, context, and consequences of those facts.

This description may establish rules or laws, and may clarify the existing ones in relation to any objects, or phenomena examined. The components of an explanation can be implicit, and be interwoven with one another.

An explanation is often underpinned by an understanding that is represented by different media such as music, text, and graphics. Thus, an explanation is subjected to interpretation, and discussion.

In scientific research, explanation is one of several "purposes" for empirical research.<ref>Babbie, Earl (2007) The Practice of Social Research. (11th edition) Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth.</ref><ref>Remler, D.K. and Van Ryzin, G (2011). Research Methods in Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.</ref> Explanation is a way to uncover new knowledge, and to report relationships among different aspects of studied phenomena. Explanation attempts to answer the "why" question. Explanations have varied explanatory power. The formal hypothesis is the theoretical tool used to verify explanation in empirical research.<ref>Shields, Patricia and Rangarjan, N. 2013. A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management. [1]. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press. See Chapter three for an extended discussion of the connection between explanation as purpose and hypotheses as framework in empirical research. .</ref><ref>Patricia M. Shields, Hassan Tajalli (2006). "Intermediate Theory: The Missing Link in Successful Student Scholarship". Journal of Public Affairs Education 12 (3): 313–334.</ref>

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