Whether you’re studying for a college degree, MBA, or Ph.D., developing a hypothesis for your research is mandatory. You must know how to write a good hypothesis to impress your professors. Now, how should a hypothesis be written?
This is where some students get confused and exhausted. You already know that you’re to formulate a hypothesis around something testable. But you don’t know how to create hypotheses based on previous observations that you would later explain in your paper or journal.
In this article, you’ll learn what a hypothesis is, how to make a hypothesis, examples of how to write hypothesis statement, and how to go about yours.
What Is A Hypothesis?
A hypothesis is a statement that is not proven, and it’s an assumption that you’ll base your research on. They must be testable: they must have answers that can be checked with experiments and evidence.
The theory around your hypothesis becomes valid when it’s proven to be true through experiments. Scientists have rules for writing that make their chemistry, physics, and biology research reproducible.
An essential part is that they must understand the experiments of others so that they can build on them and improve them. These rules define how scientists write about science. This rule applies to hypotheses, too.
Why Do You Need A Hypothesis?
Writing a good hypothesis is a key part of any scientific exploration. It allows a broad and open-ended question that compels you to investigate. There are many other reasons, including:
- A Hypothesis is an Educated Guess
A hypothesis is a statement that explains what you think will happen, makes predictions about the outcome of your experiment, and can be tested by experimentation.
It’s different from a theory because a theory is something like:
“The earth orbits around the sun.”
This is not testable because we know that it’s true. A theory is more like an explanation for why something happens, while a hypothesis is a guess about what will happen and why it would.
- A Hypothesis Sets You up for an Experiment
A hypothesis is a statement of the relationship you’ve observed in a pair of variables. The easiest way to think about it is that the hypothesis is your testable statement for your research project.
You would typically use your background knowledge and experience as a researcher to come up with this statement before you set out to collect data. A good hypothesis will give you insight into what kind of data you need to collect to answer the question (or provide evidence).
“People who live in cities have higher stress levels than those who live in rural areas because there are more people around them all day long!”
This hypothesis would then lead us to ask questions like “How do we measure stress?” or “What factors contribute to stress?” You’ll provide answers to these questions with the paper.
- Hypotheses Can be Proved or Disproved
A hypothesis can be proven or disproven throughout an experiment. The most common way to disprove a hypothesis is through statistical significance testing. This entails using probability and data analysis to show that there’s no practical difference between the two compared groups.
- You Need a Hypothesis to Make Sense of Your Research Data
The hypothesis is a testable statement about how the world works. It’s also a way to properly arrange and structure your data. Without a hypothesis, you won’t even know what to set your scientific experiment on. A hypothesis is what you’ll use to predict what will happen in the future, and the data you collect during the research will help validate or disprove this.
In science, you’re always trying to figure out why things happen the way they do and what factors affect them. When you know how something works, “why do some people get sick while others don’t?” You might make up a hypothesis to test your idea: “People who are exposed to germs get flu symptoms.” Here’s how to start a hypothesis as the answer lets you determine whether your idea is right or wrong; an experiment then validates (or disproves) it.
Now that you know why you need to formulate a testable hypothesis, learn how to write a research hypothesis with tangible examples.
How To Write A Hypothesis
Before you start your experiments in the lab, it’s important to take some time to think about what you’re trying to achieve. After all, you can’t know your research destination until you plan it beforehand. This is why mastering how to state a hypothesis gives room for healthy predictions. Here’s how you formulate hypothesis:
- Begin with a Question
Your first step is to determine what you want to investigate. You can start with a question you’d like to answer or a problem that needs solving.For example, if you’re a teacher trying to improve your students’ reading skills, you might ask:
“What techniques can I use for my students to boost reading comprehension scores on their standardized tests?”
This could also be stated as “Do test-taking strategies lead to improved standardized test scores?”
Once your question pops in your mind, especially while reflecting on a scientific paper you’ve read or a documentary you saw, write it down and commence research.
- Do Some Preliminary Research on the Topic
You need some facts to state a hypothesis and prove it. It might be tricky to get these facts, and you’ll want to look for relevant and irrelevant information.
Relevant information is directly related to your hypothesis. For example, your relevant sources would be academic, examination, and psychology journals, quantitative data or news outlets for the above statement.
Irrelevant information is any other kind of data, and this could be random news outlets or interviews that could help bolster what your assumptions are.
- Write the First DraftState your hypothesis in a sentence. If you’re using the word “if,” then use it as a verb. It’s a hypothesis, not an opinion; you should be able to state your hypothesis in the same way you would state any other fact.
Use the word “because” to indicate that your variable causes or explains another variable. For example: If we are testing whether exercise leads to weight loss, our sentence might look like this:
“Consistent gym practice causes weight loss because it burns calories and gets the body in shape.”
- Ask Yourself if Your Hypothesis is Testable
You need to identify if your hypothesis is testable or if it’s an opinion you can’t prove. You can’t test what you don’t know or can’t prove. So you’d need to rewrite your hypothesis if you think it’s not testable.
- Rewrite Your Hypothesis
Your hypothesis should be clear, concise, testable, specific, and relevant. The best way to do this is to write a brief summary of your hypothesis in the form: “If X happens, then Y will happen.”
Here’s a sample hypothesis:
“If I add 15 minutes to my sitting time everyday, then my body mass index (BMI) will reduce by 5 points in three months.”
Now that you’ve defined your idea, it’s time for the actual experiment to determine whether it’ll work.
How To Write A Hypothesis Statement: Example Of A Hypothesis
There are numerous examples of a hypothesis statement you can take a clue from. A scientific hypothesis examines two variables that need evidence-based research to be considered valid. For example:
“If I increase the amount of water applied to a plant garden, then it will make it grow faster.”
You have identified the independent and dependent variables in this statement. The independent variable is “amount of water applied,” and the dependent variable is “grow faster.” You also included a control group, which is important in scientific experiments to eliminate bias from other factors that could influence your results.
In this case, you are comparing how much growth there would be if you increase the amount of water versus how much growth there would be if you do not increase it.
You then need to research the topic in detail and design an experiment before you can write your report. The first step is to decide what you’re going to measure, how you’ll measure it, and how many times you’ll do this so that it’s accurate.
Once you’ve measured your experiment, interpreting the results can be challenging. You should look at graphs or charts of your data to see if any patterns or trends might indicate a cause-and-effect relationship between two things (like applying more water to the plant garden and faster growth).
After looking at the results of your experiment and deciding whether or not they support your original hypothesis, use this new knowledge in your conclusion. Write up something like:
“Based on my findings, it’s clear that applying more water to any plant garden would make the plant garden grow faster and greener.”
Then, write an introduction section where you can explain why this project interests/matters/is relevant to your reader. At this point, your hypothesis is no longer an educated guess. It started as one (with the observation or thoughts/idea) and ended as verifiable.
Format For Hypothesis: How Should A Hypothesis Be Written?
The usual format of a hypothesis is If – (then) – because.
Because we have the idea that if a hypothesis is formatted as an if-then statement, it’s clear what the hypothesis is about. This can be helpful for your readers and yourself if you ever need to come back and look at your work.
So, now that you know how to format it correctly (and why) let’s look at some hypothesis examples.
“If snow falls, then I’ll catch a cold when I get outside because cold can be a result of heavy snow.”
“If anyone in my family eats cake, then we will feel sick because the cake contains ingredients we are allergic to.”
“Some grasses never grow because they’re stumped every day.”
All these show that two variables must come together in the sentence. The variables must also be a probability the research attempts to solve to make them valid statements.
How To Know Your Hypothesis Is Good
Now that you know how to create a hypothesis, you need to know if it’s good through these pointers:
- State a Hypothesis as Clearly as Possible
You can choose precise words that are neither ambiguous nor too technical. You should also avoid jargon and words with multiple meanings to keep your language simple and clear. Don’t use fancy or pretentious words unless they’re absolutely necessary for the meaning you want to convey, and make sure you’ve used them in their correct context. In addition, use a tone of voice appropriate to the audience. A scientific paper may need more formal language than an article for popular consumption.
- A Good Hypothesis Should Explain the Bond Between Multiple Variables
The main purpose of forming a hypothesis is to explain the relationship between multiple variables clearly. The relationship should be testable for it to be proven. This is, why if X leads to Y, what is in between that connects X and Y? This must reflect in the hypothesis as it’s the factor that’ll be experimented.
- A Hypothesis should Be Testable
This means that your hypothesis should be a statement that can be proven or disproven with an experiment. You want to make sure your hypothesis is specific enough to guide you towards the right experiment but not so specific that it eliminates any other possible outcomes of your experiment.
Also, a hypothesis should not make claims about unobservable things (like feelings or thoughts). Instead, focus on observable results (things we can see) like measurements and observations from experiments conducted by scientists over time.If your hypothesis isn’t testable, then it needs to be reformulated.
What Should You Do If Your Hypothesis Is Incorrect?
You need to reformulate your thesis if it’s incorrect. You may have to reevaluate the problem or look at it differently. It’s also possible that you need to test your hypothesis with a different method of experimentation.
Here are some ideas from the best scientific thesis writing help experts:
- Try Another Approach: Try looking at your hypothesis from a different angle, or consider changing up your methods entirely (for example, instead of asking people what they think will happen in the future and then testing their opinions against reality, you could run an experiment where participants predict events and then actually follow up on those predictions).
- Share Your Idea with a Third Party: Your hypothesis can be tested by allowing a third party to observe the results of your attempt to prove or disprove the statement. For example, if you’re testing whether peanuts can be made into peanut butter using only as few steps as possible, have someone else make it for you or observe them make it.
Document how you made your product and recorded any necessary changes along the way. This will help you know what works and doesn’t so that you’ll make changes to the whole idea.
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