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How to Write a Hypothesis: Step-by-Step Guide and Examples

Each academic research revolves around specific statement or problem — a research hypothesis. It includes certain variables that may affect your topic and little-studied or unexplored issue. In this case, researcher's task it to consider them from scientific point of view.

Result of your work will be written in form of a research. Also, a term paper, a scientific article or other academic paper. In this case, you must start your work with defining hypothesis itself. While this may seem simple, in reality beginners face a lot of problems. This includes difficulty with formulating it accurately.

Next, we will tell you how to write a hypothesis so it is accurate and correct.

What Is a Research Hypothesis: Expanded Definition

A research hypothesis is a statement or assumption that answers a question you asked earlier but haven't tested yet. In fact, this is basis of your work which you use to prove or reject your assumption.

Major research projects most often deal with several hypotheses. These relate to various aspects of an issue under study. Thus, you will divide assumptions by research sectors and study them in a segmented manner. When making an assignment, one must work based on an existing theory and gained knowledge. One must also take into account that it must be testable. That is, it can be rejected or confirmed with methods of scientific research.

Hypothesis example may look like this:

Hypothesis example: “Terrorist movements develop as social inequality in the world increases”

In your work, you must prove or reject this hypothesis by providing survey results. Show some statistical data, analysis of reports and other processed data.

Variables in Hypotheses

To make a qualitative guess, you should consider variables in your hypothesis. They can be divided into independent and dependent ones. In fact, you must establish causal relationship between two or more variables.

Independent variable is what researcher can control or change, i.e. initial condition. Dependent variable is what researcher studies. It is observed in created conditions. Before you start learning how to write an assignment with independent and dependent variables, you should define the main idea of your work.

For example, you take an assumption that eating hedgehog meat reduces risk of cardiovascular disease. Independent variable is hedgehog meat consumption, which is cause. Improvement in cardiovascular health is a dependent variable – an intended effect.

How to Write a Hypothesis: 5 Simple Writing Steps

Novice researchers most frequently ask how to write a hypothesis statement. This is a complex process that includes compilation of laconic predictions. These are based on conducted experiments. We can support you in this task. We have developed 5 steps for researchers so they can write a high-quality and comprehensive assignment.

Step 1. Generate a Question Before Writing Your Hypothesis

At the first stage of writing a hypothesis for a research paper you must define a research question that you need to answer. It should be focused on particular problem. Try ti make it specific and yet suitable for research within framework of your project.

To write quality assignment, you must use 6 classic statements. Thus, you must clarify: who, what, where, when, why and how. You must make question understandable in terms of positioning problem.

Example of correct hypothesis:

Example of correct hypothesis: “Why did people who do hard labor in the United States earn less than skilled workers in 2021?”

Step 2. Gather Preliminary Research for Your Hypothesis

Before writing a research hypothesis, conduct some preliminary research to find out if your assumption is working and can be proved. You will get the key insights through observations or experiments. You can also use results of your colleagues who have already studied this issue.

Thus, you will build a concept with formulated variables. You will study them and identify relationships between them.

Step 3. Write a Strong Hypothesis

With results of preliminary preparation and research questions, you can study how to write a strong hypothesis. First of all, highlight the main testing problem. You must formulate it as briefly as possible. Try to avoid stretching statements in an attempt to make paper longer.

Be as clear as possible, avoid vague judgments. For example:

Example of badly written hypothesis: “The number of English lessons that you can take per week improves desired results and speeds up achievement.”

This is not good option. It is better to apply hypothesis in the form of:

Example of well written hypothesis: “The more English lessons, the better the result.”

This is a clear sentence that is devoid of unnecessary details. It allows you to immediately see an expected effect.

Step 4. Refine Your Research Hypothesis

Make sure a hypothesis for a research proposal formulated correctly. You must check if it has following elements:

  1. Dependent and independent variables.
  2. An object or phenomenon for testing.
  3. Expected outcome of study that you plan to work through. This must be part of an experiment or an observation.

This way, you will specify question under study. You also will be able to verify it if needed. That is, you will move from general to particular.

Step 5. Write a Null Hypothesis

You may need to write a null hypothesis. Why and when, you may ask? When you use this method for processing specific statistics. You should specify if you plan to prove your point on its basis. In fact, it is clear position that doesn’t establish links between variables.

For example, this statement is null hypothesis:

Example of null hypothesis: “The frequency of visits to the doctor does not affect the chances of detecting serious illnesses.”

It is basis for presenting one's own opinion. It allows to build an evidence base stemming from researcher's evidence.

What Is the Difference Between a Null Hypothesis and an Alternative Hypothesis

To better understand how to write null and alternative hypothesis that will form backbone of study, examine testable statements. Based on results, null hypothesis is prepared. It is a statement with no connection between variables.

At the same time, scientists usually work with an alternative hypothesis. Here, they have already found a connection between phenomena. So, the above statement about frequency of doctor visits can be modified to research of:

Example of alternative hypothesis: “The frequency of doctor visits increases the chances of detecting serious diseases at an early stage.”

Hypothesis Examples

Quite often, researchers find it difficult to formulate basis for their research. Therefore, some examples of hypothesis will be useful for them. This will correspond to if-then connections. With their help you will also briefly outline the main part of current research. We will help you in formulating an assignment and offer several working options:

Hypothesis examples: “Low cost airlines delay flights more often than business class companies. Employees with flexible working hours work more efficiently than employees with a fixed schedule. Sex education in primary school reduces the risks of unplanned pregnancy in adolescents. Increase in the number of lanes does not affect the quality of traffic in case of emergency situations. Eating bananas reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease for people over 70.”

Tips on Writing a Hypothesis

It’s difficult to start writing a hypothesis for a research proposal. Especially for aspiring academics! After all, it is important that an assignment is clear and specific. It must also be viable for further development. Here are some tips to help you formulate your statement:

  1. Analyze interesting aspects. Review current studies and problems on the selected topic. Highlight what you wanted to explore, perhaps it will be a concept close to your previous works.
  2. Clarify the details. Spend time on preliminary analysis. You must also highlight controversial aspects and contemporary issues. Sometimes, even well-researched phenomena can be promising.
  3. Focus on your own work. It’s always easier to continue than to start anew. At the same time, you might not have considered all the theses in the previous study.
  4. Make the variables clear. Avoid ambiguous statements.

How to Write a Scientific Hypothesis: Final Thoughts

So, if you've come this far, you should already know how to how to write a hypothesis step by step. Before starting writing, analyze the problem and the topic. You should highlight the thesis that can be developed further. We recommend going through the following steps:

  1. Define the question you expect to receive an answer to.
  2. Do some preliminary research.
  3. Write it strongly.
  4. Refine it with variables, subject and phenomenon, and expected result.
  5. Make a null hypothesis and consider a different option.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Writing a Good Hypothesis

While writing the hypothesis, you must make it as direct as possible and, at the same time, clear it of extraneous judgments. Typically, it's 20 words long. We don’t recommend exceeding this volume, so as not to face difficulties in interpretation.

How can I improve my hypothesis?

To make the hypothesis working and of high quality, be sure you select both independent and dependent variables and add them to the statement. Examine the relationships of these elements. Think if you can prove them and explain them in further research.

Is there a maximum number of hypotheses that is allowed in one research paper?

You can write as many hypotheses as you want for your paper, because it all depends on your view on the topic and the desire to develop it in several directions. The main thing is that your project shouldn't be overloaded with too many hypotheses and that you pay enough attention to each of them.

How do I test my hypothesis?

It’s easy to test the statement before you write a hypothesis for a research proposal. Do an experiment: ask your question and try answering it. If you succeed, this assignment can be used for more detailed study.

How long is a hypothesis?

While writing the hypothesis, you must make it as direct as possible and, at the same time, clear it of extraneous judgments. Typically, it's 20 words long. We don’t recommend exceeding this volume, so as not to face difficulties in interpretation.

Joe Eckel is an expert on Dissertations writing. He makes sure that each student gets precious insights on composing A-grade academic writing.

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