How to write a Hypothesis

Time to read: 6 Minutes
How to write a Hypothesis

Part of being a college student involves writing research papers. Your hypothesis is a large part of making the paper successful. Because papers often make up a large portion of your grade, learning how to write a hypothesis is one of the most valuable skills you’ll learn in college. The sooner you master the skill, the better. Here’s the key issues to be addressed for how to write a hypothesis.

How to write a Hypothesis - FAQ

Your hypothesis is a statement that lets the reader of your paper know what your research question is and what you expect the answer to be. When it comes to how to write a hypothesis, you need to remember it’s integral to the scientific method and should appear in all research papers. In fact, a flawed hypothesis can skew the results of your research. You also cannot submit a research paper without a hypothesis so do not underestimate how vital learning how to write a hypothesis will be.

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The most important part of your hypothesis is the question you want to answer with your research. You should also include some information about what you already know about the topic. Another important aspect of how to write a hypothesis to consider is to include a clear sentence that says what you expect your results to show. A good research hypothesis example includes the variables involved in the research, the group that is part of the research and the outcome you think you’ll see. In short, your hypothesis must be one that you can test.

Different kinds of research require different research hypothesis examples.

  • A simple hypothesis involves just one dependent variable and one independent variable.
  • A complex hypothesis is one that makes use of more than one dependent and independent variable.
  • Associative and causal hypotheses involve the manipulation of the variables.
  • Directional and non-directional hypotheses are used if there’s a specific direction for the variables or if there isn’t.
  • A null hypothesis is used when you don’t think there’s a relationship between the variables.
  • An alternative thesis is proposed when there’s a relationship between the variables that are important to the research.

When you write a hypothesis, it must be testable. One of the key points when addressing how to write a hypothesis is that there must be a possibility that you can prove or disprove the question you pose. At the same time, whatever results you get must be able to be produced again.

Hypothesis: Definition

How to write a hypothesis must begin with knowing what is required. According to Oxford Languages, a hypothesis is “a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation” or “a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth.”

Developing a Hypothesis

Ask a Question

Ask a Question – in this step, you’ll determine the research question that you want an answer to. The question should be concise and should be something you can conduct research to answer. Example: Do children who visit the doctor yearly get sick less often?

How to write a Hypothesis

Do some Research – the results you expect to get should be supported by the information you already know about the topic. Use previous research to make an educated guess as to what your research will find. Journals and reports are a good place to find this information. This will help you figure out your variables and what direction your research will take which is the overriding principle of how to write a hypothesis.

How to write a Hypothesis

Write your Answer – now that you have a bit of research under your belt, you can write the answer you expect to find when you conduct your research. Like the question you pose in your hypothesis, this statement should be clear, concise and to the point. Example: Seeing the doctor regularly prevents illnesses in children.

How to write a Hypothesis

Refine your Hypothesis – in this step you’ll outline why your question is researchable. This will include a discussion of your variables, who or what you’ll be studying and what you expect to happen with experimentation or analysis.

How to write a Hypothesis

Choose how to write a Hypothesis – make sure the wording of your hypothesis aligns with your purpose. This could be an “if-then”statement. It could also use a correlation between the variables. It might be what differences you expect to find. Example #1: If children see their doctor regularly, they get sick less often. Example #2: The number of times a child visits the doctor has a positive effect on how often they get sick. Example #3: Children who see the doctor more often get fewer illnesses than children who see the doctor less often.

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Hypothesis Examples

There are many ways to address how to write a hypothesis, but the process isn’t always easy. Sometimes seeing a research hypothesis example is a good way to figure out what direction you want to take. Below are some examples of the most common types of hypotheses that can help guide you in how to write a hypothesis.

Research hypothesis example – Simplistic

  • Drinking soft drinks causes obesity.
  • Adequate sleep improves students’ grades.
  • Eating fruits and vegetables promotes weight loss.

Research hypothesis example – Complex hypothesis

  • Individuals who eat more fast food and fewer vegetables are more likely to have heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • People who exercise and eat lots of fruits and vegetables are less likely to be overweight and have diabetes.
  • People who smoke and live in big cities are more likely to suffer from lung cancer and asthma.

Null hypothesis examples:

  • There is no difference in the taste of my water when I drink tap water or bottled water.
  • I don’t see a change in my health when I only drink tea.
  • I see no change in my concentration when I sleep for 7 hours or when I sleep for 8 hours.

Alternative hypothesis examples:

  • I see a change in my health when I eat a vegan diet than when I eat a meat diet.
  • I can concentrate better when I sleep 7 hours than when I sleep 6 hours.
  • My dog is more energetic when I feed her plant-based food than when I feed her chicken-based food.
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In a Nutshell

Ensure you are very clear on how to write a hypothesis before you begin

  • A good hypothesis is clear and concise with its question and expected results.
  • There are several kinds of hypotheses and your research dictates which one you use.
  • Your hypothesis should include the variables.
  • Looking at a research hypothesis example can help you write yours.
  • You should know a little bit about the topic before you write a hypothesis.
  • Your hypothesis must be testable and should be able to be proven true or false.
  • The results of your hypothesis should be reproducible.

Now you know how to write a hypothesis, good luck with your own.