How to Write Hypothesis – Step-By-Step Guide

Writing Hypothesis

Writing a strong hypothesis makes your research credible. You should spend your time and effort writing an effective hypothesis. You may find yourself lost whenever you begin writing a hypothesis. The reason is you do not have a proper guide to assist you. If you also want to write the hypothesis and need a complete guide on it then the following article will be helpful for you. The article has highlighted many important aspects of a hypothesis. Before diving into the depth, we will discuss what a hypothesis is.

What is Hypothesis

A hypothesis is a statement in which we propose an expected result to a question that needs to be thorough. Any minor mistake in the hypothesis can lead to weakening your research. You can form hypotheses based on some famous facts about a certain problem or you can use the previous studies that have already been done.

Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis

To write an effective hypothesis it is important to know the characteristics of a good hypothesis. The characteristics of an effective hypothesis are discussed below in detail.

It is never a good idea to form your hypothesis based merely on guesses. it is important to form your hypothesis based on previously done research based on the same problem.

To formulate an ideal hypothesis, you should ask yourself the following questions. 

  • The first question should be about the language of your hypothesis statement. You should notice whether the language of your statement is clear or not.
  • What is the relationship between hypothesis statements and your research? It is important to formulate a statement that completely relates to your research.
  • Another important factor to include in your hypothesis statement is variables. The variables are of two types: dependent and independent. The variables are discussed below in the article.
  • Can your hypothesis be tested? If yes, then explain how. 
  • What are the possible sides of research that you might want to explore to get the desired outcomes?

Types of Variables

The two types of variables are explained below.

  • Independent variables

Independent variables are those that the person can change, or we can say that independent variables are changed to notice variations of independent variables. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that independent variables are in the control of researchers.

  • Dependent variables

Dependent variables are those that cannot be changed and are not in the control of the researcher, they change when the changes in independent variables are observed. 

Types of Hypotheses

The hypothesis can be of many types, some of them are explained below.

Types of Hypothesis

  • Simple hypothesis 

As the name shows, a simple hypothesis contains one dependent and one independent variable. The relationship between dependent and independent variables in simple hypotheses is straightforward. If one variable changes, the change in another variable can clearly be noticed.

  • Complex hypothesis

In a complex hypothesis, you observe the relationship among two or more dependent and independent variables. This makes it difficult to understand the impact of one variable on another variable. It also becomes difficult to understand the relationship among these variables.

  • Directional hypothesis

The directional hypothesis is used when the relationship of variables has a specific direction to follow. The researcher has an intellectual commitment to one of the outcomes and is sure that this will be the result. When the researcher is considering one specific output, this shows that the hypothesis is directional. This commitment of research involves some previous research or theory.

  • Non-directional hypothesis

The non-directional hypothesis is involved in cases where there is no previous research or theories involved. The relationship between variables is not explicit. The researcher is not sure about any outcome. In such cases, the non-directional hypothesis is used. 

  • Associative and causal hypothesis

Associative and causal hypotheses are alike with a few differences. The associative hypothesis is involved when the changes in one variable result in changes in other variables. This shows that variables are associated with each other.

On the other hand, the causal hypothesis involves a cause-and-effect relationship. In the causal hypothesis, the changes in dependent variables result only when the independent variable is manipulated. 

  • Null hypothesis

A null hypothesis negates the varied results. The hypothesis statement of the researcher is considered to be true. It is assumed that any changes in the results than the predicted ones are due to errors in experiment and measurements. 

  • Alternative hypothesis

The alternative hypothesis states the significance of results obtained from research. It states that any result obtained from research has its own importance and there exists a relationship between the variables under study. 

Falsifiability

Any valid hypothesis has an important aspect of falsifiability in its nature. The important way to test a claim is the fact that this claim can be proven false. People usually confuse the idea of something being false and falsifiability. We can also understand falsifiability by relating it to testability. Falsifiability means that the claim has the capability of being proven wrong if tested. 

Importance of Testable Hypothesis

To make your hypothesis strong, you should make sure that it is testable. For a hypothesis to be testable, the following are the criteria.

  • Hypothesis should be proven true in some way.
  • Hypothesis should be proven false in some way.
  • The results must be reproducible. 

If your hypothesis does not meet this certain criterion, it will fail. There must be some way to fulfill the above criteria to prove your hypothesis. If your hypothesis does not follow the above criteria, the results obtained from the experiment will be vague and will not clear anything. Such an experiment will have no significance as it will not prove or disprove anything. 

How to Formulate an Effective Research Hypothesis

An effective research hypothesis has a few important characteristics that we have already discussed. A strong hypothesis statement should have an explanation of the research, experiment, and expected outcomes. Following are the steps that you can follow to write a strong hypothesis statement. 

Steps to Write Strong Hypothesis

State the problem

It is very important for your hypothesis statement to contain the problem you are dealing with. If you do not state the problem in a hypothesis statement, it will not be clear for your readers. Explicitly state the problem and involve it in the hypothesis. 

Ask a question

Before writing the hypothesis statement, you need to be aware of the problem you are dealing with. Before doing the research, you know what the problem is. We perform experiments to find answers to our questions that are mysterious. You cannot perform experiments unless you know the nature of your problem. After having a broader picture of the problem you need to solve, you should design a question. This question will make your research further and keep putting in efforts unless you get the desired results. 

Do research

This part of the research is done to develop an answer to this question without performing experiments. Your research to look for theories or already existing studies to solve the same question. You then structure a satisfactory answer based on this preliminary research. This point also gives you an idea of variables that you can use for your research. You devise a conceptual framework in your mind to carry out your own research.

Formulate hypothesis

In this step, you give a proper structure to the answer you have extracted from the preliminary research. This sentence in a proper grammatical format, clear, and concise wording is a hypothesis statement. 

Refine hypotheses

You should refine your hypothesis in a way that is understandable. Use clear and concise wording for every part of the statement. Hypothesis requires this much attention, as it forms the basis of your research. A hypothesis statement should include the following three components.

  • The explicit nature of the problem
  • The variables understudy
  • The specific group understudied
  • The possible outcomes of the experiment

If-then statement

You should write your hypothesis statement in if-then format. In if-then format, your dependent and independent variables are separated by if and then. 

Rephrase in three ways

Following are a few tips to rephrase your hypothesis statement. The hypothesis statement can be rephrased in the following three ways. 

  • In the first format, you can use if and then. The first part of the statement involves independent variables, and the second part contains dependent variables. The example of this format is as follows.

“If students start working hard then they will score better in their exams.”

In this statement, the independent variable is a student working hard which is under control and can be changed according to one’s choice. The dependent variable is the exam’s score which depends on the effort of students. There is also a way to prove this statement false by testing. If students do not work hard, they will fail. 

  • Another form of hypothesis is stated in correlations. This type of statement clearly states the effect of one variable on another. The example of this format is as follows.

“The harder work of students will have a positive impact on their scores.”

This statement explicitly stated the impact of working hard on scores and explained the relationship between variables. 

  • The third format is when you are comparing two groups of the population. The example for this format is as follows.

“Students who work harder will score better than those who do not.”

In this statement, two groups of students are being compared, one who works hard and others who do not. Those who work hard will score better than the students who do not work hard. This form of hypothesis statement deals in comparison. 

Sources of Hypothesis

The hypothesis can be obtained from the following sources.

  • If you find any resemblance to the phenomenon, you can derive hypotheses from it.
  • You can always use observations that were made in past studies.
  • You can look for current similar research work.
  • Scientific theories are also helpful in designing hypotheses.
  • You should also observe the general thinking pattern of people to structure a strong hypothesis statement.

Uses of Hypothesis

Hypothesis has the following functions which make it useful in research.

  • Hypothesis assists you in making observations for your experiment.
  • Your experiment is not possible without properly devising a hypothesis statement.
  • It becomes the base for investigating the research problem.
  • It helps to progress the experiment in the right direction. 

Tips to Write a Strong Hypothesis

  • You should structure a question before structuring a hypothesis.
  • Hypothesis is never a question; it is always a statement. It should be a testable prediction.
  • A good hypothesis statement is always clear and has simple words to make it easier for readers to understand it.
  • A strong hypothesis statement has variables that are clearly defined, and their relation is mentioned in the hypothesis statement. the relationship between variables can be written in any of the above-mentioned formats.
  • Research the question understudy, you will find various similar studies. You can use it to design your hypothesis statement.

Difference Between Hypothesis and Prediction

The terms hypothesis and prediction are used interchangeably but they are not the same. People usually get confused between the two terms as both are guesses but are different from each other. Hypothesis is an educated guess about a specific problem that is under study while prediction is an uneducated guess that has no credibility. We can also say that prediction is a guess if the hypothesis is true. For instance, you have noticed that every time the wind blows, the flowers’ petals fall. This is merely your observation and involves no scientific basis or experiment. Hence, we can see that this is a prediction of what will happen in the future.

Conclusion

Summing up the whole discussion, the hypothesis statement requires extra time and effort, as it is the basis for scientific research. You need proper guidance to write a strong hypothesis statement. The article above has highlighted many aspects of a hypothesis statement. A hypothesis statement not only makes it possible to research a given problem but also provides a basis for formulating further hypothesis statements for more desert in the future. If you follow the guide mentioned above, you will be good to write an effective hypothesis statement.