Tips for Researchers: How to Write a Hypothesis for Your Paper

A dissertation is a must item to encounter as you pursue your degree. Given the hard work you have put to this point, we are certain you’d want to score excellent results in your dissertation. 

For this, we have prepared a guide on how to write a hypothesis statement. Since the hypothesis statement dictates the argument of your paper, it is vital to learn how to properly structure your hypothesis. This will allow your readers to establish the purpose of your paper and thus determine how well your paper has addressed its purpose.

What is a hypothesis?

A hypothesis is a single sentence that states a guesstimate of an idea that is yet to be researched. The statement is often based on an existing theory and highlights a problem whilst postulating the outcome after research.

Unlike predictions, however, a research hypothesis suggests the occurrence of phenomena based on scientific research. The hypothesis forms the basis of your work and is thus used by readers to gauge the relevance of your paper to their needs. 

Components of a hypothesis

Given the vitality of a hypothesis in your paper, you cannot afford to go wrong in your hypothesis. It is thus key that you master the characteristics of a good research hypothesis, to properly gauge the effectiveness of your hypothesis. 

  1. Variable

A good hypothesis should have at least one dependent and independent variable. Independent variables are the parameters that a researcher can control while dependent variables are the observations made after tweaking various independent variables. 

Since a hypothesis aims at testing a phenomenon, multiple variables could be encountered. For instance, when gauging the relation of homework to results, the independent variable is the presence or absence of homework while the dependent variable is the score. 

  1. An expected outcome

A good hypothesis should state the expected outcome of the research. Your hypothesis could state that sleep deprivation is a key factor behind heightened levels of stress in the workplace. 

This gives a reader a clear visual of what the paper will entail and the angle your argument could possibly approach. 

  1. Cause-effect relationship

As you write a hypothesis, it is imperative that you show a causal relationship between the dependent and independent variables. This gives your paper a specific approach, avoiding confusion and ambiguity.

e.g. teaching-learning approaches and examinations

or the impact of teaching-learning approaches on a student’s performance in examinations.

Although both of the above statements contain the key idea of your paper, the latter paints a better picture of the arguments to be made in your paper. The former could result in ambiguity, misleading some readers to think of various relationships that could be gauged among the two variables. 

  1. Clarity and accuracy

Your hypothesis statement should be short and straight to the point. The sentence-long statement should capture the essence of your paper and avoid any ambiguity. 

  1. Testable prediction

A viable hypothesis should show a prediction that you intend to prove. 

E.g. Adopting technology in the classroom can improve academic performance. 

This statement offers a prediction that can be subjected to research, establishing whether it’s true or not. 

Types of hypotheses in research

You must have encountered multiple types of hypotheses in your efforts to learn how to write one. Here, we analyze various types of hypotheses, to help you decide the one you need for your paper. 

  1. Simple hypothesis a simple hypothesis is one that relates two variables. E.g. awarding of homework and test scores. These are often used in essays that are focused to test one idea of a subject. 
  2. Complex hypothesis these hypotheses are typical of dissertations and compare more than two variables. 
  3. Null hypothesis – a null hypothesis hints that no relationship exists between two given variables.

E.g. Adopting technology in class does not affect academic performance. These hypotheses can come in handy if your research differs from your earlier claims. 

  1. The alternative hypothesis alternative hypothesis is usually expressed as H1 and contradicts the null hypothesis. Our alternative hypothesis statement example from the previous null hypothesis example would appear as:

Adopting technology in class affects a learner’s academic performance.

How to develop a hypothesis

The following steps should come in handy when working on your hypothesis.

1. Establish your research question

Before you write your paper, start by establishing the research questions you intend to cover. This can be achieved by analyzing the assignment and determining the narrow ideas you can investigate within the broad topic. 

A research question may appear as: 

 Does the chicken food administered to chicks influence their size in later developmental stages?

2. Research your hypothesis

The next step for writing your dissertation is to investigate the arguments supporting and those contradicting your guesstimate. Also, gauge various variables that could impact your hypothesis results. 

3. Write a hypothesis

After understanding your argument and variables, write your hypothesis. The hypothesis can be written using an if… then approach or correlate the ideas. E.g., 

If teachers administer multiple homework, then students may fail to score well on their papers. 

4. Formulate a null hypothesis

After writing your hypothesis, write your null hypothesis. This will give you a title to fall back to in case your research yields unexpected results. 

How to start a hypothesis

When writing your hypothesis, start by stating the independent variable followed by the result expected of the dependent variable. This will allow your reader to understand your paper and overcome various ambiguities. 

Hypothesis vs research questions

A research question is a question posed to spark a thought on how a phenomenon would occur while a hypothesis suggests a theory that is then investigated in a paper.

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