A hypothesis is an assumption that comes from observations, and a scientist needs to prove it by scientific methods. Also, it is a method of understanding some event, its properties, and inner causes.
Some people often mix hypothesis with predictions or so-called theories. However, they only have one common feature – the “assumption” form. The rest is different:
- The common-experience “theory” is usually a guess-work which does not have serious grounds.
- A hypothesis is always based on numerous facts, and it aims to find the common element and explain its reason.
One can prove or disprove a hypothesis. For this, it is necessary to run more researches and make experiments to produce the results.
However, it is necessary to understand that even a series of successful experiments can’t prove a hypothesis completely. Its results can only support it for some time, and further discoveries and results of researches may disprove the knowledge we possess now.
“Hypothesis” belongs to the scientific vocabulary. If you are going to deal with the “Sciences” field of study, you will work with the hypothesis often. And it is necessary to learn how to write a hypothesis correctly.
How a Hypothesis Is Born
A hypothesis is a direct consequence of examination. You scrutinize lots of events and gather the data to analyze. The results of this analysis will produce some predictable pattern or contradiction which can serve as the “soil” for a hypothesis.
You can draft your hypothesis in one of the two ways:
- “This event takes place because of this factor”;
- “If we apply this factor to this event, then we receive this result”.
Making a hypothesis is intellectual prediction. You can define what you think will happen the next time under definite circumstances. However, it is never an ungrounded guess – you need to have a weighty scientific foundation to offer it.
Thus, the process will be as follows:
- After you gather and analyze the data you create a statement.
- This statement can explain the regularity and causes of the events.
- You formulate a hypothesis according to the modern scientific principles.
- To prove or disprove that hypothesis you plan new research.
Requirements for a Hypothesis
Before you plan further researches and tests, you need to make sure that your hypothesis meets the following criteria:
- You present it clearly and formulate it with plain language.
- The hypothesis has the main variables: the idea which you will test and the factors which you will change.
- It is possible to prove that your hypothesis statement is right.
- It is possible to prove it wrong.
- You can run these experiments and get valid results using scientific methods.
- You can repeat such experiments as many times as needed.
- There are accurately defined conditions that your tests will base on.
- It is possible to measure the results of your researches.
Preparations for Making a Hypothesis
It might seem that only scientists need to know how to advance a hypothesis. But this skill is for everyone. The steps you need to perform to achieve the goal will help you to develop your cognitive abilities, your skills of running independent researches, analyzing the data and finding the patterns. And this is great for personal intellectual development.
Thus, teachers regularly give their students tasks to write a hypothesis, and this can perplex anyone, especially for the first time. However, learning the basic principles of making a hypothesis will help you significantly. Besides, we have prepared a set of recommendations for you to make this process easier and better understandable.
If you face an assignment to offer a hypothesis and prove it, concentrate on the following steps:
- Choose an interesting theme for researches. Though the term “hypothesis” is associated with the Sciences, there is a place for the scientific statements in any field. The main factor is that you need to gather a lot of data to analyze before you can offer a hypothesis. Thus, it is better to examine the area where you have a genuine interest, and your researches would not be boring. At the same time, it is important to choose the topic which gives room for discussion. Great if there are professional researches that can support different points of view on the subject.
- Learn the existing expert works on the topic. There can be scientific works, statistics, calculations, etc. To offer a new hypothesis, you need to possess a high level of expertise in this sphere. Thus, you should become an expert yourself.
- Do your own investigation carefully. Use scientific methods to compile and analyze the data. The results which you obtain should help you to define the patterns and contradictions.
- Make your statement which you think to explain the regularity or the contradiction.
Proving Your Hypothesis
The way to prove a hypothesis, or, at least, support it, is an experiment. It should provide you with practical results to back your statement.
- Depending on the sphere you deal with, you will need different means. If your field of study is the Sciences, you might need theoretical calculations and lab tests. If you explore social science, you might ground on observations, interviews, questionnaires, etc.
- After you complete your series of tests, you will need to process and analyze their results. The more data – the more reliable results you can obtain. Scientific judgments are possible under these conditions only. Besides, you have to apply only the trustworthy methods of data analysis.
- Develop the conclusions which come from the results of your experiments and compare them with your hypothesis. No matter if your results support or oppose your assumption, you will get valuable information and experience.
- Arrange all the data you received from the independent researches according to the requirements for that task. Use the necessary formatting style – if your teacher did not define which one exactly, you can choose the one you find suitable: MLA, APA or Chicago. Note that the MLA style is mostly used for the studies in Humanities, while the APA format is better for the academic papers in the Sciences sphere.
- It will be useful to turn to the ready examples of similar professional works. There you can borrow good ideas about the structure and the ways how you should resent your data. Besides, such references can be advantageous in what concerns using proper language. It is always necessary to have and demonstrate quality writing skills. One can’t present the hypothesis and the arguments in a vague language. You need to have accurate definitions and represent the results of your researches logically, using plain phrases and proper vocabulary.
- Submit your work to your teacher for assessment, or present in front of the audience.
As you see, though the task to write a hypothesis can bewilder any student at first, you can perform it following our recommendations. It won’t be a simple task, as you will need to use all your knowledge and skills and maybe make a discovery. But having a good and comprehensive guide with clearly explained steps will help you – we do hope for this.