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How to Write a Research Hypothesis

Introduction

Every student/researcher/tutor often wonders how they can write a good research hypothesis. However, in most instances, the creation of a hypothesis depends solely on one’s understanding of what research entails and the subject-under-study. Summarily, a hypothesis encapsulates a statement of prediction or expectation that is later tested by established research methodologies.

Before creating a research hypothesis;

  • Read about the topic under study by exploring different credible sources (books, articles, other research papers, organizational websites, etc.)
  • Subsequently, consider informational gaps in available literature and determine what questions, if any, require theoretical answers.
  • Analyze and narrow down any formulated questions to develop one central question that your research paper will address. This is your research question.

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When stated as one sentence, the research question is your research hypothesis. Remember that, in some disciplines, a hypothesis is also known as a thesis statement. Also, you can use other words – posit, theorize, and propose – to describe a hypothesis. A good hypothesis considers and relates variables to predict and/or estimate the verity of a research question.

Suggestions to improve the formulation of your research hypothesis:

  • Read and acquaint yourself with topic before making your ultimate research decision. You must ensure that your chosen topic is researchable, vis-à-vis, it is documented in various pieces of research and books.
  • Remember that a hypothesis is more than just a research topic. Make sure to select two variables that you will use to ascertain your research question’s verity – ideally by exploring their relation with each other.
  • Avoid any condemnatory, critical, or prejudicial words in your hypothesis. You must acknowledge that values are inherently subjective and thus strive to remain objective in your research process. Any personal sentiments/beliefs should be summarily excluded from your research topic, question, and hypothesis.
  • Depending on your discipline and/or professor’s guidelines, consider a multidisciplinary approach to your research question. You should ensure that your hypothesis explores a question that cannot be answered by one discipline, at least not entirely.
  • Make sure to define each terminology in your hypothesis. Prospective readers should understand your hypothesis easily. Do not assume that each reader will comprehend any technical terms stated in your research proposition.
  • Remember that your hypothesis might change as you continue to develop or conduct associated studies.

Remember that, you can express your research hypothesis in three ways:

  • As a research question
  • Using your paper’s title
  • Through a one-sentence statement.


Read more about other parts of a research paper here