Find out how to write a hypothesis

Once you know how to create a hypothesis, you will make your life as a student a whole lot easier; it cannot be stated enough what a vital skill this is. In this article, you will learn:

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Writing a scientific hypothesis can be overwhelming; however, it does not need to be. One of the most important aspects of doing this is to make sure that you find a topic that you are interested in because that will keep you engaged through both the positive aspects of your dissertation and the negative aspects of it. For instance, if you have been troubled with mouth ulcers that seem to spoil your life for months on end and then suddenly they disappear again, you may wish to research this as you actually have a strong reason for doing so. Finding out why you are sometimes in a state of misery with mouth ulcers will help you to learn how to prevent them and may help other people too.

Once you have decided that will be your topic, you can start to do your background research, there is no point trying to write a hypothesis until you have done this because you will not be able to pinpoint your actual problem down and also suggest how you are going to test it. Okay, let’s imagine that after doing a lot of research in medical journals and through questioning people that suffer from mouth ulcers, you are starting to form an opinion that in a number of cases, the mouth ulcers are caused by diet. At this point, you are in the position to write a general hypothesis. This is not your actual hypothesis; this is simply a stage that will help you to get to your hypothesis proper. For instance,

Diet affects a group of people that suffer from mouth ulcers.”

Can you see how this gives us some valuable information but it is not actually specific and it doesn’t actually suggest how this might be tested? The hypothesis needs to be refined. This means that when you have taken into consideration all the other peoples’ research, you are ready for stage two of how to write a hypothesis. This is where you get specific. Instead, it could suggest:

Cow’s milk affects a group of people that suffer from mouth ulcers.”

Can you see how you now have a particular product to focus upon? Hopefully, your research reading will have brought you to an idea which could be, for instance, that when people drink cow’s milk this is what causes the painful ulcers in their mouth. This is better but at this point, it does not offer a way to test the point that you are making. You are now in stage three of writing your hypothesis. For instance:

Avoiding cow’s milk can eradicate mouth ulcers for re-occurring sufferers.”

Notice how you now have an active way of testing both what causes the ulcers and also how to solve the problem. This demonstrates that a good hypothesis clearly makes the way for you to conduct your own original research. Obviously, this is a simplified way of dealing with the problem but it has to be written that way in order to explain the easiest way to understand how to get your hypothesis down in words.

Let’s imagine that you are studying History and Politics and your particular interest is the Industrial Revolution. At this point, you may be fascinated in the manner that the Industrial Revolution affected the poor. Before you start to work on your hypothesis, you really need to do as much background reading as possible. This will enable you to start seeing patterns and connections and hopefully, ideas for your hypothesis will begin to form. As with the Science hypothesis, you need to begin with a general hypothesis. As a starting point it could be:

The Industrial Revolution was just another form of slavery for the poor that worked as agricultural labourers.”

Here we have a generalized beginning. It’s not specific enough and it doesn’t set out research needs but it is a good start. To move to the next stage of writing your hypothesis, you need to become more specific so that you can focus on a smaller section of the population. For instance:

Rural workers in Lancashire that moved to Manchester to work in the cotton mills were no better off than the ones that stayed as agricultural labourers.”

At this point, you may notice that you now have a specific place that you are dealing with and also a specific area of work too. This will help when you come to do your research because you have pinpointed where to look. The problem is that although it is clear which group of people are being researched, there is nothing that actually suggests why they were no better off once they had become urban millworkers. The final stage, therefore, of the hypothesis is to add a testable element. In other words, research that can prove whether your hypothesis is right or not.

Rural workers in Lancashire that moved to Manchester to work in the cotton mills died earlier than the ones that stayed as agricultural labourers.”

In this hypothesis, you will notice that it is specific and it also demonstrates where the research must be done to prove what it is suggesting. In other words, it is testable. The researcher can find out by using the two groups, whether the ones that moved to live in an urban environment from a rural one because of the Industrial Revolution died earlier or not. Again, the whole concept has been simplified to explain how to write a hypothesis.

Some students go through the whole of their academic life without writing a hypothesis for each of their essays and by doing this they are missing out on making their lives a whole lot easier. To explain why this is we have to think about essay questions. Quite simply, essay questions are written to cover a whole range of texts or subjects. In essence, this means that many of them are wide open to interpretation, can be ambiguous or even vague.

As a student, this can be rather confusing, often without you realising it. Let’s look at an example to explore this further. Let’s imagine that you have been given an essay question:

Wuthering Heights is a feminist text. Discuss.”

This question has only two points to focus on and these are the 19thcentury novel by Emily Bronte and feminism – two huge subjects. What often happens in a situation like this is that the student may love the novel and also be really interested in feminism and so may choose that question. The problem that normally arises at this stage is that the writer embarks upon reading around the subject and becomes overwhelmed with trying to fit everything into an essay of 2,000 words. It can become really stressful and also make you write a lower graded essay than you are truly capable of. This is why a hypothesis is your best friend when it comes to writing essays. At all times, when attempting to concoct a hypothesis it is better to do it in stages and start off with a general one. In this instance, you could use:

Catherine Earnshaw/ Linton is the most powerful character in the book.”

Although this is a wide open statement, you can immediately see that the focus had become on one character as opposed to the whole novel. Furthermore, the focus is also narrowed as we are concentrating on proving how she is powerful. As this is a literary essay, it is useful to use symbolism so to narrow down what we are going to research and prove, it is a good idea to use something that is symbolic within the text.

When Catherine Earnshaw is waiting for her father to return from Liverpool, she is hoping that he will bring her a whip. Her older brother, Hindley has requested a fiddle. It could be suggested that Catherine’s request for a whip whilst her older brother asks for a fiddle is already showing the young girl’s need for power. Therefore, the next step for writing the hypothesis could be:

When Catherine Earnshaw requests a whip from her father, Bronte is symbolically depicting a forceful female character.”

Can you see how the focus now is engaged both with Catherine and the whip? This will make your argument stronger and easier to structure. It will also prevent you from wanting to bring in lots of other ideas or going off on a tangent.

Many theorists have suggested that Heathcliff is Catherine’s double and, therefore, as he ends up with all the power, this would work in well with your hypothesis. In essence, you would have lots of textual and theoretical evidence to back up your argument. Your hypothesis could be:

Catherine Earnshaw/ Linton has the true power in the novel as Heathcliff is symbolically her whip.”

At this point, you have a something to prove and also the ideas to do it. Can you see how using this hypothesis will make it much easier for you to plan, research and write your essay rather than simply working loosely with the question?

Hopefully, this article will have demonstrated how to easily write a hypothesis. However, if you are still not sure what how to go about it, you do not need to worry. We offer a whole range of writing services. These include:

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