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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.

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