How to Write a Hypothesis in a Research Paper and Make an Impact

To make a research paper innovative and ensure that it solves a pressing issue, students want to learn how to write a hypothesis that will grab the attention of a reader. A hypothesis is a type of statement that can be confirmed in the course of scientific research. It allows researchers to analyze the relationship between different variables.

When writing a hypothesis, you should formulate your predictions about the results that you expect to discover. A hypothesis is a preliminary answer to the main question of your research. Some complex projects require you to formulate multiple hypotheses that allow you to look at the research question from different angles.

A strong hypothesis should be based on theories and real-life data. You should be able to test it when conducting research. As a result, an initial hypothesis will be either refuted or confirmed. You can base your arguments on scientific experiments, observations, and statistical data.

How to Create Hypothesis and Test It

For creating a hypothesis that can help you find a solution to a real-life problem, you need to establish a relationship between multiple variables. For instance, you may analyze how the weather impacts the level of happiness experienced by people. Your hypothesis should ideally consist of two parts, namely, the assumed cause and the assumed effect. Then, you need to follow several steps to create a hypothesis:

Prepare for writing
  • Formulate the main question of your research.
  • Analyze the works of other researchers who touched upon the same subject.
Write the structure parts
  • Write a preliminary answer to your research question to formulate a hypothesis.
  • Make your hypothesis more specific and use clear terminology.
Proofread and edit the final text
  • Check whether your hypothesis includes variables, refers to a specific group, and predicts an outcome.
  • Paraphrase your hypothesis if necessary.

In some cases, for instance, when you have been tasked with writing a sociology research paper, you may be required to also formulate a null hypothesis. It happens when a research project requires you to test statistical data. This type of hypothesis refers to a situation when there is no connection between variables. It is indicated as H0, while the main hypothesis is indicated as H1 or Ha. For instance, you may formulate the H0 hypothesis in the following way:

  • Extracurricular activities have no impact on the grades of first-year students.
  • Extracurricular activities have a positive effect on the grades of first-year students.

As you can see, both hypotheses are quite similar but the relation between the variables is different.

How to create hypothesis

Use a Research Paper Hypothesis Example as a Source of Inspiration

In case you don’t know how to formulate a powerful hypothesis that includes two or more variables, it might be a good idea to take a look at the hypotheses used by other researchers.

To write a strong hypothesis, you need to follow a widely-used format and state what might happen if a specific condition takes place. The easiest way to write a hypothesis is to state what might happen to the dependent variable if the independent variable changes its value.

Most researchers try to formulate a hypothesis about what happens to a dependent variable if an independent variable changes. For instance, if you are going to formulate a basic hypothesis, you can use this statement as a source of inspiration: “Bilingual students get higher grades at college than monolingual students.” 

To make your hypothesis more complex, you should add more variables. For example, you may state something similar to the following hypothesis: “People who follow a high-protein diet and exercise regularly are less likely to have mental health issues.”

Alternatively, you can also formulate a null hypothesis: “Women who live in urban areas with a high crime rate are just as likely to have a major depressive episode as men who live in the same areas.”

How Should a Hypothesis Be Written – Useful Tips

When formulating a hypothesis, you should follow a widely-accepted format. For instance, many hypotheses start with “if” and contain such words as “then” and “because.” By using “if,” you can clearly formulate what your hypothesis is about.

However, it’s not enough to use a common format to formulate a strong hypothesis. You should state it as clearly as you can. Make sure to avoid ambiguity and stay clear of words with a double meaning. It’s also recommended to avoid using complex words as it might make you sound pretentious and unprofessional. If you need to come up with a hypothesis for a scientific paper, it is better to write it in formal language.

You need to formulate a relationship between multiple variables and demonstrate how it can be proven or disproven. The best hypotheses clearly indicate which experiment should be taken. However, avoid providing the final answer that will make it impossible for you to get a variety of outcomes from your experiment.

Top Things You Should Pay Attention to When Forming a Hypothesis

Don’t try to guess the result, as the final answer should be fact-based. You should use existing theories and be able to test your hypothesis using methods of scientific research. Avoid making claims about thoughts and feelings as it is impossible to observe them. Focus on measurements and observations to add value to your research.

Your hypothesis should predict the future and be relevant to the main research question. When forming it, check whether it’s possible to prove it empirically. Remember that a strong hypothesis should also be consistent and add new knowledge.


What 3 words should your hypothesis include?

A powerful hypothesis doesn’t necessarily include such words as “if,” “then,” and “because.” However, you should start with the main cause, then move to the effect and describe the rationale. It will allow you to structure your hypothesis by offering a definition of an issue, a solution, and the result.

What is an example of a hypothesis question?

In case you observed mood swings in college students who eat fast food, you may investigate whether there is a correlation between their eating habits and a psychological state. You may formulate the following hypothesis: “Does eating fast food cause mood swings in college students?”

What is a good hypothesis sentence?

A strong hypothesis is written in the form of a statement or question that includes independent and dependent variables. You should clearly indicate how you expect the dependent variable to be impacted. Once you learn how to write a hypothesis, you won’t face any difficulties when trying to formulate a statement that answers your research question.

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Caroline Hudson
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