Writing the hypothesis of a research paper can be sensitive. The experimental design hovers around the hypothesis. The hypothesis includes the research hypothesis (H1) together with the null hypothesis (H0).
Developing a hypothesis might be quite challenging for most students. Some think coming up with a hypothesis is the most challenging part of the scientific method. The truth is that it is not as challenging as it seems.
Ensure you are asking the right questions to come up with the correct hypothesis. Going through scientific methods might help you discover a research problem. Using the right words for your hypothesis is also essential.
When you succeed in developing your hypothesis, the research work becomes more manageable. The below steps would be of help.
Three Steps Away
With all the rigorous study and research, developing a testable hypothesis might be challenging. Using a three-step hypothesis might bail you out by reducing your options.
Firstly, you can consider or come up with a general hypothesis. It also includes all information you got from your literature reviews. You can develop your research problem through this method.
Examples of a Hypothesis Development
A fish farmer observes that the trout in his fish-farm seem to have more lice during summer. He also noted that the fish lice were seen more when the water level is low, i.e., during summer. He wanted to know the cause.
His studies made him realize that the volume of oxygen is the cause. When there is less oxygen, there are higher chances for disease attacks on the fishes.
Therefore, he postulated the general hypothesis that “The number of trout lice was caused by the water level.”
The above hypothesis doesn’t seem to be directional enough. A better hypothesis which would lead to the development of an experimental design is:
“When the water levels are low, the trout had more lice.”
Finally, to make it more detailed and directional, it should be testable. Consider the details in the hypothesis below.
“The trout experiences more fish lice when the water level is low. This fact is because the oxygen level is also low.”
This hypothesis can be tested. The experimental variables have been mentioned. The volume of oxygen in the water can be measured. Other controllable variables can also be removed, and the experiment carried out.
Hypothesis: What Next?
After the development of your hypothesis, proceed to your experimental design. This design will help you test your hypothesis. You can also carry out a statistical analysis of your data.
With your statistical analysis, you would know which hypothesis to accept and which to reject. You will need to refine your previous theory upon the rejection of your alternative. It might require that you come up with another experimental design.
It might even require that you go for new research work.
In scientific research, the hypothesis plays a significant role. When you get your hypothesis right, the work is almost as good as done. A correct hypothesis would lead to the exact experimental design.