How to Write a Hypothesis Statement
Human knowledge is based upon the principle of forming hypotheses and proving them. To know a given thing, whether it is a process, an act, a phenomenon, or an entity, means to know how to deal with it. Hypotheses help us manage something. There are hypotheses even outside the realm of knowledge. For example, if one is thirsty and there is a glass full of some liquid in front of him/her, the question should he/she drink or not emerges and it should be answered quickly. Let’s say, the person in question decides that the liquid is water. Then a definite set of phenomena should happen when he/she drinks a little from the water. We can easily recognize the qualities of water (its taste, smell, refreshing effect, etc.). On the other hand, if it happens that the liquid is not water, the initial hypothesis will be repudiated. Then one should form another hypothesis, probably a more correct one. In all cases, without probing and testing, a hypothesis will not be confirmed or repudiated.
Writing a hypothesis statement is part of every scientific research. Hypotheses are employed in Humanities as well. The difference between both types of subjects is to be found in the fact that natural sciences deal with experiments; Humanities, on the contrary, turn around developing an understanding of the processes observed. Hypotheses are important also because they provide science with theoretical basis which is an inevitable part of its progress. The following paper will show you how to write a hypothesis statement.
Understand your topic
A hypothesis is usually part of a research paper - this can include a Master thesis, a PhD dissertation, a monograph, etc. Your paper, thus, should be focused on a clearly and precisely defined topic. When you have understood the topic, then the task will be clear to you.
Reflect on the initial hypothesis
If you have sufficient knowledge about the topic, you can start musing about it. This is only the first attempt to form an idea in your mind about the topic. Depending on your personal style, this may take you days, or even weeks. Imagination is not useless for a scientist. On the contrary, every hypothesis starts with imagination. Hence, do not be afraid to reflect on the topic from different angles - this will help you find a solution to it. We shall call this solution an initial hypothesis.
Now is the time to formulate your hypothesis. You should give it a clearer and more precise form. The most used form is the if-then reasoning, which is associated with deduction. Its form is very simple: “If it is raining, then it will be dry outside.” Hence, here we have an antecedent and a consequent. The first part of the proposition is the antecedent (the condition), and the second part is the consequent (what follows when there is the condition in question).
Be careful: not every hypothesis takes the form presented above. At any rate, it should sound similarly, but to be much longer, thus comprising more phenomena or processes.
How to prove it
Here you need to show the conditions under which the hypothesis will prove to be true. For example, you will observe the phenomena X, Y and Z. These are the phenomena which will verify the hypothesis.
Remember: every hypothesis needs verification. Therefore, there is no absolutely true hypothesis, but only a hypothesis which is proved by a particular experiment or observation.
Having carried out your experiment, you can now prove or repudiate the initial hypothesis. If the result contradicts your hypothesis, then you should admit it and explain why this happened. Do not change your initial hypothesis as to adapt it to the results of the experiment (this is called ad hoc- hypothesis). However, you can formulate a new hypothesis based on the available results. Therefore, you have to perform another experiment.
You should keep in mind that every hypothesis needs verification, but it also has special conditions of validity. Hence, you must describe these conditions in order to verify the hypothesis. For example, “the phenomena X, Y and Z will occur provided if A”; and so forth. Do not be afraid to be wrong: this is the way in which science advances.
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