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Research Hypothesis: The Essential Requirements and Guidelines

Written by David Santana
Posted: February 27, 2023
Last update date: March 22, 2024
8 min read

Writing research requires students to have a deep knowledge not only of the subject but also of the requirements for the project. There are a lot of structural units that form an integral part of research writing.

Knowing the right methods and carrying out background research will lead you to discoveries. In this article, we will talk about such a technique as a research hypothesis. We will analyze in detail the features of using a good research hypothesis, its types, and meanings, the peculiarities of independent and dependent variables, as well as the connection with the research topic.

This article will guide you as you write your paper and give you the key techniques to follow all the requirements.

What is a Hypothesis in Research?

Let’s start by clarifying the term “research hypothesis“. This is a kind of assumption or idea that the author of the study puts forward for further investigation. A hypothesis requires proof and is not true until confirmatory experiments have been carried out.

In the context of the research project, a hypothesis is necessary for the presentation of the expected directions and results of the work. This idea must be clearly stated to follow a logical chain and help to write your research and do further experiments. The ultimate goal of your research is to confirm or disprove the hypothesis. Not to be confused with the research question.

Let’s list the main types of hypotheses and find out the differences they may present for academic research:

  • Null hypothesis
  • Alternative hypothesis
  • Simple hypothesis
  • Complex hypothesis
  • Statistical hypothesis
  • Empirical hypothesis
  • Causal hypothesis
  • Directional hypothesis
  • Associative hypothesis
  • Logical hypothesis

Being aware that there are different kinds of research hypotheses will help you build your own with less effort. Many researchers adhere to the approach that there are only two varieties: Null hypothesis and Alternative hypothesis. However, we will consider what the essence of the most commonly used methods is.

The Null hypotheses is a statement with two or more variables. The Null hypothesis proposes that there is no connection between those variables. This type of inference is very often used in the course of scientific research in the fields of statistics, medicine, biology and many other sciences. The Alternative hypothesis states the opposite information to the Null Hypothesis, and aims to prove that there is a relationship between two variables.

A Simple hypothesis presents a correlation between only two variables, a single dependent variable and a single independent variable. While the Complex hypothesis states the presence of a connection between several dependent variables and independent variables.

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Research Question vs Hypothesis

The differences between these two critical techniques for writing a good research paper should be explained so that you have no doubts. A research question is a question that is raised in the course of observations and which the researcher seeks to answer.

While a hypothesis is an assumption that must be proven or refuted in the course of the study, these two concepts are different by nature, the research question has an inquisitive function, while a research hypothesis predicts the outcome of the experiment.

Null Hypothesis

Now we will take a closer look at the most used, basic scientific method. Null hypothesis states that there is no interconnection between the two variables that are being studied. To formulate the Null Hypothesis, you need to present your testable prediction about relevant variables as a negative statement.

The original hypothesis might state that the variables do not have differences, there is no influence of factors, there is no effect, the characteristics of which are equal to zero, with no statistical significance.

The purpose of scientific experiments is to disprove the Null Hypothesis, that is, to prove the positive relationship between independent and dependent variables. For example, you are a scientist in the field of mental health, and you face the necessity of writing a psychology research paper.

Studying a popular theory and presenting a null hypothesis: When a teenager uses social media, it will not impact their self-esteem. Alfred your aim is to carry out a comprehensive, thorough investigation to prove or disprove this prediction.

Alternative Hypothesis

Let’s now talk about the opposite of the Null Hypothesis, which is the Alternative Hypothesis. This kind of inference is the opposite idea to the one supported by the Null Hypothesis. It is also sometimes called an experimental hypothesis, as it reveals the subject of future scientific research.

The essence of this hypothesis involves proposing the relationship between two variables, more precisely one variable influences the independent variable. The experimental hypothesis predicts how exactly the outcome may be affected during experimental manipulations.

At the same time the Alternative hypothesis can be divided into two groups: Directional hypothesis and Non-directional hypothesis.

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Hypothesis Essential Requirements

A good research hypothesis sets the direction for your further research study. If you manage to formulate it correctly, then this will give a significant impetus to experiments.

However, if the basis of your scientific research paper is not specifically or vaguely explained, then your experiments may go into a dead corner. To avoid such problems, let’s look at what an effective research hypothesis should look like.

  • Researchers must write a hypothesis based on the theme of the goals and objectives of the work. The formulation of the hypothesis should be competent, concise, and specific.
  • The scientific hypothesis should be formulated in such a way that the stated problems could be studied, proved, or refuted in the course of the work.
  • Your hypothesis must include at least one dependent variable and one independent variable.
  • A non-testable hypothesis is a blind corner to your research study. The purpose of creating a hypothesis is to further study it, which is why only the testable hypothesis can underlie your work.
  • It is crucial that the hypothesis states the object of the studies in a non-ambiguous way so as not to mislead the reader. Your testable statement should correspond with the research question.
  • Prior research stands at the base of a strong research hypothesis. Researchers need to be knowledgeable in the field of studies, as there is a significant difference between just a guess and a working hypothesis.
  • Your hypothesis should be the result of a study of existing theories. To do this, you need to study the variables involved and make precise predictions, having previously identified problematic issues suitable for study.

By following these guidelines, you will be able to accurately formulate a compelling hypothesis that will serve as a reliable core and help you write a research paper fundamentally. It will also be very helpful to study a few examples of good research hypotheses in order to have a better understanding of the issue.

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How to Formulate an Effective Research Hypothesis

A hypothesis is an effective methodological tool that helps us structure our work. That is why it is very important to pay attention to the correct formulation and designation of a strong hypothesis.

Preliminary research is also required before formulating your assumptions. General knowledge of the field of study will help you accurately identify problems in the subject of study. Namely, this is the basis for the construction of supporting assumptions.

A hypothesis itself is a scientific method in the form of an assumption that is formed based on a theory. Therefore, the key to successful research is the choice of a reliable experimental and theoretical base. Brilliant research is based on previous and no less brilliant research. Therefore, your assumptions must come from evidence-based sources. Otherwise, they may lead to false results.

To formulate a hypothesis, you need to study the research problem. This means that preliminary research is indispensable, and it is precisely what a hypothesis begins with. If you find it challenging to manage the study on your own, you can opt for research paper help from professional writers.

It is necessary that your predictions correspond to the object of study, do not create contradictions between existing and received knowledge, and are also testable. Be careful not to use banal facts as a basis for building a hypothesis, otherwise, you will severely limit the field for experiments.

In the course of conducting previous research, you will be able to highlight certain factors in the theory that need additional observation. Perhaps these phenomena deviate from the general vector of the functioning of the theory.

Talking about variables, they should be well elaborated, to avoid any misconceptions. Find out what your independent variable would be, it is the one you are about to substitute to get new research data. Then figure out what you’d dependent variable stands for, which is what the research measures. Subsequently, you have to determine what kind of relationship exists between them.

Once you have identified the necessary factors, you are ready to begin formulating your hypothesis. Or if you still struggle to start the research, then it may be useful for you to resort to writing service professional help. This should be done in such a way that the hypothesis explains the cause of the problem. Then you have to test your assumptions by conducting an experiment or by looking for correlations between the dependent variable and independent variable.

As difficult as it may be to formulate a good hypothesis, this is a key step to successful, structured work. Any knowledge comes through a long process of learning theory and then reconciling skills in practice. That is why we are confident in your abilities, and we wish you success in creating a research hypothesis. We hope this article has become informative for you and clarified the key concepts necessary for a good scientific hypothesis.

Research Hypothesis Examples

Here are examples that illustrate how hypotheses can shape research across various disciplines.

  • Increased exposure to sunlight will result in higher rates of photosynthesis in spinach plants.
  • Individuals with a higher level of emotional intelligence will have more successful personal relationships.
  • Access to higher education will decrease income inequality within a society.
  • An increase in temperature will result in an increase in the average kinetic energy of gas molecules.
  • Increasing the concentration of a reactant in a chemical reaction will increase the rate of reaction.
  • The presence of a black hole at the center of a galaxy will affect the motion of stars within the galaxy.
  • Changes in the Earth’s magnetic field will result in changes in the frequency and intensity of earthquakes.
  • The introduction of non-native species to an ecosystem will disrupt the food chain and result in decreased biodiversity.
  • The use of written language will result in the development of more complex societies.
  • An increase in the minimum wage will result in decreased unemployment rates within a society.

For additional inspiration, you can find more samples of student’s hypotheses in research.

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