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How to Form Hypotheses

  • Date Submitted: 12/05/2013 12:51 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.3 
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Method 1 of 4: What is a Hypothesis?
1Understand the purpose. A hypothesis is, essentially, the linguistic expression of a testable theory. It is expressed verbally or in writing and states a theory regarding an if-blank-then-blank situation. The purpose of a hypothesis is to help create testable parameters through which information can be gained. Stated simply, it creates a specific informational goal to be explored.[1]
A chemistry hypothesis: “If I mix sodium bicarbonate with an acidic substance, a reaction will occur.”
A biology hypothesis: “If a rabbit is raised with dogs, it will exhibit dog-like behavior.”
A historical hypothesis: “If economic socialism is enacted on a national scale, then significant effects will be observed in both the local and national economies.”
An anthropological hypothesis: “If new and better materials are introduced to a culture, then that culture will attempt to increase its ability to acquire those materials.”

2Understand the scope. While a hypothesis is usually used for studying the sciences, it is not limited to those disciplines. A hypothesis can be applied to and tested for subjects ranging from history to English.
Method 2 of 4: Determining Your Topic
1Determine your discipline. Will this be a scientific hypothesis or one for the humanities? You will need to decide this before formulating your hypothesis or doing any research. Usually you will be forming a hypothesis as part of an assignment for a class, so the discipline will usually be decided by the subject matter of that class.
2Understand your assignment. You will usually be required to come up with a hypothesis as part of an assignment. Before you begin any research, you should understand what the goals and requirements of the assignment are. This will help limit the scope of your research.
3Discuss with your teacher. You may want to discuss your ideas with your teacher. Think about what you understand of the scope of the assignment and then ask your teacher...

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