Making a Hypothesis for Your Scientific Research

As a student in school, scientific research projects can be viewed both as an exciting challenge and as an academic burden.  The latter is particularly true if you are not the type that loves reading and writing in general.

While it is easy enough to pick a field in science that you are interested in, coming up with a hypothesis that you can test might be a real problem.  And without a hypothesis to test, your experimental design and other research-related steps cannot be made.

If this is you, please read on to get more ideas for your research hypothesis.

1. Choose a few fields

The first step is to consider the things you might be interested in.  Are you interested in flowers? fish? farming techniques? It is good to have at least two areas in mind in case you find that one field is not feasible for your project.

2. Read more about your interest

Next, do some personal research.  By reading more about your fields of interest, including researches done by others, you will get a better idea about the hypothesis you want to create.

As you read, you may encounter studies similar to what you plan on doing.  By looking at their process and results, you might have a better idea of what to do for yours.  Please note that the objective here is NOT to copy exactly what they did.  But if you noticed that there was a variable missing in their research, then that could be a starting point for yours.

3. Create your hypothesis

The research is based on what you want to test.  But to do so, you need a good research hypothesis that is clear and can be tested by you.

Here are some key questions you should ask yourself.

A. Based on my resources and the given time, can I test my hypothesis?

– Some experiments require much time like those involving growth or decay.  Others need special equipment that you or your school might not have.  So even if your idea is good, you need to confirm if it is feasible.

B. Do I have a null hypothesis to test this against?

– The null hypothesis is just as important as your testable hypothesis.  Similar to your resources, you must ensure you have a test group.

For example, if you wanted to test the effectiveness of online learning applications on kids today versus kids of the past, you’ll need data about kids from an era without such applications.  Is the data readily available? If not, you’ll have to refine your experiment to something you can test now.

C. How different is my hypothesis from those in other researches?

– As earlier mentioned, your initial readings are supposed to help you come up with something new.  You are not supposed to just copy.  You can, however, introduce a different variable or change the test group.  Regardless, if you are going to spend time conducting research, make sure it is something valuable to the research community, not a rehash of something already done.

Summary

Once you have a good hypothesis to test, everything else will follow.  Therefore, reflect upon the pointers mentioned so that your research project flows smoothly.

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