How to write a hypothesis

  • Select a topic that interests you and you have read about it. The information should be used to derive possible answers to what you would like to research on. It Can also be found in books from the library and online. Pick a topic that you’d like to know more about. Selecting an interesting topic helps you to generate hypothesis before the study. For example, choose a topic like, why is the percentage of obese women is larger than that of men? This is a topic that may raise a discussion, and the literature of this information will vary. The information in books written by different people will be different.
  • Read existing research on the topic you have selected, research and inquire to gather information on the topic. One needs to be an expert in whatever the topic they have chosen and draw hypothesis from them in the end. The information to be gathered should be unbiased and accurate. Reading will help you draw hypothesis on the topic before a scientific method is used to nullify the hypothesis statement. Reading and educating yourself on the topic of study before you draw a hypothesis helps to reduce chances of a null hypothesis after the experiment. Basing on the above topic, one can read from philosophical books and documents on obesity and find books on the researched results on the related topic. Information could also be found in websites and videos and other digital devices.
  • Analyze the information you have gathered from all the materials you have used. With the information you have collected, formulate questions that are unanswered in the articles, videos, and documents, and this will help you in your investigations. Read the information you have collected from all the materials and make sure they are comprehensive. When drawing your hypothesis, it should be based mostly on what you know about the topic. For example, in the information, you will notice that women are not exercising much and this is what causes obesity. You will find a way of writing your hypothesis based on why don’t women exercise. What if they exercised, will it reduce the level of obesity amongst women?
  • Come up with queries after reading about the topic, and its literature. From the work you have analyzed you get to find questions you would like to research on. These are the questions you write down, and you would like to do and do more research on the topic. The generated questions are those that will guide your research in the future. The questions drawn, form the literature used to help you to research on the topic you have selected. This will guide your research if you would like to analyze further. For example, based on the above analysis you would say, ” How does exercising help reduce the level of obesity in women?”
  • Later come up with clues on what you think the answers to your questions might be.  The questions that were debited due to the analysis of information on the topic will help you form a basis of your hypothesis. Even the missing information that is unknown may get some hypothesis based on the knowledge you have of the topic. For instance, based on the information, you should try find answers to questions that may give a clue on why don’t women exercise compared to men.
  • Get a simple hypothesis topic that will not give you a headache to come up with the questions and formulating a hypothesis.
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What does hypothesis mean? A hypothesis is a solution formulated on questions you ask yourself about a topic based on a certain understanding of information. The researcher then does research that is to prove the hypothesis. The researcher uses scientific methods to do their experiments.

Hypothesis statement takes you to research hypothesis where the topic of discussion or experimentation is specifically pointed out. The research hypothesis is a clearly defined topic of discussion about the results of a study in particular topic. It could be a research, when the particular point of discussion is specific.

What is hypothesis format and how do you use it?

There are different formats that you as a writer can style your hypothesis. There is no specific format for styling of your hypothesis instead, you are supposed to adhere to the instructions of your supervisor given in the paper. To come up with a good format you should:

  • Research on the question you asked. The information can be found in books and articles online on websites. In libraries and schools. Research and get your findings from combined sources. The information maybe is containing unknown part of the study. This will help you in drawing research questions.
  • Create a hypothesis that gives the possible answers to the questions you formulated from your research and reading more. You will use your hypothesis to experiment to find out if the hypothesis statement you draw is not containing null hypothesis.
  • Construct an experiment to check your hypothesis. This experiment uses scientific methods to search for the use of machines to conclude. This information can be found by using the method like observation, interviewing people to get information from them. You can also use questionnaires to get information that is not biased. The information should give you the results of the population that shared their information.
  • Study your results then conclude. The conclusions are drawn from the information gotten from the scientific methods used. The information is analyzed, and the comparisons are made. They are compared to the hypothesis you drew earlier. This information is used to write a hypothesis statement.
  • Give your findings on the results to either your teacher or whoever it may concern. After a study, the findings should be presented. It could be done during class discussion, class presentation or further library research. Use this finding to nullify your hypothesis.
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The Dictionary

Let's ask the dictionary - What is an assumption anyway?While they are listed as synonyms by many dictionaries, they are really not the same word. Here’s a definition for Assumption from Merriam-Webster (because I’m too damn cheap to pay for the OED):

a fact or statement (as a proposition, axiom, postulate, or notion) taken for granted – Merriam-Webster

Here’s hypothesis:

an assumption or concession made for the sake of argument – Merriam-Webster

Oops…that’s almost identical and even used the word assumption, but not quite. It’s an assumption…for a specific purpose. Here’s a clearer definition.

a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences – Merriam-Webster

Now that’s an interesting difference, and it’s important because depending on whether we have an assumption or whether you have a hypothesis, we should do two different things.

If we have an assumption, we accept the risk that the assumption is false and move on.

If we have a hypothesis, we attempt to falsify it.

Convert Assumptions into Hypotheses

Assumption Hypothesis
The market is large enough to support this business. There are 20,000 search queries per month using the term ‘probiotic’ and this number will grow by 20% next month.
Our product solves the problem. If a visitor shopping for probiotics comes to our landing page, they will enter a search query.
We’ll be able to raise an angel round really easily. If we send a cold email to 10 angel investors on Angellist.co we’ll be able to get 3 meetings within two weeks.

As you can see, all the assumptions are vague, optimistic, and untestable. The vaguer they are, the harder they are to disprove.

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What makes a good hypothesis? The Hypotheses are relatively specific and we can easily see how to design an experiment to get the data that could disprove that hypothesis.

Hidden Assumptions

The most dangerous kind of assumption is the one we don’t know we have. In Rumsfeldian, that’s an “Unknown unknown.”

Entrepreneurial Optimism vs. Reality - What's the difference between assumptions and hypotheses?

To reveal hidden assumptions, there are a few tried and true generative research methods:

  • Use a framework such as the Business Model Canvas to list your assumptions
  • Have a peer challenge you with questions about your business model [hint: write them down]
  • Watch your customers try to solve their own problems
  • Talk to your customers!

When just starting, our biggest challenge is not to build an MVP, but to identify our own assumptions. Click To Tweet

Ready to Test? What is a good hypothesis?

Before we get excited and start building anything and before we start talking about our hypothesis, let’s make sure it’s a real, falsifiable hypothesis and not just a vague assumption.

Look at the hypothesis and go through this checklist:

Symptom Fix
Are there vague words like “some people” or “customer”? Be specific. Create a well defined customer persona.
Is it falsifiable? What evidence would convince a reasonable person that the hypothesis is wrong? Create a measurable hypothesis. Eliminate hedging words like “maybe,” “better,” “some” and convert to and IF ________ THEN ________ statement.
Is it actually risky? If it’s not truly risky, it’s not relevant and we don’t need to test it right now. (It may get more risky later and resurface.)
Has a second set of eyes looked at it? We all have blindspots. Check your work with another entrepreneur and ask them to tighten up the hypothesis.

What have I missed on this checklist? Got a tip? Add it in the comments below!

Bonus: I’m writing a more complete version of how to design great experiments as an open source “Real Book”, you can get on the download list here:

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