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Hypothesis Research Paper Examples

Step 5: Hypothesis Statement

Hypothesis Statement

(will be worked on in class prior to due date)

Your hypothesis statement will be turned in during science class, reviewed by the teacher and returned. Below is a short explanation of a hypothesis statement and some examples of hypothesis statements.

Hypothesis statement--a prediction that can be tested or an educated guess.

In a hypothesis statement, students make a prediction about what they think will happen or is happening in their experiment. They try to answer their question or problem.


Question: Why do leaves change colors in the fall?

Hypothesis: I think that leaves change colors in the fall because they are not being exposed to as much sunlight.

Hypothesis: Bacterial growth may be affected by temperature.

Hypothesis: Chocolate may cause pimples


All of these are examples of hypotheses because they use the tentative word "may." However, their form in not particularly useful. Using the word does not suggest how you would go about proving it. If these statements had not been written carefully, they may not have been a hypotheses at all.

A better way to write a hypotheses is to use a formalized hypotheses

Example: If skin cancer is related to ultraviolet light, then people with a high exposure to uv light will have a higher frequency of skin cancer.

Example: If leaf color change is related to temperature, then exposing plants to low temperatures will result in changes in leaf color.

Example: If the rate of photosynthesis is related to wave lengths of light, then exposing a plant to different colors of light will produce different amounts of oxygen.

Example: If the volume of a gas is related to temperature, then increasing the temperature will increase the volume.

These examples contain the words, if and then. Formalized hypotheses contain two variables. One is "independent" and the other is "dependent." The independent variable is the one you, the scientist control and the dependent variable is the one that you observe and/or measure the results.

The ultimate value of a formalized hypotheses is it forces us to think about what results we should look for in an experiment.

Example: If the diffusion rate (dependent variable) through a membrane is related to molecular size (independent variable), then the smaller the molecule the faster it will pass through the membrane.




Hypothesis:(noun) a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

Yikes! That sounds pretty serious (and a little intimidating too).

Don’t let it scare you, though. In simpler terms, a hypothesis is an idea of what you think will happen in your experiment or study. You’ll make this prediction after you’ve completed some research but before you’ve conducted your study or experiment.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Learning how to write a hypothesis for your badass research paper isn’t that bad, either. Here’s what to do.

How to Write a Hypothesis for a Badass Research Paper in 3 Steps

Before you start writing, you’ll need to choose a topic.

It’s a given that, if you’re allowed to choose your topic, then you should choose something you’re interested in. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this topic, after all. So don’t research the water quality of a local river if your true passion is soils and sediments.

Have a topic in mind? Fabulous! If not, read How to Choose a Research Paper Topic That Wins Big.

After you’ve decided on a topic, you can start the process of writing your hypothesis. Let’s get to the those 3 steps showing how to write a hypothesis for a badass research paper.

Step #1: Read and analyze the current literature

Read the current literature

No, I don’t mean literature as in Romeo and Juliet. I mean literature as in studies and scholarly writings (such as professional journals and books) about your subject.

Before you can write intelligently about the topic, you need to know as much as possible about it. Become an expert in your subject by reading what others have already written about it.

Remember, this is scientific and scholarly stuff we’re talking about, so don’t think Google will have everything you need. If you insist on using Google, opt for Google Scholar. Better yet, use your school’s databases to research your topic.

Read 5 Best Resources to Help with Writing a Research Paper to learn more about research resources. Just need help assessing the credibility of your sources? Read How to Apply the CRAAP Test to Your Essay Sources.


  • When you ultimately write your research paper, you’ll need to have a complete list of sources you’ve consulted. Keep track of your sources by printing or saving documents as you research. That way, it’s easy for you to list them in your bibliography. (Hint: Note-taking is also a great strategy for staying organized!)
  • Keep in mind that you might need both a bibliography and a reference page, or simply a reference page. Because you’re writing a scientific paper, you’ll likely need to cite all information in APA  format. (Check with your professor to make sure APA is the preferred citation style for your project.)
  • Sometimes even a bibliography and a reference page aren’t enough. Your professor might ask for an annotated bibliography before you write your paper. This is essentially a formal list of sources with annotations to summarize and evaluate each source. Learn more about how to write an annotated bibliography by reading How to Write an Annotated Bibliography That Works.

Analyze the current literature

As you read through the literature, take note of what types of experiments and studies have already been completed.

You don’t want to duplicate previous research (unless, of course, you feel the study was somehow completed incorrectly or it failed to analyze specific information).

Look for fresh angles on the topic to see where you might add to the current studies or create something completely new.

For instance, let’s say you’re studying sleep patterns. You decide to focus on the correlation between electronic devices and sleep patterns. If all of the current literature focuses on teens and adults, but you can’t find any research on children under the age of 10, this could be your chance to develop an entirely new study.

Step #2: Develop questions and look for answers

With a general idea of your research study in place, start asking questions about your subject. These will be questions that aren’t likely already answered in the literature you’ve just read. They’re questions you want to (hopefully) find the answers to.

These questions will be your research questions.

Here’s a quick example. If all of the information you’ve read states that teens and adults who use electronic devices immediately before bedtime have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or getting restful sleep, you might wonder whether the same is true for young children.

Based on this information, you might ask the following research question:

  • Do children under 10 have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or getting restful sleep if they use electronic devices immediately before bedtime?

This research question is simple yet effective, for a few reasons:

  • It examines a new group of people that has not been studied.
  • It’s relevant to children, parents, and society at large.
  • It can be tested.

Step #3: Write the hypothesis

The hypothesis is essentially your prediction based on what you’ve already learned from your research. It’s also what you’ll test as part of your study.

A hypothesis often follows an “if/then” format. If this happens, then that may happen.

If you don’t write your research paper, then you will fail the class.

Here’s another example based on the topic of using electronic devices before bedtime.

If the literature states:

  • Teens and adults who use electronic devices immediately before bedtime have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or getting restful sleep.

And if your research question asks:

  • Do children under 10 have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or getting restful sleep if they use electronic devices immediately before bedtime?

Then your hypothesis might read:

  • If children under 10 use electronic devices immediately before bedtime, then they will have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or getting restful sleep.

Keep in mind that your hypothesis might end up being wrong. In this case, it’s okay to be wrong.

If you discover that kids who spend an hour on their tablets immediately before bed are likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, great! Parents everywhere will be thanking you for finding a way to get their kids to go to sleep.

Remember, the goal is not to prove you’re right. The goal is to test your hypothesis. If you’re wrong, the next step is to begin the research process again by creating new research questions, a new hypothesis, and another study.  (But we’ll worry about that another time.)

Writing the Badass Research Paper

Writing a badass hypothesis is one thing, but writing a badass research paper is another.

Now that you’ve learned how to write a hypothesis, then what? What do you do after you’ve written your hypothesis?

Start creating your study. You might need to set up experiments or write survey questions and then figure out the best way to complete the study.

If you need to write survey questions, read 2 Types of Sample Survey Questions for Your Research Paper and How to Write Perfect Survey Questions for Your Paper.

After the study is complete, you’ll need to write the paper. Here a few resources to help you along the way:

Remember: IF you need help with revision and editing, THEN you should certainly send your paper to a Kibin editor to make sure that it truly is badass!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

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