A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. It is what gives your paper a purpose and provides a roadmap for your readers to understand exactly what the paper will cover. The last thing you want to do is confuse your readers with an overly complicated introduction that lacks focus. This article reveals the key components that your hypothesis must have to make your paper stand out of the competition!

Write Out Your Research Question

The first step in writing a hypothesis is to come up with a question that you want to answer. Once you have a question in mind, you can then start to brainstorm potential answers, or hypotheses. Keep in mind that your hypothesis should be testable. Once you have a few potential hypotheses, it is important to think about what kind of data you would need to collect in order to test each one. This will help you to narrow down your focus and choose the most promising hypothesis to pursue.

Components Necessary for a Strong Hypothesis


A good hypothesis will make a clear prediction about what you expect to happen in your experiment. Your prediction should be based on your knowledge of the topic and previous research. This prediction should be specific and testable.

Independent and Independent Variables

A good hypothesis identifies the variables in the experiment. The two variables of importance are the independent and dependent variables. The independent variable is the variable that you change in an experiment. The dependent variable is the variable that you measure to observe the effect of the independent variable. For example, consider the following hypothesis: Warmer temperatures increase the rate of mold growth on strawberries.

You could set up this experiment by storing strawberries at different temperatures and then observing the extent of mold growth on the strawberries. The independent variable (what you are changing) is temperature, and the dependent variable (what you are measuring), is mold growth.

Examples of Hypotheses

Here are three examples of hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1: Daily consumption of sugary drinks among teenagers leads to overweight.

Hypothesis 2: College students that eat at least 3 servings of blueberries daily, have improved memory

Hypothesis 3: The rate of at which yeast breaks down sugar depends on the type of sugar

Read each one carefully and see if you can identify:

  1. The predicted outcome
  2. The independent variable
  3. The dependent variable
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Courtney Simons
Courtney Simons
Courtney Simons is a food science professor. He holds a BS degree in food science and a Ph.D. in cereal science from North Dakota State University.