Parts of the Research Paper: The Hypothesis

As most students know, the research paper is a very challenging endeavor. This is why many are told to begin thinking about the topic they would like to research even before they enroll in the subject where a research paper is often required. 

Although it does make sense to consider the topic you would like to research, the true starting point is the hypothesis. It is only after you have come up with one that you can begin formulating the experiment and research process.

So read on to figure out how to make a hypothesis for your paper.

The need for a testable hypothesis

For your hypothesis to be valid in the eyes of others, especially your teacher, there must be a chance that it could either be true or false. This means that it should not be something universally obvious that the answer is already known even without an experiment or in-depth research. Next, your hypothesis must be something that other people can reproduce in case they would like to verify your results.

Some steps to follow

The following are some quick steps to create a working hypothesis for your research.

  • A general hypothesis

After some initial research into your subject, the first thing to do is to come up with a general hypothesis about what you have discovered. So for someone interested in how apps can help students, they might come up with something like this: Educational apps can improve students’ school performance.

  • Narrow it down until it can be tested

Because the general hypothesis is going to be quite broad, you then need to think of how to narrow it down. So returning to the educational hypothesis above, it can be tweaked to look like this: Math education apps greatly increase students’ performances in math.

If you realize, however, that it is still too broad, you add more variables until it is testable: Math education apps can greatly increase the performance of 3rd-graders in math.

Determining whether you can follow through on the test

Although you may have a very promising hypothesis, the question now is whether what you believe can be tested given your circumstances. The following are some questions to ask:  

  1. Do I have easy access to the population that I will test?  
  2. Do I have the right equipment and personnel for the research?
  3. Do I have enough time to carry it out?

If the answer is YES to all the questions, then you just need to start finalizing the details, and you are already on your way to good research. But if there is a NO to any of the three, you must consider whether there are alternatives or if you can tweak the variables a little bit more so that you can do it. If this is still not possible, then you may need to come up with another idea.


Creating your hypothesis is a key element for your research paper. Consider some of the tips listed above to make a testable hypothesis so that your research may now begin.

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