Forming a good hypothesis for the undergraduate project is one of the difficult tasks undergraduates dread carrying out when writing a project.
However, a hypothesis is very crucial in quantitative research as it forms the framework where your project is based. It’s demoralizing to spend hours racking your brain to form a hypothesis that would later be rejected by your project supervisor. For this reason, this article aims to educate you on how to form a good hypothesis for your undergraduate project.
What Is Hypothesis
A hypothesis is a statement that reveals what your research will find. This statement is an uncertain answer to your research question that is testable through statistical analysis of data, experiments, and observation.
If your research question is “How does breakfast affect productivity?” your hypothesis can be
“If a person eats a good breakfast every day, then they will increase their productivity”.
The validity of the hypothesis above is unsure until proven true or false through experiment.
A hypothesis is very essential in quantitative research especially if you want to examine the relationship between two or more variables. Variables are the unstable things in an experiment, they are things that are prone to change and they can exist in varying quantities or types.
A hypothesis has to do with variables. Researchers use variables to interpret and measure the items or ideas they are researching. However, as a researcher, you need to have a clear understanding of variables and also utilize the right type to achieve exact statistical analyses and outcomes.
Furthermore, It is important to choose a hypothesis you are already conversant with the disciplines that are greatly related to the topic. A hypothesis is not supposed to be just an assumed or abstract statement, it should be founded on existing theories and knowledge; It should be a statement that can be deduced by other people.
A hypothesis gives a clear understanding of your research topic, purpose, scope, and limitations and makes it easier to examine the various aspect of the research. However, the mistake some undergraduates make is to hastily formulate their hypothesis without proper studying.
It is quite important to have a broad knowledge of the topic you want to consider before proposing your research hypothesis by reading articles, books, or surfing the internet for information. Finally, after analyzing your hypothesis, it is important to state in your research project whether the hypothesis was proven true or false by including it in your abstract or your introduction.
Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis
There are some unique characteristics a good hypothesis must possess and below are the characteristics that define a good hypothesis.
- A good hypothesis must be testable
- It has to be understandable and detailed with no confusion or ambiguity
- It has to be unique
- A good hypothesis must give room for more analysis and experiment.
- There should be a link between a research topic and a hypothesis
- A good hypothesis must contain variables and you must be able to utilize your variables without impeding the proper standard
- It must include a question that cannot be answered completely.
- A good hypothesis is more than just a statement. It must have two variables that are linked to each other.
Types of Hypothesis in research
There are different types of hypotheses to employ when writing an undergraduate project.
Below are the different types of hypotheses we have.
- Simple Hypothesis: A simple hypothesis shows the relationship between two variables which are dependent and independent.
- Complex Hypothesis: A complex hypothesis shows the relationship between two or more independent and dependent variables
- Directional Hypothesis: A directional hypothesis is derived from theory and it determines the direction to follow to specify the relationship between variables.
- Non-directional Hypothesis: This hypothesis is utilized when there is no theory involved. It does not give a clear direction to follow to determine the relationship between two variables.
- Associative and Causal Hypothesis: This hypothesis shows the dependency between two variables and a change in one variable triggers change in others.
- Null Hypothesis: A Null hypothesis cancels the relationship between two variables.
- Alternative Hypothesis: An alternative hypothesis is employed after the working hypothesis fails to generate the required results.
How To Form A Good Hypothesis For Your Undergraduate Project
Many undergraduates become confused when it comes to forming a good hypothesis for their undergraduate projects which is not supposed to be so.
Below is detailed information on how to form a good hypothesis for your undergraduate project.
The first step to forming a good hypothesis for your undergraduate project is to ask questions. You might not necessarily go around asking people, you can ask yourself. You have to be very curious about why some things are the way they are in the world and what causes some elements you see around.
Look around you, there are numerous unanswered questions in the world, there are many mysteries yet to be unfolded. Ask yourself tactful questions that would stimulate you into the action of finding answers. You can ask the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions.
Moreover, any question that intrigues you needs to be researchable. Make sure there are numerous published materials on the question so you can research it from different aspects.
Conduct introductory research
This is the time to research the question you coined. Here, the amount of information you need is dependent on your question and your research must come from different aspects. However, you have to be conversant with your question by thoroughly reading on it or observing things around you. You can read articles, textbooks, or surf the internet for more information on the question.
Remember, you can only write and talk about what you know very well so you need to gather enough data for your analysis.
Develop An Answer To Your Question
This is done after completing your research. You have to think about how to answer your question and defend your opinion. For example, if the question you coined is “How does breakfast affects productivity?”
By gathering enough information during your research, you will be able to develop corresponding answers to your question and also get to know that lack of breakfast decreases productivity and triggers sickness.
Consider Your Choice of Words
When formulating your hypothesis avoid deprecating words as much as possible and try to be objective. Moreover, make sure that each word in your hypothesis is simply understood and interpreted; do not dwell on the assumption that your reader knows it all.
Formulate Your Hypothesis
The answer to your question will enable you to formulate your hypothesis. Remember, to formulate a good hypothesis, it must be a statement and not a question and it must include applicable variables, expected outcomes, and who or what is being researched.
For example, this hypothesis; “If a person eats good breakfast every day, then they will increase their productivity” Shows who is being researched which is a person, the variables which are breakfast and productivity, and the prediction which is “good breakfast increases productivity. ”
Perfect Your Hypothesis
After forming your hypothesis, it is necessary to ensure the hypothesis is precise and testable. Moreover, some hypotheses might be related study and some might study the variations between two groups. In this case, it is important to state the relation or difference you anticipate finding in the course of carrying out your experiment.
Form A Null Hypothesis
After forming your hypothesis, you have to also form a null hypothesis if your research includes statistical hypothesis testing. Here, you will declare that the variables in the hypothesis do not affect each other. From our previous example, if your hypothesis is, “If a person eats good breakfast every day, then they will increase their productivity”
Then a null hypothesis would be, “eating a good breakfast does not affect productivity.”
Start Your Experiment
Once you’ve formulated your hypothesis and have carefully chosen your variables, then you need to commence your experiment with the data you derived from your research. After your experiment, you will then know the validity of your hypothesis.
Record Your Findings
After your experiment, you will need to record your findings for others to see and learn from. Be meticulous when recording it to avoid errors.
That’s all on how to form a good hypothesis for your undergraduate project, I hope it helps you formulate your hypothesis with ease.