How to Generate a Hypothesis in the 3rd Person

A hypothesis suggests a possible testable answer to a scientific question.

The Scientific Method is a way to study and explain the natural world, and can be used in every day applications, as well. This method consists of a logical sequence of steps that include observing a phenomenon; generating a scientific question about the phenomenon; postulating a tentative, falsifiable answer to that question; testing the possible answer by experimentation; and collecting and analyzing the results of your experiment. The tentative answer portion of this method is called a hypothesis and can be written as a prediction. Generating a hypothesis in the third person means taking yourself or another person out of the equation.

Ask your scientific question. For example: “Why doesn’t my lawnmower work?”

Change the first person point of view by removing the “I” and “my” to the third person objective point of view. This is the point of view of an objective narrator. For example: “Why doesn’t the lawnmower work?”

Stay in the third person objective point of view and state your hypothesis by answering the question. For example: “The lawnmower doesn’t work because it is out of gas.”

State your hypothesis, alternatively, as an answer to the question in a predictive “if…then” format. For example: “If the lawnmower isn’t working because it is out of gas, then it will work once gas is added to the tank.”

Anne Mullenniex has been writing for eHow since 2009. She has owned and operated computer, construction, and insurance businesses. She has a bachelor's and a master's degree in biology and has taught at a community college. She is now working as an artist/artisan in multiple media.