How to Write a Hypothesis Statement

A hypothesis statement sets the tone for a scientific procedure and accompanying paper.
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A hypothesis statement is an educated guess which provides the reader with the argument the writer is trying to prove, usually through a scientific procedure. This procedure must be one that can be tested, wherein you will test if and/or how two variables are related. A good hypothesis will provide a possible explanation for some phenomenon, with the rest of the paper proving or disproving this observation.

1 Structure of a Hypothesis Statement

Before preparing the hypothesis, the writer must thoroughly research the topic in order to form a prediction, which will come from a previous scientific observation, hence why a hypothesis is an educated guess. Once this research is complete, the actual hypothesis statement will be written in an if/then structure. That is, the statement will argue that if one thing is true, then this will be the result. It must also contain both an independent and a dependent variable.

An example would be "If obesity is caused by a high-sugar diet, then people who drink 2 liters of soda every day will have a higher rate of obesity." Notice that the statement itself provides the outline for what exactly will be tested, as well as what the experimenter is hoping to prove. In this example, the independent variable is sugar, since it is what you will control based on observing the results from different variations of sugar intake through different amounts of soda. The dependent variable is obesity, since this is the fixed variable you will be measuring and observing.

Jen has been a professional writer since 2002 in the education nonprofit industry. Her work has been featured in the New Jersey SEEDS Annual Report, as well as several Centenary College publications, including "Centenary in the News" and the "Trustee Times." In 2009, Jen earned a Master of Arts degree in leadership and public administration from Centenary College.