How Does One Form a Scientific Hypothesis

A scientific hypothesis is the building block of scientific research and experimentation. Therefore, it is important to learn how to form a scientific hypothesis.

This article explains,

     1. What is a Scientific Hypothesis

     2. How Does One Form a Scientific Hypothesis

     3. Tips to Form a Scientific Hypothesis

What is a Scientific Hypothesis

A scientific hypothesis is basically an educated guess based on observation and prior knowledge. Although hypothesis is not a proven theory, it is the building block of scientific research. A scientific hypothesis proposes an explanation to a hitherto unsolved scientific hypothesis. For such an explanation to be termed as a scientific hypothesis, it must be something that can be supported by valid evidence. 

How Does One Form a Scientific Hypothesis

  1. Decide on a Problem

For example, suppose that you are doing a simple study on plant growth; your problem can be – what happens when a plant does not receive sunlight?

  1. Background Research

Background research is the next step in forming a hypothesis: After you have decided on the problem, you can collect observation about the relevant phenomenon. Then try to understand the relation between these observations and connect them to the problem.

  1. Construct a Hypothesis

Constructing a hypothesis is the next logical step in this process. As mentioned above, a hypothesis is an educated guess. You can make a hypothesis about your selected problem through your observation. Let’s take the earlier example of the plant and sunlight; if you have observed that plants become weak and pale and eventually die if they do not get adequate sunlight, you can make the hypothesis that if plants do not receive sunlight, they tend to die.

Note that hypothesis often begins with the word if. For example,

If A happens, B will happen.

If I do ……, then this will happen.

  1. Test the Hypothesis

Constructing a hypothesis alone is not enough; you should also make sure that your hypothesis can be proven with evidence. So, it is important to test your hypothesis. For example, if your hypothesis is that plants die if they do not receive adequate sunlight, you should test this in the real world to make sure that it can be proven. You can use two plants of the same type and size, and keep one in a place where there is no direct or indirect sunlight. Observe the difference between the two, and see whether the plant dies without sunlight. 

One of the most significant factors to consider when forming a scientific hypothesis is the testebility of the hypothesis. How Does One Form a Scientific Hypothesis

Tips to Form a Scientific Hypothesis

  • Before making a question, identify the problem clearly.
  • Remember that hypothesis is a statement, not a question.  A hypothesis is an educated and testable guess and often starts with the word IF.
  • Form your hypothesis in clear and simple language so that everyone can understand; it would also ensure that there is no confusion about the hypothesis.
  • Make sure your hypothesis can be tested scientifically.

Difference Between Hypothesis and Research Question

Image Courtesy:

“CLAW hypothesis graphic 1 AYool” By Plumbago (talk) (Uploads) – Own work (CC BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.