How To Write A Hypothesis Statement For A Research Paper

Before you even think about formulating you hypothesis make sure that you have enough background from reading papers, articles etc., in order to have enough information to start clarifying your ideas and planning your research proposal.

So, now you have your idea and you need to put the whole of the idea in one sentence. Don’t be too keen to get this part of the task done in five minutes.

  1. The long and very wordy explanation of the research you want to do is called a working hypothesis. Just remember at this stage your hypothesis is a statement of intent or expectation (do remember at some point that you need also to state whether its one or two tailed).
  2. Talk to your tutor about your ideas, they may tell you to go away and refine your plans. This is actually a good move because the more you talk about your research hypothesis, the more you refine your ideas and the easier it gets to explain. Remember it’s a research question.
  3. Talk to other students about your research hypothesis and also listen carefully to how they explain their research hypothesis. This is time well spent, you are refining your work and at the same time you are learning from others.
  4. You are probably at the point now where your hypothesis is about four sentences long instead of 8. But remember this is still a working hypothesis. You are still narrowing the field.


  1. . Identify the issue or question you are interested in.
  2. Identify and predict the variables.
  3. Do not show any conclusion in the wording.
  4. Be objective.

From working hypothesis to research hypothesis to research proposal.

  1. Get your hypothesis down to one sentence.
  2. Your hypothesis is also your research question
  3. Your hypothesis that is now your research question is also your title for your paper.

So to recap, you start with your general interest topic, which you evolve into your area of interest for research. You then target the variables you want to manipulate. As you decide on the variables, you may need to make subtle changes to your hypothesis. As your work progresses you find that due to defining your hypothesis and also looking at the practicalities of the research and feedback from your tutor. That your plans may change. But at this stage before you get to your final research hypothesis, flexibility is good. The more work that you put into the planning the smoother your research will be.