How to Write the Hypotheses in Chapter 1 of a Thesis?

Based on Oxford Colour Dictionary (2001), “hypothesis” is an idea that has not yet been proved to be true or correct. It is a tentative conclusion or answer to a specific question raised at the beginning of an investigation. It is not just a simple guess but an “educated” guess about the answer to a specific question.

Generally, there are two forms of hypotheses – the operational form and the null form. These two means:
  • Operational – is in the affirmative form and states that there is a difference between two phenomena.
  • Null – is in the negative form and states that there is no difference between the two phenomena. It shows equality and is more commonly used.
Here are some guidelines in the formulation of explicit hypotheses:
  • In experimental investigations, hypotheses have to be clear and detailed, they have to be expressed. They have to be expressed also in comparative and correlational studies.
  • In descriptive and historical investigations, hypotheses are seldom used (or not used at all). Your subproblems (or specific questions) raised before the beginning of investigation (that are in the statement of the problem) will serve as the hypotheses.
  • As stated above, hypotheses are usually stated in the null form. It is easy to test a null hypothesis than operational hypotheses.
  • Again, hypotheses are formulated from the specific questions (which they are based).
You know, hypotheses have important functions in research. They serve as bases for determining assumptions and relevance of data. They can also help explain or discuss the data gathered. Hypotheses can also guide you in consolidating your findings and making your conclusions. And the best of all, hypotheses can help you on knowing what methods, research instruments, sampling design and statistical treatment to use. In short, hypotheses can help you design your study.


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