How to Write a Hypothesis or Research Question

Write a Hypothesis or Research Question

In this post, I’ll explain how to write a hypothesis, what the different types of hypotheses are, and how to choose the best one for your research.

The hypothesis is a testable statement that is the basis for your study. The hypothesis could be, for example, that writing with a specific genre of word yields a specific group of readers. The hypothesis could be that using a specific combination of words yields a particular reaction. The hypothesis could be that reading a particular type of book leads to a particular conclusion. The hypothesis could be that students who take a certain course will perform more poorly on a test than students who take a different course.

The creation and execution of a hypothesis is the most critical step in the process of conducting a research project. It is also the most time-consuming. You can write a hypothesis in a variety of ways.. Read more about research question and hypothesis examples pdf and let us know what you think.word-image-2945

Learning to write a research question or hypothesis is the starting point for any thesis, dissertation or research paper. This is also one of the most important parts of the research proposal. A good research question not only clarifies what will be written in your research, but also gives your readers clear direction and facilitates understanding of the topic, purpose, scope, and limitations of your research.

What is a good research question?

The following are important characteristics of a good research question:

The research question should be specific and focused

Research questions that are too broad cannot be addressed in a single study. This can be explained by the fact that there are many factors or variables to consider. In addition, too large a sample size or too long an experiment may indicate that the research question is not sufficiently focused.

A specific research question implies that a body of data and observations clearly supports or refutes the chosen hypothesis. If the research question is too vague, the data may lead to the emergence of another research problem and hypothesis that you did not consider in the introduction.

The research question should be based on the literature

An effective research question must be answerable and verifiable based on previous research. Effective scientific research will always take place in the context of a broader academic consensus. This means that conspiracy theories or boundary theories are not good subjects for research. Instead, a good research question should broaden, explore and test the context of your research area.

It should be a natural part of the literature and available to other authors of research. Citations from the literature may be given in a variety of formats and must be properly formatted according to the guidelines of the publishing journal, university, or institution. This applies to in-text links as well as the Links section.

Wordvice offers several information sources and tools on citations and cross-references:

The research question should be realistic in terms of time, scope and budget

The research process has two main limitations: Timetable and budget. An appropriate research question involves study or experimental procedures that can be performed within a reasonable time frame, usually by a graduate student, a master’s student, or a laboratory technician. Research that requires future technologies, costly resources, or monitoring procedures is problematic. The researcher’s budget is also a major constraint for timely research. Research in many large universities or institutes is publicly funded and therefore subject to funding constraints.

Research question to be investigated further

Research papers, dissertations and theses, as well as journal articles, are usually dozens or even hundreds of pages long. A good research question or thesis must be sufficiently complex to warrant such length, as it must pass peer review and be replicable by other researchers.

Types of research questions

Qualitative and quantitative research are the two main types of research and research questions need to be developed for each type of research.

Quantitative research questions

The quantitative research questions are specific. A typical research question includes the population to be studied, the dependent and independent variables, and the research design. Moreover, in the case of quantitative research questions, a link is made between the research question and the research design. Moreover, it is impossible to answer these questions with a definitive yes or no.

For example, scientific fields such as biology, physics and chemistry often face conditions where different quantities, volumes or speeds radically change the meaning of the research. Therefore, quantitative research questions do not contain qualitative, categorical or ordinal qualifiers such as be, be not, do or do not do. Three categories of quantitative research questions are:

  • Descriptive research questions aim to describe the behaviour of the population with respect to one or more variables or to describe the characteristics of the variables to be measured. These questions usually look like what?
  • Comparative research questions are designed to identify differences between groups on the outcome variable. These problems may also be causally related. Researchers can compare groups in which certain variables are present with groups in which they are not.
  • Relational research questions and are designed to clarify and describe trends and interactions between variables. These questions include dependent and independent variables and use terms such as association or tendency.

Qualitative research questions

In quantitative research, the research questions can be general or more specific. Qualitative research questions are less prescriptive, more flexible and adaptable than their quantitative counterparts. Therefore, research based on these questions generally focuses on discovery, explanation, clarification and exploration. Qualitative studies can be classified into the following categories:

  • Contextual research questions aim to identify and describe existing conditions.
  • Descriptive research questions attempt to describe a phenomenon.
  • Evaluation Research questions evaluate the effectiveness of existing methods, protocols, theories, or procedures.
  • Explaining research questions Investigating a phenomenon or analysing causes or relationships between objects or phenomena
  • Research questions relate to unknown aspects of a particular topic.

Quantitative and qualitative research questions

Type of research question

Text for question

Descriptive research question

What are the characteristics of ATP synthase?

Comparative research question

How does human growth hormone mimic the effects of testosterone?

Correlation Research question

What is the relationship between baldness and age?

Research question

Is it possible that VEGF affects photosynthesis in plants?

Explanatory study question

What is the cause of the increase in violence among young adults?

Assessment of study question

How effective is the use of toothpaste in treating mosquito bites?

Examples of good and bad research questions

Below are some good (and not so good) examples of research questions that can help researchers formulate their own research question.


Fuzzy search question

How are children influenced by social media?

Specific research question

How do Instagram likes affect self-esteem in young children up to age 12?

The first research question is too vague in terms of independent and dependent variables. There is no specific information on the magnitude of the impact. Is it about reactions, likes, engagement or simply the time spent on the social media platform? Second, there is no useful information about what exactly the term affected means. Does the subject’s behavior change in a measurable way? Or does the term refer to another factor, such as the user’s emotions?

Example 2

Overly simplified research question

Has the incidence of bullying increased in the United States in the last 10 years?

Focused research question

What is the effect of extracurricular and community programs on the disciplinary actions of elementary school students?

For this research question, the first example is too simple and not complex enough, making it difficult to assess whether the research has answered the question posed. The author could really only answer this question with a simple yes or no. Moreover, the availability of data does not allow for a more in-depth answer to this question, which certainly indicates a poorly constructed research topic.

The second research question is specific, complex and can be tested empirically. The effectiveness of the programme can be measured by indicators such as attendance or evaluations. Moreover, bullying becomes an empirical and quantitative measure in the form of recorded disciplinary actions.

Steps for writing a good research question

Good research questions are relevant, focused and meaningful. It’s not always easy to find a good research question, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

1. Start with an interesting and relevant topic

Choose a research topic that is interesting, but also relevant and appropriate to your country’s culture or your university’s capabilities. Topics of popular science research include health care and medical-related research. However, if you are in a technical college or a humanities program, you should obviously choose a research question related to your major and specialization. Below is an integrated graph of the most popular search areas by number of publications by region. As you can see, healthcare and basic research receive the most funding and produce the most publications. word-image-2946

2. Conducting a preliminary study

You can start the preliminary research after you have chosen your research topic. In this first phase of the study, two tasks need to be accomplished. First, conduct an initial review of the relevant literature to identify which topics are currently being discussed by academics and colleagues. By using this method, you show that you are up to date with the latest developments in the field. Second, you can identify gaps or limitations in knowledge about your topic by conducting a preliminary literature review. Then, after some refinement, you can use these gaps to focus your research question.

3. Limiting the scope of the study to identify specific research questions

You can focus on a more specific area of study if you have a good understanding of the subject you want to study. A good way is to focus on the current literature or gaps in knowledge. By identifying the limitations in the literature and promising research areas, a research question can be formulated. The same applies to the choice of research questions that extend or complement the existing literature.

4. Evaluate your research question

Make sure you have evaluated the research question by asking yourself the following questions: Is my research question clear? The data and observations resulting from your research should be clear. For quantitative studies, the data must be empirical and measurable. In qualitative observations, the categories should be clearly defined. Is my research question focused and specific? A relevant research question should be specific enough that your test method or procedure produces an objective result and leaves no room for subjective interpretation.

Open-ended research questions or those dealing with broad topics may create an ambiguous relationship between the results and the research objectives. Is my research question complex enough? The results of your research must be significant and important (and sufficiently grounded in the context of your field) to merit academic consideration. Simply reinforcing or supporting the scientific consensus is unnecessary and unlikely to go down well with the editors of most journals.   word-image-2947

Related academic writing articles

How to write an essay in a second language

Where to ask the research question

Checklist for writing a research proposal

How to write an effective research paper

Explanatory parts of the research proposal


The purpose of this post is to provide you with some useful examples of a hypothesis, research questions, and hypothesis testing. A hypothesis is a proposition that explains the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable.. Read more about quantitative research hypothesis examples and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between hypothesis and research question?

There are 2 basic types of research questions: Hypothesis and Research Question. The difference between these two is that a hypothesis is a prediction or a tentative prediction to be tested by research.  Example of such hypothesis is: We developed a new product and it will be successful in the market.  The thing is, we cannot be sure about it just because of the word “hypothesis”. Your research question has been answered.

You’ve conducted your research and the answer is yes. You’ve also written up a hypothesis and written up a research paper describing the results of your study. Congratulations — you’ve done all the hard work to write a research paper. Now for the easy part: writing the paper. Many people write their papers without thinking about what they are writing. They simply write a few sentences, or a paragraph, or a section, and never think about what they are writing. They never stop and think Why? What is the main idea? What are the most important points the reader should know? What is the main idea?

What is a research hypothesis example?

Ever wonder what a hypothesis is? It could be that your next experiment is about to begin or it could be that you are trying to find out more about a particular topic. Whatever you are researching, you need to formulate a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement that you test and will explain the answers you find.

How do you write a research question?

The purpose of the blog is to review methods for writing a research question. There are a number of methods that can be used to formulate a research question. What methods the student will use to formulate their research question will be determined by the student’s background. The choice of method will depend on the specific research question. The student will need to determine how to formulate this question. Research is full of questions. Questions have answers. And as a teacher, you will regularly see students doing research using Google and Wikipedia, without any idea of how to write a research question. This guide will help you to write a research question in order to guide your research.

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