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Come Up With A Project Hypothesis

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Feb 11, 2011

This step of your project concerns a hypothesis, which is a prediction of the solution to a problem based on knowledge and research. All of your project research is done with the goal of expressing a problem, proposing an answer to it (the hypothesis), and designing a project experiment to test the hypothesis. A hypothesis can be a declarative statement or an "If … then …" type of statement. Following are examples of hypotheses.

The project problem is a question or statement that identifies the independent and dependent variables. For example, "Are moths more attracted to white or yellow light?" The hypothesis should make a claim about how the independent and dependent variables relate. For example, in the sample hypotheses for this problem, the two related variables are light color (independent variable) and attraction of moths to light (dependent variable):

"Moths will be more attracted to white light than to yellow. This is based on research information that moths use the white light of the Moon to determine direction."

or

"If the light is similar in color to the Moon, then more moths will be attracted to it. This is based on research information that moths use the white light of the Moon to determine direction."

For the question "Where are the most number of stomata found on leaves?" the location of the stomata is the independent variable, but the dependent variable is not identified. The hypothesis should identify this missing variable. For example, in the sample hypotheses for the problem, the two relating factors are location of the stomata (independent variable) and amount of water lost by transpiration (dependent variable):

"Exposing only the area of a leaf with the most stomata will cause little to no change in the amount of water lost by transpiration. This is based on the research information that water lost by transpiration is through stomata."

or

"If the area with the least stomata is covered on a leaf, then there will be little to no change in the amount of water lost by transpiration. This is based on the research information that water lost by transpiration is through stomata."

Hypothesis Hints

  1. State facts from research, including past experiences or observations on which you based your research hypothesis.
  2. Write down your hypothesis before beginning the project experimentation.
  3. Don't change your hypothesis even if experimentation does not support it. If time permits, repeat the experiment to confirm your results.
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