How to Write a Hypothesis for a Lab Report

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The hypothesis is often thought of as the most difficult part of the scientific method. The hypothesis represents the subject around which the entire experiment revolves. You can follow a few simple steps to generate a hypothesis that is testable and explains how variables are connected.

  • Develop your research problem. Think about two events, objects, or subjects and see how they may be related.

  • Come up with a general hypothesis, which is created after you have observed something. For example, if you notice during a research period that acid rain affects the population of fish in a lake, your general hypothesis could be "Acid rain reduces fish population."

  • Make your general hypothesis more specific. For example, you could say "If acid rain in a lake is related to fish population, then lower pH levels caused by acid rain lead to a decline in fish population." You could also say "As pH levels are lowered by acid rain, the rate of population decline of fish in the water increases."

  • Identify your variables. In the statements in Step 3, you have an independent variable (acid rain and pH levels) and the dependent variable (fish population).

  • Re-read your hypothesis and ensure it is a testable statement. If you cannot build an experiment around the hypothesis, rewrite it so that you can test the variables.

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