The research process typically starts with an interest in a specific topic, but knowledge of the subject aids in formulating a suitable research question for research. Afterward, questions arise due to the identified knowledge gaps in a discipline or subject area. Identifying existing gaps in the studies is critical because they help formulate strong research questions. The complexity in formulating a good research question is figuring out which uncertainties can or should be studied and justifying the investigation’s necessity. Researchers formulate a hypothesis to answer their research question. A hypothesis is a proposition that can be verified by empirical study. Before starting your investigation or data collection, you must create your hypotheses if you wish to investigate a connection between two or more variables. This article will tell you how to turn research questions into strong hypotheses.
What is a Hypothesis?
A hypothesis outlines your expectations for the results of your investigation. It is a speculative, untested response to your research question. You might need to develop a number of hypotheses for some research studies that respond to various facets of your research issue. A hypothesis should be predicated on accepted theories and information; it should not just be an uninformed guess. It must also be testable, which implies that you can confirm or disprove it using techniques from scientific inquiry, such as observations, experiments, and data analysis.
How to turn research questions into strong hypotheses?
- Ask a Question
The formulation of strong hypotheses depends upon asking the right questions. Research questions determine the formulation of a strong hypothesis. The research question must be focused, specific and researchable. Questioning has crucial importance in the scientific method. Every research starts with a question about the peculiar nature of a natural or social phenomenon.
A research question is a particular question for which the study attempts to find an answer. It is at the centre of scientific study and aids in defining a clear course for the research procedure. In essence, it serves as the main questioning point for your study and establishes your research workflow. A research topic often directs all phases of investigation, analysis, and reporting, establishes the technique, and formulates the hypothesis. You can acquire knowledge that will be helpful for your investigation if you ask the correct research questions.
- Choose a Research Approach: Quantitative or Qualitative
Research questions are either qualitative or quantitative. Researchers can formulate exclusive qualitative or quantitative research questions or merge them using a mixed methods approach. You must employ quantitative research questions if your study’s goal is to gather quantitative data. On the other hand, qualitative questions enable you to collect in-depth information on the thoughts and views of your research participants.
- Get familiar with the types of questions
- Qualitative Research questions
A qualitative research question aims to gather qualitative data from the study participants. Qualitative data pertains to people’s opinions, thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes regarding a specific topic or issue. Qualitative questions can be ethnographic in nature that seeks to understand the experiences of people and how they construct meaning in their natural habitats. These research questions assist the researcher in learning more about the routines, personalities, viewpoints, and actions of research participants as they interact in certain settings. For example:
- Why do people practice certain rituals in a specific culture?
- Why do people believe in a specific duty in culture X?
- Why are communal structures in a specific tribal society necessary for those specific people?
- Quantitative Research questions
Quantitative research questions are either descriptive or comparative. Researchers utilise descriptive research questions to elicit statistical information about the traits and attributes of study participants. These questions mainly look for answers that show existing patterns in the characteristics of the research subjects. Descriptive questions do not seek to find the causes of a specific phenomenon; instead, they only seek to quantify the attributes of the study participants. These questions are often close ended because the researcher’s purpose is to find definite answers to the questions. On the other hand, comparative questions are used to determine how two or more study participants differ across various factors. While highlighting existing parallels, these inquiries assist the researcher in identifying distinctive characteristics that distinguish one research subject from another.
- Conduct some Preliminary Research
Preliminary research helps you transform your research question into a strong hypothesis. Your preliminary response to the query has to be predicated on the body of existing knowledge. You can search for theories and earlier studies to make informed assumptions regarding the results of your research. At this point, you can create a theoretical framework to specify the variables you will examine and the connections you believe exist between them. More complicated constructions may require further exploration and expression of concepts.
- Identify and define the variables
Once you formulate research questions for your inquiry, the next step is identifying and defining the variables. Variables are important in hypothesis formulation. There are two types of variables. A hypothesis proposes a relationship between two or more variables. Anything the researcher modifies or regulates is referred to as an independent variable. An observation or measurement made by the researcher is a dependent variable. A dependent variable is dependent on the independent variable. The researcher attempts to find a link between the independent and dependent variables during experimentation or data collection. Causation entails that for any given change in the value of the independent variable, there should be a change of equal magnitude in the values of the dependent variable.
- Formulate an Answer to the Question
After the preliminary research, the next step is formulating an answer to your research question. Consider how you will respond to your inquiry and support your perspective once you have finished all of your research. The answer must address the research question, and you must consider the necessary points to defend your position. Formulating an answer to the research question is the most crucial step in hypothesis development. If you cannot do it by yourself, you can always take help from expert researchers at a reliable masters dissertation help service.
- Write Your Hypothesis
A hypothesis is a clear and concise sentence. A hypothesis contains the specification of the issue under investigation, variables and expected outcome. It is important to formulate a testable and focused hypothesis.
Focused research questions help you formulate strong hypotheses. So, it is important to ask specific questions that are researchable and can be answered through research. Vague questions often lead to dead ends; therefore, it is important to avoid getting into generalisations.