Developing Dissertation Research Hypotheses
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Developing your dissertation hypotheses is a crucial step in the dissertation process. Many students, irrespective of their research expertise or discipline, have difficult developing dissertation hypotheses. Your dissertation hypotheses are extremely important, as they guide the analysis of your dissertation data which, in turn, will be written up in your dissertation results section. Hypotheses will help keep your dissertation data analysis organized, as well as guide your dissertation data analyses. Dissertation hypotheses provide direction for your research and offer an explanation for a related outcome. As such, developing understandable and testable dissertation hypotheses can make your dissertation journey a little easier. Dissertation consultants can provide a great deal of assistance when you are getting close to developing your dissertation hypotheses.
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When developing your dissertation hypotheses, there are several simple strategies you can use to develop solid dissertation hypotheses. These strategies include writing concise and simple dissertation hypotheses, organizing your dissertation hypotheses and connecting your dissertation hypotheses to work in the field. We provide a brief description of these strategies for developing dissertation hypotheses. If you are unsure about any of the necessary steps for developing your dissertation hypotheses contact a research consultant.
How to develop your dissertation research hypotheses:
Connecting your dissertation hypotheses to existing research
If your dissertation topic is not novel, your dissertation hypotheses should reflect what is already known in your field from published research, theories and logic. A good strategy is to connect your dissertation hypotheses to the research cited in your dissertation literature review when developing your research hypotheses. For example, if your dissertation explores the relationship between depression and self-esteem and the research in your literature review suggests a negative relationship between depression and self-esteem, be sure that your research hypotheses reflect this. When possible, connect your dissertation hypotheses to work in the field.
If your dissertation is novel or qualitative, it may be more difficult for you to develop concrete dissertation hypotheses. In this case you may have difficulty developing concrete dissertation hypotheses. As a result, your dissertation hypotheses will be more exploratory. If you run into any difficulty when developing your dissertation hypotheses contact a dissertation consultant. A dissertation consultant will help you conceptualize and develop the hypotheses that are appropriate to your research if your dissertation is quantitative or qualitative.
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Developing your dissertation research hypotheses:
Writing clear and simple hypotheses
When developing your dissertation hypotheses it is important to be clear and to make hypotheses as simple as possible. Here are a few helpful tips to use when developing your dissertation hypotheses:
1) Do not use words like "prove" when developing your dissertation hypotheses. Instead use words like suggest or support when developing your dissertation hypotheses. Dissertation research hypotheses are never proven; dissertation research hypotheses are only supported. If you are unsure about the type of language to use when developing your dissertation hypotheses, contact a dissertation consultant.
2) Dissertation hypotheses should state the relationship between two or more dissertation variables. This is a general rule of thumb for developing your dissertation hypotheses. If you are having difficulty conceptualizing your dissertation variables when developing your dissertation hypotheses, contact a dissertation consultant.
3) Good dissertation hypotheses explain your expectations clearly. If when developing your dissertation hypotheses, you feel your dissertation hypotheses are unclear contact a dissertation consultant.
4) Dissertation hypotheses identify dependent and independent variables and the direction of expected relationships. If when developing your dissertation hypotheses, you are unsure about the dependent and independent variables, contact a dissertation consultant.
5) When developing your dissertation hypotheses, make sure the relationships between the dissertation variables are testable. If your dissertation variables are measurable, chances are your dissertation hypothesis are testable. But if you are unsure, contact a dissertation consultant.
These are general tips for use when developing dissertation hypotheses. While these dissertation hypotheses development tips may be useful, they do not compare to the one-on-one advisement you can receive from a dissertation consultant when developing your dissertation hypotheses.
Hypotheses are helpful if your dissertation involves determining whether a specific prediction about the relationship between variables is correct. They often take the place of sub-questions.
Example of a hypothesis
First-year students are more likely to attend lectures than second-year students.
Using hypotheses in your dissertation
If your dissertation includes hypotheses, bear the following tips in mind.
1. Remember that the main question should not be a hypothesis
The main research question itself is usually a “normal” research question, which hypotheses are then formulated to help answer. Hypotheses therefore take the place of sub-questions.
2. Conduct preliminary research
A hypothesis is a statement about what you believe is true. To make an informed statement, you thus first need to do some research. Focus on the literature that you use for your introduction and problem statement.
3. Create a conceptual framework
Use your research as the basis for creating a conceptual framework in which you illustrate what you expect to find when you conduct the actual investigation.
4. Formulate your hypotheses
You can then derive your hypotheses from what you have presented graphically in your conceptual model. Each hypothesis will eventually be discussed in a separate chapter of your dissertation.
5. Test your hypotheses
The next step is to test your hypotheses to see if your expectations are correct or incorrect. If they are correct, the hypothesis is said to be verified (or confirmed); if not, the hypothesis is said to be falsified (or rejected).
Both null hypotheses (H0) and alternative hypotheses (H1) must be created to facilitate the testing.
Examples of null and alternative hypotheses
H0: There is no relationship between sex and aggression.
H1: There is a relationship between sex and aggression.
H0: Income has no effect on buying behavior.
H1: Income has an effect on buying behavior.
H0: There is no difference in language between older and younger people.
H1: There is a difference in language between older and younger people.