Identify | Hypothesis | Procedure | Collect | Analyze Data | Conclusion | Presentation
Once you have decided your research question, develop a hypothesis. Your hypothesis is a prediction of your experiment's results. Before making a hypothesis, be sure you have gathered all the information necessary to make an educated guess. Read available background information, look at other studies done on your topic, and discuss your project with experts.
Remember, a good hypothesis predicts how two factors relate. Be sure you consider all the variables that affect the ecosystem or area you're studying. What would happen if you could change one variable at a time? Your hypothesis should clearly state how one variable (the independent variable) will be changed and the effect it will have on a second variable (the dependent variable). For example, "Variance in plant type will enhance sand accumulation in sand dune restoration."
Your project will be designed to test this hypothesis, so it must be stated in such a way that can be tested through experimentation. In addition, predict your results in measurable terms and use words like increase and decrease, or more or less, or higher and lower to show the relationship you predict to observe between the two variables. Do not use words like better to describe your predicted outcomes, as they do not clearly define the expected results.
Finally, keep in mind that your hypothesis does not have to be right – that will be determined by the experiment. But remembering that your hypothesis will be the foundation of your project should help guide all the steps of your experiment.
Go to Step 3: Develop a Procedure >>