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Researching Your Topic

After you have your question and your variables figured out, it's time to learn more about your topic so that you can make a hypothesis. A scientific hypothesis is not a wild guess, but it is a prediction based on something a scientist thinks. 

To make a good hypothesis you will need to do some research about your topic so you can predict what you think will happen in your experiment. Time to go to the library! Don't forget to keep track of the useful sources you find so you can add them to your bibliography. Here are some websites you can use to help you with your research: 


Ready to write your hypothesis? A hypothesis is a statement based on what we already know about a science topic. It can be tested by an experiment.

In order to make a hypothesis for an experimental question a scientist must research the key terms or ideas from the question.  Using that research the scientist can then write a hypothesis like this:

“If _____________________ then ____________________.”

(change to the manipulated variable )    (the effect on the responding variable)

A good hypothesis statement will also include reasons the scientist thinks the result to the responding variable will occur.

For Example:

Question: Does the type of liquid affect how fast ice melts in it?

Hypothesis: If the liquid has chemicals in it, then the ice will melt faster. Water will melt ice the slowest because it does not have chemicals. Soda and juices have chemicals in them that might make the ice melt faster.

After testing the experimental question the scientist will then determine if the hypothesis was correct or not. Remember that it doesn't matter if a hypothesis turns out to be right or not, as long as you learn something!

To check if you understand how to make a hypothesis, try this quiz!