Can You Write a Good Dissertation Without a Hypothesis?

A dissertation hypothesis is the most important part of your scientific research, as it is a testable prediction statement around which you build your investigation. It must be written prior to collecting and analyzing the data, because you’ll conduct your research depending on this preliminary proposition.

This is the foundation of your scholarly work and the basis of your further analyses and experiments; so, writing a research paper without a concise and clear hypothesis is like sticking something together without glue.

All the parts of your thesis, especially the conclusion, must be closely related to the hypothesis, which should be stated clearly with the usage of appropriate terminology. You may test in your dissertation a wide range of hypotheses, according to the discipline and your objectives. As it always seems difficult to start and to create the proper feasible theory, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and familiarize yourself with all kinds of scientific suppositions.

Preparatory Stage

It’s almost the most critical phase of your work on your Ph.D. thesis, so, pay great attention to it. First of all, look round for ideas, falling back on academic literature. You ought to study thoroughly different thesis works, similar in question area and problematics. Read articles and books on the topic and consult with your scientific advisor. Ensure that this problem hasn’t been investigated before.

When creating a supposition, remember that it provides the direction for your research and offers an explanation for a related outcome of your thesis. After you’ve done it, write it down on a piece of paper and stick it to your computer/tab/notebook in order to keep it in memory all the time.

Types of Dissertation Hypotheses

  • research or alternative (it predicts a relationship);
  • null or H0 (“H-naught”/"H-null"/"H-zero") states that the relationship that you have to prove doesn't exist. It can be
  • simple or complex, associative or causal. It’s usually considered to be true until the evidence indicates otherwise.
  • one-tailed (it has directionality);
  • two-tailed or non-directional (it doesn’t stipulate the direction and is often used when there is little or no theory)

You should also keep in mind some important points:

  • Use the words “suggest” or “support”, but not “prove”, as a thesis supposal is never proven - it’s “supported”
  • You must state the relationship between two or more thesis variables
  • You ought to identify dependent and independent variables
  • Determine the direction of expected relationships

After that you may conduct your thesis research.