I’m writing today in this very first article on the baby steps you take to start your research project. These steps come when you are already set on your research idea. You will learn how to develop your aim, hypothesis and title. In a later article, I’m going to elaborate on the ways to select and develop research ideas.
The first step is to develop and clearly state the aim of the study. Let’s assume that we decided to investigate the effect of a specific drug -let’s name it “X”- on lowering blood glucose. Since we have a clear idea, we can clearly state the aim as “to determine the effect of using X on lowering blood glucose”. Now we can go on and write the hypothesis or research question.
There are two types of hypotheses: “null hypothesis” that is more accurate; and “alternative hypothesis”.
For example, we are going to state both the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis.
Null hypothesis: “There’s no effect of X on lowering blood glucose”.
Alternative hypothesis: “There’s an effect of X on lowering blood glucose”.
In the case of null hypothesis, we either find -after the statistical analysis- that the null hypothesis is rejected or failed to be rejected. If it was rejected, this means that we rejected a negative statement (the null hypothesis), leading to prove the effect of X on lowering blood glucose. On the other hand, if the null hypothesis was failed to be rejected, this means that we failed to reject (i.e. accept) a negative statement, leading to disprove the effect of X on lowering blood glucose.
In short, if rejected the null hypothesis that is mentioned above, this means that the null hypothesis is not true and there’s no effect of the drug on blood glucose level.
The research question can be stated as: “Does X have an effect on lowering blood glucose?”
The last step to be learned in this tutorial, is to write the title. The title is written based on the aim and the hypothesis, so it can accurately describe the study. In our case here we can write the title as: “The effect of using X on lowering blood glucose”.
Finally, knowing how to state the aim, the hypothesis and the title can give us better understanding of how to go on with the study.
You can find the Arabic version of this article here.