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Writing the Hypothesis

    A hypothesis is a simple statement that gives the reader the writer's viewpoint.  The writing of a hypothesis should begin after the writer is done Choosing a Topic.  The most important characteristic of the hypothesis is that it provides an opinion.  It is not a bland, factual statement.  The hypothesis is a statement that should encourage the reader to think about what is written; to question it, to doubt it or even to agree with it.

   For example:

  • "The Civil War began in 1861."

   Is that a hypothesis?  No. The reader cannot question the validity, or truthfullness, of the statement.  The war did indeed begin in 1861. That's fact.

  • "The Civil War was a constitutional struggle over the fundamental role of the federal government, particularly the rights of states to establish and enforce laws to protect their own interests."

   Is that a hypothesis? Yes. Why? It's opinion. And because the reader could question the validity of the statement.  That does not mean it's wrong.  It just means that the reader could argue effectively that the statement is wrong, or the reader could agree with it.  The writer would need to provide support to strengthen the opinion.

Examples

Yes, these are hypothesis statements: No, these are NOT hypothesis statements:
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Mass media exposed the struggles of immigrants in the crowded cities and led the charge to try and improve social welfare and reform economic inequalities. WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) The mass media exposed many of the hardships of immigrant life.
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Despite its tragic nature, the death of John Brown did more to help than hurt the anti-slavery movement. WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) John Brown raided Harper's Ferry in an attempt to gather weapons to lead a revolt against slaveowners and slavery.
WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Andrew Carnegie's method of vertical integration represented the fullfillment of the dream of American capitalism despite its effects on competition. WB00827_.GIF (132 bytes) Carnegie made huge sums of money by purchasing everything from coal mines to railroad tracks in his attempt to cut costs and increase profits.

 

Lft.gif (1027 bytes) Choosing a Topic

The Intro Paragraph

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