As stated earlier, the aim of research is to get a general principle that would explain the situation posing as a problem in the form of an impediment that has to be fully understood for being overcome or in the form of a phenomenon, the full nature of which has eluded complete understanding so far.

The primary step is to identify the problem specifically and state it in clear-cut and operationally defined terms. Then the following steps are to offer a tentative principle or solution or explanation, and to test its correctness.

The tentative solution is called the ‘hypothesis’. It is arrived at by inductive reasoning on the basis of earlier study or experience or in discussion with the experts and its testing is done in a deductive manner by thinking out the testable results that should ensure if the hypothesis is correct. Formulation of the Hypothesis

As described above the ‘hypothesis’ is a tentative solution / explanation / Principle / generalization to explain the nature of a phenomenon that may be an impediment demanding removal or a riddle demanding, explanation and solution.


Now, in order to be plausible and have a change of coming out true, the hypothesis must emanate from the study of earlier discovered facts and theories, that the researchers might have made, or out of his own experiences, which should have been wide, or in discussion with people who may be said to be the specialists in that field.

As research looks for correct generalizations, it would be a mere waste of time to offer hypothesis at random to arrive at the correct one by trial and error. But this does not mean that the researcher’s hypothesis must always come out true, as even when a hypothesis that seems plausible and is based on well recognised sources is rejected; it is a valuable contribution to knowledge, for many a myth has to be exploded to get at true knowledge. But this does not mean shooting at random in the dark.

Sources of hypothesis:

To explain further, the sources of the hypothesis, that has chances of coming out true are as follows:


(i) Study of books dealing with areas of the problem.

(ii) Study and review of research literature pertaining to the problem, for which a brief bibliography has been given at the end of the last lesson,

(iii) One’s own experience.

(iv) Consultation and discussion with the specialists in the field.


Of course, none of these will supply a ready-made hypothesis. The researcher, himself, has to construct the hypothesis by disciplined mental work over the data supplied by the above sources.