Hypothesis vs. Thesis

Once in a while, before settling into your academic life, you will often confuse a hypothesis and a thesis statement. But it is not you only. Many other students also find it hard to differentiate between these two terms.

You may even use the two terms interchangeably without knowing they mean different things. And when writing complex research papers that require you to have the two, you will find it even more challenging.

So, what are the differences between a hypothesis and a thesis? And are there similarities between the two? This article will examine the two and help you understand and become a better student and writer.

Hypothesis vs. Thesis

Similarities Differences

Both address the subject matter Different definitions

Both provide answers or directions Different objectives or use

Both rely on facts and evidence Different features

Both have a primary point A thesis statement can be a hypothesis

Both are concise and clear A thesis does not always need a hypothesis

Both are located at the beginning A thesis is a scholarly work, while a hypothesis is not

Hypothesis and thesis are two types of statements you can make about a topic. And while they are different, they are also similar in some ways. Here is a detailed look at a hypothesis vs. thesis statement.

Also see: Abstract vs introduction 

The similarities

Despite a hypothesis and a thesis being different, some similarities exist too. However, you should remember the two are not used interchangeably. The main similarities include

The hypothesis and thesis statement both address the subject matter. Ideally, both statements answer the research question despite doing so differently. This means a reader will find some sort of answers or directions by reading these two statements, even though it is subtly.

A thesis and a hypothesis are also found at your paper’s beginning. A thesis is mainly located in the last part of the introduction and serves as the bridge between your body and introductory paragraphs. Similarly, a hypothesis is found in the opening and offers readers what the paper will test as true or false.

Another similarity between a hypothesis and a thesis is that they rely on facts and evidence. In a thesis, you will provide facts and evidence in the body paragraphs to support your statement. This means the body section must relate and provide enough evidence to prove your thesis wrong or true.

Similarly, a hypothesis is a predicted statement that explains how something occurs. And despite it being a prediction, there needs to be an experiment that will show it as true or false. Thus, you will need to experiment to establish whether your thesis is reliable. In other words, your experiment will provide the evidence you need to ascertain the authenticity of the hypothesis.

Correspondingly, both have a primary point, are concise, and are clear. An excellent hypothesis and thesis statement should be specific in its wording so that other researchers or your instructors can clearly understand it.

Generally, the two need to be concise to make readers know your position in the case of a statement and what you will be testing in case it is a hypothesis. The more specific your hypothesis is, the better because readers will understand your paper.

The differences

A hypothesis’s and a thesis’s differences emanate from their definitions, objectives, and features.

  1. Definition

A hypothesis is a suggested or proposed explanation about an occurrence or phenomenon. Additionally, it should be tested through scientific methods, which may provide better answers about the phenomenon or even disapprove of them.

This means researchers, writers, and scientists base their hypotheses on existing observations. Unlike a thesis statement, it also means a hypothesis utilizes theories to stand and be tested. In other words, a hypothesis is a statement meant to be proven through testing or deductive reasoning.

On the other hand, a thesis has two meanings. It is a scholarly work written by students to attain a degree certificate. When used as a stand-alone word and statement, it means a message written in the introduction of an essay.

This statement contains the central argument of your paper. The paper will have discussions, evidence, and facts supporting the thesis. In addition, the thesis also presents your position as the writer, especially if writing about a controversial topic or anything requiring you to take a stand.

  1. The objectives or use

The primary purpose of a hypothesis is to provide a hypothetical or measurable explanation about the subject in question. This means a hypothesis is used to give predictions and allow experiments to prove or disapprove them.

Conversely, a thesis statement provides a writer’s position on a matter and the paper’s purpose. Generally, by reading it, a reader can get the whole purpose of your writing.

  1. Features

A good hypothesis allows you to make predictions and test these projections. For example, if you hypothesize that eating an apple will lower your blood pressure, then you can predict and measure the truthfulness of this hypothesis by experimenting.

On the other hand, a thesis is simply straightforward and concise. Additionally, it includes all the essential concepts covered in the paper and gives them meaning and context so that readers can understand them clearly.

Can a Thesis Statement Be a Hypothesis

Yes, a thesis statement can be a hypothesis. Both terms’ definitions are similar in that they are claims or statements made before the body and are supported by evidence and data.

On one hand, a hypothesis is an educated guess about something, whereas a thesis statement is a claim you intend to prove. It’s a concise, declarative sentence that tells your reader what you will discuss in your paper.

In some fields, a thesis statement can also become your hypothesis because, at the end of the paper, you will prove it through the evidence and facts you present. Nevertheless, this does not apply to all disciplines because some require experiments to prove the claim or hypothesis made.

Also, a thesis statement is much broader than a hypothesis. It states an opinion or belief on an issue, while a hypothesis narrows the topic to something specific. This means in some instances and fields of study, a hypothesis may be found within a thesis statement and not vice versa.

Does a Thesis Need a Hypothesis

It is not mandatory to include a hypothesis in a thesis. In fact, there is no rule requiring a piece of writing to have both. However, including a hypothesis in a thesis depends on your writing discipline.

If the results do not depend on statistical analysis, they will not need a hypothesis. This means you’ll develop an argument on a specific topic while writing a thesis because it is the key to your essay.

Additionally, thesis statements can be written in more than one way. In some cases, they are written as questions and are known as interrogative statements. However, most of the time, they are written as statements or propositions.

Generally, a thesis does not need a hypothesis because it can stand on its own, provide an idea of your writing to readers, and be proven through evidence and facts.