- Be worded as an empirical statement that formalizes educated guesses about phenomena that exist in the political world, not as a statement about what the researcher wants to be true
- Explain general phenomena rather than one particular occurrence of the phenomena
- Be plausible—there should be a logical reason for thinking that the hypothesis might be confirmed by the data.
- Be specific by stating the direction of the relationship between two phenomena, be it a positive or negative relationship
- Be consistent with the data by using terms that are consistent with the manner of testing
- Be testable—it should be feasible to obtain data that will indicate if the hypothesis is defensible
These materials take you through the though process of building viable research hypotheses and clarify what kind of hypotheses are possible for what questions.