6 Steps of the Scientific Method

Scientific Method Steps

Chemistry Student
The scientific method is a system for asking and answering questions. Hero Images / Getty Images

The scientific method is a systematic way of learning about the world around us and answering questions. The number of steps varies from one description to another, mainly when data and analysis are separated into separate step, but this is a fairly standard list of 6 scientific method steps, which you are expected to know for any science class:

  1. Purpose/Question
    Ask a question.
  2. Research
    Conduct background research. Write down your sources so you can cite your references.
  1. Hypothesis
    Propose a hypothesis. This is a sort of educated guess about what you expect. (see examples)
  2. Experiment
    Design and perform an experiment to test your hypothesis. An experiment has an independent and dependent variable. You change or control the independent variable and record the effect it has on the dependent variable.
  3. Data/Analysis
    Record observations and analyze what the data means. Often, you'll prepare a table or graph of the data.
  4. Conclusion
    Conclude whether to accept or reject your hypothesis. Communicate your results.