6 Steps of the Scientific Method

Scientific Method Steps

Illustration of the steps in the scientific method
The Scientific Method. llustration by Hugo Lin. © 2018 ThoughtCo.  

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 six 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.
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "6 Steps of the Scientific Method." ThoughtCo, Apr. 6, 2018, thoughtco.com/steps-of-the-scientific-method-p2-606045. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2018, April 6). 6 Steps of the Scientific Method. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/steps-of-the-scientific-method-p2-606045 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "6 Steps of the Scientific Method." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/steps-of-the-scientific-method-p2-606045 (accessed April 26, 2018).